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Fux News has managed to hoist itself on its own cynical, hypocritical petard once again, this time over the potential funding of the Park 51 Islamic cultural center. Jon Stewart connects the dots above.
About two minutes into the clip, we see Fux’s Steve Douchey interviewing another paid Fox News commentator, Dan Senor. Senor, who was Iraq Viceroy Paul Bremmer‘s Minister of Disinformation, raises the possibility that an Islamic group from Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom Foundation, will be funding the center. He points out that the group has previously supported the work of the center’s Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, and has funded “radical madrassas all over the world.”
Prior to Senor’s fear mongering, Sean Hannity was busy playing a paranoid Paul Revere screaming The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming! AOL’s Daily Finance web site has the details:
Last Thursday, popular Fox News host Sean Hannity said the proposed center’s leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a U.S. citizen who has spent 25 years working to improve relations between the Muslim world and the U.S., wants to “shred our Constitution” and install “Sharia law as the law of the land in America.” Sharia is a body of law derived from the Koran and Islamic teachings.
In fact, in his book What’s Right With Islam, Rauf writes that “many Muslims regard the form of government that the American founders established a little over two centuries ago as the form of governance that best expresses Islam’s original values and principles.” (Page 81.) He has never publicly advocated “shredding” the U.S. Constitution or replacing it with Sharia law.
Rauf is from what is probably the most liberal sect of Islam, the mystical Sufi Muslim tradition (known for its whirling dervishes and copious amounts of hashish consumption). Rauf has a long track record of interfaith outreach including participation in the “listening tours” started by Karen Hughes, George W. Bush’s Undersecretary of State For Public Diplomacy. He is currently overseas engaged in similar work for the Obama State Department.
The Daily Finance article continues, pointing out the relationship between Fux News and the man they claim has a secret plan to impose Sharia law on the US:
The stridency with which Fox News personalities attack the downtown Islamic center — red meat for the millions who tune in each night — is an example of the often uneasy relationship and occasionally diverging interests between many of News Corp.’s properties, in this case Fox News and its parent corporation.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
Through his Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed owns about 7% of News Corp., or about $3 billion of the media giant. He also owns 6% of Citigroup — to which he was introduced by the Carlyle Group — or about $10 billion of the giant bank. He’s a part-owner of the famed Plaza Hotel in New York and has invested in many other prominent companies. (At one point he invested in AOL (AOL), the parent company of DailyFinance.)
An audience as dumbed down as Fux’s probably won’t notice the obvious contradiction of claiming that the guy who allegedly funds terrorism around the world, and who is now a likely candidate to fund “the Islamic victory mosque” on the hallowed ground of 9/11, is the same guy funding a media company that profiteers from hyping Islamophobia. But as the late great H.L. Menken observed:
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Now, I haven’t found occasion to quote Queen MoDo these last couple of decades, but her latest column, Going Mad In Herds, pretty much sums up the national psyche these days:
The country is having some weird mass nervous breakdown, with the right spreading fear and disinformation that is amplified by the poisonous echo chamber that is the modern media environment.
The dispute over the Islamic center has tripped some deep national lunacy. The unbottled anger and suspicion concerning ground zero show that many Americans haven’t flushed the trauma of 9/11 out of their systems — making them easy prey for fearmongers.
Fearmongering has long been a profitable enterprise, perfected by those with either a war or a religion to sell. Sometimes the two are combined into religious wars that have a longer shelf life than those fought for strictly economic gain. Just such a war looms over the horizon today.
In our modern media environment, a company with no ethics whatsoever like News Corp can make tons of money covering the very wars they help instigate. (Such was the plot of 1997 James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies whose evil genius bad guy, Elliot Carver, is a dead ringer for Rupert Murdoch.) Consider Fux’s early and endless promotion for a war against Iraq, a modern country just made for the kind of Shock and Awe visuals that boosted cable television ratings to new heights. I’m sure that Murdoch agreed with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who was quoted by former White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke as saying, on the day after 9/11, that he’d rather attack Iraq because there were no good targets to bomb in Afghanistan. Nothing like watching a good nose-cone video of a cruise missile slamming into a building in downtown Baghdad over a flaming chocolate sundae dessert.
This month brings an official end to the US combat mission in Iraq, which now shifts to a (visually boring) holding operation. We need a new war to keep us entertained. Afghanistan, with its rugged terrain and meager infrastructure and fleet footed jihadis, just doesn’t cut it. So, who’s next on the Axis of Evil list to attack? Iran, of course, which just this week fired up its first commercial nuclear reactor. Hardly a day passes where somebody on Fux News isn’t trying to gin up a war against Iran, whether by one of its own paid flacks or by one of the discredited Bush neocons who liked to say in the buildup up to Iraq: “Real men go to Tehran.”
Which brings us back to the manufactured hysteria over the Park 51 project. No longer confined to the boundaries of Lower Manhattan, the growing wave of Islamophobia unleashed by Fux and Friends is infecting communities across the nation. Here in Southern California, a mosque is planned for the city of Temecula. But as The Press-Enterprise reports:
Vocal opponents of the 25,000-square-foot mosque proposed for 4 acres in the city’s northeastern corner describe Islam not as a religion, but as a political movement bent on taking over the world and squelching freedom in favor of strict religious law.
And in Tennessee:
A proposed mosque and Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is dividing the city about 35 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Residents are battling about whether the center should exist, and if not, why not…
Proponents of the mosque allege the opponents are displaying religious intolerance, while people fighting the mosque say zoning concerns and worries about Islamic radicalism are their chief concerns.
Several hundred opponents marching from a middle school to a courthouse faced off against roughly the same number of counter-protesters Wednesday. The rhetoric was heated. Protesters bore signs with slogans such as “MOSQUE LEADERS SUPPORT KILLING CONVERTS.”
Of course there are larger strategic forces at play in mounting a war against Iran. Israel deems it an “existential threat.” Saudi Arabia considers Iran its biggest competitor in exercising political and economic hegemony over the Persian Gulf, and maintains a long religious rivalry as well. The U.S.A., after destabilizing the region’s balance of power by foolishly toppling what was then the most substantial check on Iranian influence, Saddam Hussein, shares both of their concerns. Commercial influences arguing against war include China, Russia, and Venezuela.
But no one will profit more from another war than Murdoch and his gang of Fear Profiteers and Propaganda Puppeteers.
Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.
– The Urantia Book