Thursday, April 13, 2006

The American Terrorists

Last night's SOUTH PARK episode was banned by the executives of Comedy Central from portraying the Prophet Muhammad in the the interest of "public safety". Given all the world Islamic violence after the publishing of some cartoons in Denmark it was probably a wise move.

But there also seems to be a clear message to terrorists around the world. You can threaten violence to media or entertainment you don't like and get it banned.

In Indonesia a heavily censored version of Playboy hit the newstands, and almost right away, Muslim radicals began violence directed at the publisher although to satisfy the Muslim leadership of Indonesia, this version of the magazine features no nudes. Is the Muslim street violence then directed at the liberal thinking that the magazine supports? From the success of the violence in the wake of Danish cartoons, world Muslims have quickly learned that if you don't like part of American or Western culture, you just resort to violence to get your way.

But there's a rich tradition of such terrorist thinking that runs through the social conservatives of America. They are not intent to merely hold their own views of morality, but other must be forced to share those views.

In the archives of Concerned Women For America, the right wing Beverly Lehaye organization, there was a feature that praised a right wing pressure group, Citizens For Community Values for forcing Marriott Hotels in Cincinnati to drop adult entertainment "pay per view" cable programming. Like true American-bred terrorists, these American Taliban rented a room and made tapes of purchased "pay per view" programs and then ran to a local prosecutor to see if they could get criminal obscenity laws lodged against this major American corporation. Some states and federal law actually allows charging a business that sells as little as two books, films or such that a local judge or jury deems to be obscene as a "racketeering crime". This allows for government seizure of the entire business assets, masasive fines that could run into the millions of dollars, and penalties that could range for 20-90 years in prison for convicted business management. Certainly threatening a major American business with terrorism of this sort worked. When you threaten a major American corporation with the same as the death penalty, it works to threaten such legalistic violence. American terrorists don't have to plant some bomb, but they find "legal" ways to level those they don't like.

Concerned Women For America descibed the actions by the Cincinnati right wing group, Citizens For Community Values, as a "decency sting operation". But this was not a police operation such as bringing down a dangerous meth lab or crack house. It was the actions of right wing private citizens with no law enforcement authority to threaten a business with huge legalism penalties unless they conformed to their version of "morality".

But the attorney for Marriott, William O'Brien lamented that "What is bothersome or offfensive for one person may not be bothersome or offensive to another person". Which is exactly what Muslim religious terrorists hope to achieve. If something offends values that they hold, then all of world society is also not allowed to hold those values.

But American terrorists seek to impose their values in many other other areas such as seeking bans on Gay marriage for example. Because they have personal or religious objections to the American Gay community, then this American Taliban must enforce it's religious law on others.

And some American Taliban leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, use their organizations such as Focus On The Family to misrepresent and vilify examples of "cultural liberalism" that they do not like to moltivate street level American terrorists to take thug like action to suppress what Dobson does not like. Dobson still panders the absurd lies of Ted Bundy who was famous for "pulling the chain" of authorites to avoid execution several times by coming up with last minute nonsense right before a scheduled execution. Bundy gave a bizarre 1989 Floride death row interview where he made some claims that police detectives never found any evidence to support. Dobson doesn't care that these were the lies of a lunatic serial killer whose brain was actually removed after his execution for study by medical authorities to study for structurial or other abnormal problems. Dobson is perfectly happy to use the words of an insane serial killer to further his political goals if he thinks it serves his purposes or promotes fundraising efforts for his multmillion dollar Focus On The Family organization.

But American Taliban elements such as Dobson are not alone. Many more like Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, TV evangelists like D. James Kennedy, or many other members of the American Taliban community like to moltivate street thuggery politics to take down any examples of "cultural liberalism" they see. One popular target of D. James Kennedy is attacks on the American Civil Liberties Union. But Kennedy never explains what he means by these attacks. He may disagree with the organizations causes, but does that mean that the ACLU should be banned, outlawed, or is Kennedy simply able to voice policy disagreement? But knowing the American Taliban's previous history, they are not simply content to merely disagree. These American Taliban haven't previously proven much tolerance for views that they disagree with, and I doubt they're willing to start now. D. Kennedy wants the ACLU gone, and no doubt subscribes to the "end justifies the means" to achieve this. If Kennedy misrepresents or promotes enough of a distorted view of this organization, then it can breed the needed extremism to get rid of the organization some way or somehow.

But religious oriented terrorism against anything they personally do not like has proven itself successful both in the Muslim and Christian world. The American terrorist unlike their Muslim counterparts do not often use open violence, instead they misuse law or other means to legally cause harm to others. They feel that they have the right to do something to someone because of their opinions of culture.

There is no real difference between the American or Muslin world terrorists. Both force their views of society on others, and where that does not work, then causing harm or violence comes into play. A terrorist is a terrorist. There is no difference.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger fade2bluz said...

Hi Paul,

Couldn't resist a comment. If you look at Islamic art, thoughout the ages, there is a prohibition on figurative presentations. To present the most holy of sacred in figurative form is unspeakable.

Do you remember the holy water fountain with urine? Piss Jesus, is the title, i think. It created a horrifying disturbance, that poisted Lyn Cheney into her position at the head of the National Endowment for the Arts. (one i see as akin to violence, :-D)

there is a fine line between cultural respect and censorship, here. i say, 'let's err on the side of caution'

Happy and Glorious Easter to you!

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

A very good comment, fade2bluz.

I certainly concur that what is sacred to various faiths should be treated respectfully by other cultures.

I attended a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom for a time, and members of this faith do not have visual representations of God or holy things on the church building walls. They take the prohibition on "graven images" very literally.

On the other hand it is intesting to note that no prohibition against a pictoral representation of the Prophet Muhammad exists in the Muslim holy book, The Koran. But a prohibition against "graven images" does exist in the Old Testament of the Bible and applies to Jews and Christians alike.

The prohibition on visual representations of Muhammad tends to be a traditional teaching of many Muslims, much like the Catholics or Protestants have many traditional church teachings that have no basis in Biblical foundations.

However out of respect, it is wise for mutual respect to extend as much as possible throughout the major faiths of the world. However it would be interesting if the mainly peaceful religions of India which worship cattle as sacred would suddenly make demands on the Western world to stop eating cattle or making shoes or belts out of their skins.

A happy and glorious Easter to you as well. Jesus is risen.


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