There are important, important things in America that this nation's leadership needs to be paying attention to. There is a two-fronted war (or perhaps there are two wars) being fought in the Middle East. The economy has struggled under the weight of high fuel prices, credit shortfalls and defaults, a weak dollar, and non-existant consumer confidence. The nation's ports still are not secure (nor are America's northern and southern borders for that matter). And, on top of everything, there's an election race going on that will determine the course of this nation for the foreseeable future.
With all that is going on, The Common Man wants to know just how the hell New York Congressman Peter King thinks he has the time to worry about what ads are going to be run on the New York City subway system that he will never ride on. Apparently, Muslim-American religious organizations are poised to purchase ad space on the trains as a way to promote awareness of their faith. The ads, according to CNN.com, are
"simple black-and-white panels, [and] will feature key words or phrases about Islam on one side of the panel such as 'Head Scarf?' or 'Prophet Muhammad?' and the words 'You deserve to know' along with the Web site address WhyIslam.org on the other side."
"I have no problem with the ad itself, but I have a very, very real problem with those behind it," King said. Noting that the ads would be up during the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, he continued, "I'm calling on the MTA not to have these ads, not to go forward with them, and I don't see this as a free speech issue at all." The New York Post, with its usual sensitivity, has referred to the New York subway as the "Jihad Train," and has featured the headlines "Train-ing day for jihadists" and "Allah aboard!" Classy guys, the New York Post.
"I think that even more so reinforces the idea as to why a project like this is necessary, where Muslims have to be more pro-active in terms of educating people about their religion, by no means proselytizing the faith in any capacity, but really setting a standard and defining what mainstream Islam stands for," says New York University Imam Khalid Latif. Indeed, it seems that American Muslims are doing exactly what conservative pundit blowhards, such as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have long demanded, getting the word out about Islam's peaceful, faithful, and virtuous majority and what they believe Islam stands for. It's typical for reactionaries like King and the Post to lambast them now for their positive, proactive efforts. The Common Man wonders if it really matters who is delivering the message, if the message is a positive one.
The Common Man urges Congressman King stop maligning positive people trying to make positive change. This country has enough trouble without fear-mongering, prejudiced opportunists such as yourself making ideological mountains out of molehills. Would the Congressman object to Catholics and Protestants advertising their faith in Northern Ireland? The Common Man sincerely doubts it. Get back in the hole you crawled out of, Congressman King. You're only hurting your party. It speaks ill of this nation's Dewmocracy that a man like you, a man who would prefer to use fear and innuendo instead of telling truths with calmness, prudence, and eloquence (The Common Man is relatively pleased with the relative maliness of the remaining Presidential candidates in '08), could win an election. A man like you, Congressman, is hardly a man at all.