Monday, August 30, 2010

Apply ''No Mosque near Ground Zero'' rule to right wing violence

If Democrats like Howard Dean and Harry Reid are going to cede that the right is right about the "no mosque near Ground Zero" rule, we should at least qualify it by saying we should apply the same logic to acts of right wing violence.

But instead of saying ''no Christian churches near sites of right wing violence'' which would be as unfair as the right implying all mosques harbor terrorists, let's pick something closer to the actually inciting right wing violence: right wing talk radio and Fox News.

Certainly, Bill O'Reilly excoriated abortionist George Tiller on TV before his assassination, so applying the mosque rule, out of respect for Dr. Tiller and his family, everyone listening to right wing talk radio or watching Fox News within two blocks of the Church where he was shot should turn it off. Since most people listen to talk radio in their cars, signs should be posted telling people to turn it off before they drive through the zone of exclusion.

The should be done at that Unitarian church shooting, where the culprit said he did it because he hated Democrats, liberals, African Americans and homosexuals, and had books by Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly on his shelf. Out of respect for the two dead, seven wounded, and hundreds, terrorized, please turn off right wing talk radio in the two block radius zone of exclusion.

And certainly anti-government rhetoric motivated Tim McVeigh's attack on the Oklahoma City Federal Building, which was after all, a federal government building. They have a nice memorial there now. If you are close enough to see it, you should have already turned off Rush, especially since on the recent anniversary of the attack, he spent time talking sympathetically about the government attack on the Branch Davidians in Waco that Tim McVeigh in part felt he was avenging when he killed 168 people and wounded 680 at the OKC Federal Building.

That one was so big, maybe the zone of exclusion should extend to ALL federal buildings.

Ironically, right wing violence has touched the Ground Zero mosque controversy itself. Someone stabbed a Muslim cabbie in New York City after asking him whether he was Muslim. The attackers diaries were filled with anti-Muslim rhetoric that sounds awfully familiar. Since many cabbies are Muslim immigrants and cabs drive all over New York City, please turn off right wing talk radio two blocks before you enter the city.

I say this not asking that the government restrain anyone's freedom of speech (or listening), but ask that our friends on the right do this because they have convinced me that this is the proper way to show respect for the victims of terrorism.

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