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13 Sep, 2010 23:33

US divided into "us" and "them"

Out of thousands of people who protested over the weekend in New York, one said "If they are going to be citizens of the United States, they have to play by our rules.”

In the days surrounding the 9th anniversary of September 11th, America is split. A big American argument spilt onto the streets of New York. Calls for religious tolerance have clashed with calls to stop the so-called Islamization of America.

Should an Islamic cultural center be built steps from ground zero?

Some believe being "for" it is a slap in the face to Americans, others say a stand against the mosque is caused by anger and fear.

"This has become a focal point for people who are trying to vent whatever sort of nationalist rage they have against Muslims. It's not based on anything real," a young mother told RT.

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan says politics is actually governing the national debate.

She said, "These people are being used by Republican operatives, and people like Glenn Beck, to get the Republicans back in power. They don't realize that when they're doing this, it demonstrates all over the world still how deeply ignored and racist the United States of America is".

Fuelled by mainstream media pundits, the protesting against the Islamic center turned political.

One man told RT that he believes there is United States-o-phobia going on around the world.

"For some reason, being an American, a real American, is less and less popular. And why wouldn't it be with this president, when this is being promoted by the President? President Obama? I am not sure he likes America too much," he said.

A woman who came to protest against the mosque was outraged that the day became so politicized.

"This rally has become an anti-Obama rally. Every person that has spoken on that platform has bashed him," she said.

While the political bashing did take over the minds of some, a major unity rally took place on the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy that began the fear.
Sara Founders, a principal leader of the International Action Center rallied thousands of people in support of the ground zeros mosque.

She said the supporters came out to show opposition to what is becoming visible racism and to also stand up for unity, solidarity and respect. Founders argued that polls showing widespread US opposition to the mosque are distorted.

It’s the media that has take hold of this issue put forth by really right wing and fascist organizations, racist organizations,” said Founders.

The media is driving the presence of the right wing agenda by giving them ample attention and giving them to much attention leads some to think they speak for the broader population, argued Founders.