“Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, America’s Muslims have become the country’s internal enemy. Conservative forces have seized upon the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” as a rallying point. Amid all the hate, Americans have lost sight of the real problem: the fact that their country has become paranoid………. Indeed, Gabriel, who emigrated to the US years ago from Lebanon, is America’s siren on all things Islamophobic……… Gabriel’s position can be summarized as follows: The US is suffering from terminal cancer and is infected with rampant Islamist cells that are eating away at the country, its liberties and its constitution. “Our enemy,” writes Gabriel, “is not an organization of people living overseas plotting to attack. Our enemies are the neighbors next door, the doctors practicing in our hospitals, and the workers who share our lunch break. Our enemies are terrorists driven by a dangerous ideology and clothed in deception who operate under cover and laugh about the advantages our sensitivity training, gullibility, and political correctness give them.” Some 300,000 copies of Gabriel’s first book, which contains these sentences, have been distributed. TV stations now set aside ample airtime for her and her ideas. She has been invited to give presentations to US Senate committees, the FBI, the US Special Operations Command, the Joint Forces Staff College, the Republican Party, the Tea Party movement and Christian conferences…………….”
This Lebanese right-wing chick represents the imported half of American paranoia. She arrives on these shores (well, lands at an airport) with more than one kind of baggage. We all do so, or most of us who arrive from our baggage-rich Middle East. We carry our racial, ethnic, sectarian, and historical prejudices and sometimes hatreds. Whether we come to settle, to study, to medicate, or just to visit. Most of us move on “into America”. Some of us hang on to the old baggage, urged on by ongoing events back home. You can see, hear, and read our baggage, our sectarian and confessional and ethnic prejudices, in our actions and our statements (and our blogs, like this one). That applies to many of us, to this lady and to me, but to different degrees. It seems she is re-fighting a lost Lebanese civil war, re-fighting a lost demographic war, living a Lebanon that did not exist for most Lebanese outside the capital region. But that was a war that also pitted Muslims against Muslims and Christians against Christians. It was a war of the warlords and before it ended it gave birth to Hezbollah.
Besides, there are many benefits to doing the right-wing talk and conference circuit: Sarah Palin isn’t doing bad on the circuit, nor is Glenn Beck and many others who peddle fear-mongering to simple worried folks. Fear-mongering is the gold rush of these people and they have discovered their own mother lode and are milking it for all its worth.
that old commercial for Salem cigarettes that said “You can take Salem out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of Salem”? We are like that Salem cigarette. Sometimes the baggage and the ghosts await a new generation to throw them in the dumpster.
that was our excuse, but what is behind all these crazy native Americans going paranoid? And I don’t mean “real” native Americans; just the new arrivals of the past three centuries. It takes many born natives to create this mad frenzy and fear by millions of a few hundred ragtag shaggy mountain men, dare I say beaver trappers, in the allied states of Pakistan and Afghanistan.)