The video you are about to see is taken from an interview I did with Tea Party Congressional candidate, Geroge Erdel. In Murfreesboro, TN he has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the new Islamic Center that has been the subject of much controversy in the media - that would be the 53,000 square foot "Mega-Mosque" that is being built in the right in the heart of the American Bible Belt.
As I have mentioned in my prior blog “One Mosque Too Many?” the public backlash against the building of a new mosque in this Southern town almost makes you feel like we have gone back in time, rewinding the clock on civil rights by about 40 years. Islamophobia, the irrational fear of Muslims, is on the rise in America and in Europe and this can be felt and seen powerfully right here in Murfreesboro, TN. Religious groups and political organizations, such as the Tea Party, are having frequent meetings and lectures about the coming “Islamic takeover of America“. These sentiments are echoed on Fox “News” and on the 700 Club regularly. And more and more we are seeing right wing political candidates bringing this subject up in their campaign speeches as November draws near.
The theology of Apocalyptic Christianity is one you are about to hear articulated by George Erdel. It is the main engine that is driving the sudden rise in anti-Islamic sentiment. You will notice that this man is armed throughout the interview. He talks about the arson on August 28th on a tractor at the construction site of the Islamic Center, while mocking a frightened Muslim woman. You will hear about his hatred for what he terms “Islamists” while he talks about how “God” commanded “his people” to commit ethnic cleansing, back in the day, and how if they had just done what they were told, we wouldn’t be having the problems we are having in the Holy Land today.
I want to make something abundantly clear. Having interviewed all of the key players here (I am in production on a documentary on this subject), including residents for and against the mosque, my very strong feeling is that this has nothing to do with Jewish Zionism. That’s where I feel that a lot of the foreign press in the Middle East gets it wrong. They blame the sudden rise in Islamophobia on “the Jews” and my research shows me that the facts just don’t support this. There are only something like 15 million or so Jews in the entire world. Some studies have shown that as many as 50% of them are not at all religious. The myth of Jewish Zionism setting the agenda is really a front for something far, far more sinister.
So who then is really to blame? There are a combination of factors that all add up to this xenophobic frenzy, reminiscent of the early days of the Nazi rise to power:
1 - BRING ON THE END TIMES: There is a racial Evangelical theology of Apocalyptic Christianity which says that we are living in the End Times and that, in order for the Messiah to return there is a certain timeline, involving Israel. This is an Evangelical movement and not a Jewish movement. There are an estimated 70 million Americans who not only support this movement, but their powerful political influence makes and breaks presidents, senators, congressmen, judges and on and on. This fanatical religious group can even influence the world’s greatest super-power to go to war. Sure, I’m worried about Islamic terrorism, but this group really, really, really freaks me out.
2 - GROW THE BASE: By sounding the alarm bells and announcing that a “Mega Mosque” is being built in the Bible Belt, the radical right is able to grow its base. More people send in money to the 700 Club, the RNC, right wing candidates and of course more people go out and vote. People in the South are not as concerned about a so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” up there in the North, but the idea that “Sharia Law” is going to take over in the Bible Belt is a real hot button issue during this election season. Or course, Muslim Americans making up less than one percent of the total population in this country, the idea that one percent will arm themselves and take over is nothing short of paranoid and psychotic nonsense, but it sells. With the right marketing, this could be the new Red Scare.
3 - DIVIDE AND CONQUER: The super rich, such as Tea Party backers like the Koch Brothers (the 5th and 6th richest men in America) and Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox “News”) want to keep us all distracted and confused and fighting each other so that we don’t organize against the very powers that took our jobs away, gave our tax money to the big corporations and are kicking us out of our homes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, historically when times get tough, the power elite will always look for ways to pit tribe against tribe in order to prevent us from storming the castle.
4 - BOMB, BOMB IRAN: President Eisenhower, in his cautionary final speech to the American people before leaving office, warned us of the dangers of the emerging “Military Industrial Complex”. This is the unholy alliance between government and defense contractors and lobbyists to hijack our Democratic political system and use our tax money, to not only build more and more war machines, but also to find reasons to use them. The sudden rise of Islamophobia in America is an effort on the part of the “Defense” Contractors, oil companies and other special interests to manufacture consent for the bombing of Iran.
Throw in some good old fashioned bigotry and religious fanaticism and you have a movement, well-timed, well funded, urgent and spreading through the American psyche like a wildfire. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to a short documentary entitled, "Not Welcome". Enjoy:
BIO: Eric Allen Bell's first short film, "Missing Sock" was placed on Film Threat's list "Top 10 Shorts" of 2004. His first feature, "The Bondage" which premired at the South By South West Film Festival went on to secure theatrical distribution. His current project, a documentary entitled "Not Welcome" shows the backlash concerning the bulding of a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN. He is also the founder of Global One TV (http://www.GlobalOne.TV) - the worlds largest 24 Hour Spiritual Television Network Online.