A Student Wonders Why We Hate in the Yale Daily News

Alex Klein, a junior in Davepnort College, writes in the Yale Daily News (Friday, September 17, 2010):

“I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslim Americans] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have, in my gut, the sense that they will abuse.” Here, I quote Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of the New Republic unjustly — by citing a sentence out-of-context for which he has apologized. Then again, an unusually animated Nick Kristof did worse, calling Peretz’s blog post — and all anti-Park51 activists — “venomous and debased.” On the anniversary of September 11, he asked, “Is this America?”

How did we get here? To levelheaded intellectuals reduced to faux-patriotic one-upmanship? To planned Quran burnings, stabbed Muslim cabbies and a New York City where one-in-three residents think Muslim-Americans are “more sympathetic to terrorists” than the rest of us?

You may already have an answer, an explanation for this sudden Islamophobic convulsion. In a word, Park51: the proposed Muslim community center and mosque less than 600 feet from where the Twin Towers stood, nine years and six days ago. But it has been a long time since supporters and opponents of a political project have so fundamentally misunderstood one another.

Read on. Alex makes a good argument: Klein: Why we hate | Yale Daily News

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