Barry West, a Coffee County commissioner, at first didn't seem to understand all the fuss about the Facebook post in which he suggested that the best way to view Muslims is down a shotgun barrel. A day after the media reported on the posting, however, West did offer a "heartfelt, sincere apology" for his post. Whether he will suffer professionally for his indiscretion is questionable, as Muslims seem to be fair game in Tennessee these days. This, despite the fact that the only acts of terrorism involving Tennessee Muslims have been acts of terrorism committed against them by bigoted Christians.
One of the funniest comedy acts I have ever seen is “Tennessee No Evil,” in which Jon Stewart sent Aasif Mandvi, who posed as a Muslim “reporter” sympathetic to terrorists, to investigate opposition to the building of the new Murfreesboro mosque. Mandvi “interviewed” Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a leader of the fervid opposition who babbled about a “mothership” that had spawned a “huge” network of terrorists in Tennessee, centered around the Nashville mosque. When Cardoza-Moore informed Mandvi that there are 35 training camps for terrorists in the United States, he hurriedly grabbed his cell phone and pretended to call and berate “Achmed” the “idiot” for failing to hide the camps better. After Cardoza-Moore informed Mandvi that there was already a mosque in Murfreesboro, with no reported acts of terrorism over more than 20 years, Mandvi went to the existing mosque to confront its Imam (who turned out to be a mom). Mandvi bitterly complained that the mosque “cleverly hidden on a busy street” was not a “sleeper cell” but “comatose.” How long would it take the sleeper cell to start committing acts of terrorism, he complained. As Mandvi wrapped up his “interview” with Cardoza-Moore, he asked her how she knew so much about the “mothership.” She, earnestly and in all seriousness, informed him that “everyone” knows about the mothership, and that she had done Google searches to discover what the CIA and FBI have yet to discover. A moment of high comedy occurred when Cardoza-Moore asked, “Come on, do you think we’re fools?” and Mandvi gave her a quizzical look.
If you want to laugh your fanny off, you can google “Tennessee No Evil.” Unfortunately, the skit is so wildly funny because it is so truthful.
Tennessee bigots are highly selective about the facts they consider, and they pay little attention to cause and effect. The facts are quite simple:
(1) If there is a “huge” network of Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, it must be singularly inept, since it has never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism.
(2) If West and Cardoza-Moore were discriminating against Jewish Americans or African-Americans, they would suffer the consequences.
(3) The reasons for the rare acts of terrorism that have been committed by Muslims in the United States have been explained by the terrorists and their conspirators. The attacks are not due to “hatred of American values” or a desire to “take over the world.” When Americans are attacked, it is because the governments of the United States and Israel actions in the Middle East. The result of which has led to massive suffering for millions of innocent women and children. No one should be surprised that such massive suffering spurred some Muslim men to retaliate.
What would American men do, if foreigners caused American women and children to lose their independence, their way of life, their land, their homes, and often their lives? Of course American men would retaliate, using violent force. If we want Middle Easterners to leave us in peace, we need to pay the going price for oil and stop butting into the business of countries half a world away, in a region of the world that we don’t understand. Our government can barely manage its own internal affairs, so we should be very skeptical about its ability to manage the affairs of other nations.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.