The Answer Man
Q: Once again, ladies & gentlemen, what does the word "xenophobia" mean?
A: It means an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.
Syndicated columnists, Cokie & Steve Roberts, are at it again. Their favorite word for anyone who doesn't agree with them about everything regarding foreign relations is "xenophobic." They use this dandy word time and again.
In last Sunday's edition of the Daily Dunklin Democrat the Roberts were excoriating the 2 out of 3 Americans who oppose the New York Muslim's plan to build a religious center at Ground Zero.
So what does 2 out of 3 mean to the Roberts? The answer to this is nothing. It means nothing to them because they "know." They simply "know." There is never a doubt in their minds about anything. It must be a rare gift exclusive to an esoteric few.
Last Sunday they accused the 2 out of the 3 as of course being "xenophobic," but going further they say they are mostly made up of vote seeking Republicans, or - to use their word - "cowering" - Democrats.
So about two hundred million Americans are "xenophobic," vote seeking Republicans, or "cowering" Democrats. Makes you wont to move to some swell country like Iran, or someplace.
What the Roberts may have forgotten is the word "doubt," of which the Roberts are never annoyed with. Many of us doubt the intentions of the New York Muslims because of a long history of Muslim terrorism where the governments in those Muslim nations have been pitifully tepid in their condemnations of terrorism. They will go ballistic over Israeli retaliations for consistent rocket attacks against their county, but their response to terrorism is comparatively luke-warm. Some Muslim nations make no bones about it. They hardily approve what ever Al Qaida does.
The Roberts even say in their Sunday column, "Not all Muslim leaders have been quick enough to condemn violence." How about very few Muslim leaders have been quick to condemn?
It may be grossly unfair to American Muslims whom, if they truly want to establish a bond of peace and love, to somehow associate them with acts they had nothing to do with. But that doubt is there - whether right or wrong. 2 out of 3 Americans have at least a doubt whether those intentions are peaceful, or an act of defiance. Only 1 out of 3 Americans have the Robert's capacity for all-knowing.
Cokie & Steve say the 2 out of 3 Americans who oppose a Muslim religious center at Ground Zero are infuriating Al Qaida, and that they are using it as a recruiting device. This seems hopelessly naive.
How much madder does Al Qaida need to get? They hate our guts, pure and simple. How in the world can a religious center, or a soccer field, or a bowling alley, compare to the fact that we are not a nation of Islam, and we support Israel.
Those two facts alone are all they need to get teenagers to strap dynamite around their waists. All else would seem to be a spit in the ocean.
The Roberts are disgusted with Newt Gingrich for saying " We'd be quite happy to have a mosque built near the World Trade Center the morning one church or synagogue are opened in Mecca."
The Roberts say this is pure politics, and not the American way. Somehow they dismiss the fact Gingrich's statement could be emotionalism. Forgetting legalities, or the American way, a Muslim religious center at Ground Zero creates emotionalism - again, right or wrong.
Emotionalism has played a great part in world history - sometimes good - sometimes bad. It played a great part in the civil rights movement.
What seems to be absent here is "xenophobia." Here in the most diverse ethnic cultures in the history of the planet, we are not afraid of foreign people. What we fear is a movement we don't trust or understand. It may not justified, but it's there. And that's where the 2 out of 3 come from.