As Dina Temple-Rastin of NPR reports, controversy over Park51—a local zoning issue catapulted to national spotlight primarily by conservative bloggers—has reached a new zenith in way of irony. Far from helping to win the “War on Terror,” the Right Wing’s open and vociferous hostility has seemingly done the exact opposite:
“USA, USA, USA,” one group began. “No clubhouse for terrorists,” taunted one sign. “When did it become OK to be a bigot and a racist again?” shouted another. The police did their best to keep the two sides on opposite sides of the street.
While that’s how the debate has played out publicly for weeks -– pundits and politicians on the news shows and protesters on the sidewalks — out in the blogosphere, in password-protected radical web forums, there has been an altogether different view.
All this controversy and vitriol are not only encouraged; they’re welcomed. Extremists and radical clerics posted a stream of “I told you so” messages: After years of telling followers that Islam was under attack by the West, the harsh reaction to a simple community center seemed to prove it.
To hear the story as it was presented on Morning Edition, click here.