By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
Paltalk News Network
It was the cartoon character Pogo who said it best. "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Clearly that is the case when it comes to the proposed Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero. And the video above is a graphic case in point.
On Sunday there were two, competing demonstrations at the site where a controversial Islamic cultural center is planned two blocks from the World Trade Center site.
At one point, an onlooker was mistaken for being a Muslim and was harassed by some center opponents.
To their credit, protest leaders stepped between the most threatening of the harassers and the man and then led him to safety. But the confrontation really underscores how all the rhetoric about the so-called Ground Zero mosque - which would neither be on Ground Zero nor which actually is a mosque - has pitted us against one another.
When you have political pundits and even elected officials inferring tenuous links between the center and terrorism you have put together a mixture that - if sparked - could explode.
The man in this video is not Muslim. Not that it matters. I mean, what if he were? Then would the harassment have been appropriate?
It just shows how quick we are to turn on one another over this issue of terrorism.
The people who attacked on September 11, 2001 are intolerant individuals who have no patience for people who don't follow their religious and political ideology. Apparently, at least some of the protesters are also intolerant people, who likewise have no patience for those who don't follow their religious and political ideology.
Of course, many who oppose the Islamic center so close to Ground Zero would bristle at the suggestion that the intolerant man in the hard hat in this video is representative of them. Much as most Muslims bristle at the suggestion that the 9/11 terrorists represent them.
Meanwhile, some real terrorists are sitting in a cave somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistani border watching this video as well smiling at what they've accomplished. Turning American against American.
So who is the real enemy here? Maybe Pogo had a point.