Monday, August 20, 2007


The Star Tribune seems enjoy marginalizing any and all who take issue with the problems Islam presents to America. A story in the Sunday paper this week was headlined “A Father protests Flight 93 memorial: Tom Burnett Sr. wants to withhold the name of his son, who died in the crash, over the Islamic symbolism he sees in the design.”

The conflict over the design, entitled “Crescent of Embrace,” is not a new story, but the withholding of the Burnett name (at least until certain questions are answered to the satisfaction of Mr. Burnett Sr.) is. From reading the article, though, it seems pretty obvious where the STRIB stands, and it tips its hand here and there, revealing that they find Mr. Burnett’s position dismissible.

First the STRIB tries to minimize Mr. Burnett’s primary, obvious source of angst by saying “The crescent is considered by some a Muslim symbol.” Well, yes, including Muslims. One might as well say that the cross is considered by some to be a Christian symbol, although the designation is not as official or exclusive. The crescent can be representative of other things, including the moon, but it should be accounted for that this is a memorial to victims of a terrorist act whose perpetrators closely associated themselves with the common Muslim interpretation of that symbol.

The STRIB then can’t resist a mild denigration for Mr. Burnett, and they walk a fine line between that and due respect for the father of a 9/11 hero. While others have voiced Mr. Burnett’s concern, the STRIB attempts to point a ‘voice in the wilderness’ picture and picks one of them, blogger “…Alec Rawls of Palo Alto, Calif., who is reportedly writing a book on the subject.” The STRIB says “Burnett Sr. denied Saturday that he is following Rawls, even though both have raised similar concerns.”

The sentence itself is leadingly obtuse; it asserts that where “similar concerns” are raised, someone is leading while the rest are following. So why in the world would it enter the reporter’s head that Mr. Burnett is “following” Rawls?

This reveals an interesting world-view; apparently it’s beyond possibility that someone holding such objections is speaking or thinking for himself. That the question should be asked is demeaning, suggesting that Mr. Burnett is an empty headed robot who had the thought implanted by an outside source and is now, cult-like, having his strings pulled. Actually, concerned voices have included more than just a few bloggers, reaching into media such as National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and even a blurb or two on the nightly news.

I haven’t seen the latest designs for the memorial so can’t judge Mr. Burnett’s concerns. Neither am I able to discern from the STRIB story any facts that would be helpful in that regard. Perhaps that’s the most telling thing of all.

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