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A Culturist Challenge to a Multiculturalist Politician

AN OPEN LETTER TO ASSEMBLYMAN STEVEN CYMBROWITZ

From : John K. Press, Ph.D.
President of the Brooklyn Tea Party

To: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Re: Proposed Voorhies Mosque, Brooklyn, NY

You are undoubtedly aware of the controversy surrounding the proposed building of a mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue. Residents worry about the same parking issue for which you bravely stood up against developer’s plans to construct a nine-story, 115 foot tall building wedged between Sheepshead Bay Road and Avenue Z. Along with abnormalities in the DOB, in regards to the Voorhies Mosque, the residents of your district also have extraordinary concerns.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the developer of this Mosque, the Muslim American Society (MAS), “has a troubling history of associations with radical organizations and individuals that promote terrorism, anti-Semitism and reject Israel’s right to exist.” Furthermore, “MAS-affiliated Web sites have featured articles advocating jihad and suicide martyrdom.” And the MAS is, “the leading American Muslim organization organizing anti-Israel activity in the U.S.” A major officer in the MAS called the Jews, “the primary historical and religious example of those who “take the wrong path.”

The Board and Standards and Appeals Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, has promised to render, “decisions that respect the character and context of neighborhoods.” A large proportion of the residents on Voorhies are Jewish. Having an organization that preaches hate against Jews move into the neighborhood would greatly disrupt the neighborhood character and quality of life for the current residents.

I implore you to step into this process in any way you can to slow down the permit granting process. This will allow you time to vet the buyer. And, if the concerns about the MAS prove baseless, we recognize that they should be welcomed as good neighbors.

I have attached hard-copy documentation to this petition, and here are just two samples of internet documentation that cause many of our members to be concerned about the MAS; I can offer you many others on request:

http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/44.pdf
http://www.americansagainsthate.org/press_releases/PR-EllisonMAS.php

Please do not shirk your responsibility to listen to, and act upon, the concerns of our community. Failure to address both the issues at hand and the people who have elected you will cause me to doubt that we do, indeed, have responsive and effective representation.

This Letter represents an official position of the Brooklyn Tea Party, and I can assure you that it conveys the sentiments of many people in your district

Thank you,

John K. Press, Ph.D.
President – The Brooklyn Tea Party
pressjohn@hotmail.com

cc: Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, City Councilman Michael Nelson, Board of Standards and Appeals Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan, and 9th District Representative Anthony Weiner, Bay News, Brooklyn Voice, Sheepshead Bites, Daily News, NY Post.

About Dr. John Press

Dr. John Kenneth Press is the author of "Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future." He most recently designed curriculum for Empire State in the area of the History of Education. Dr. Press spent 8 years teaching history, psychology, and philosophy at the high school level. He has written four book-length manuscripts including culturism, and studied furiously his entire life.

6 Responses to “A Culturist Challenge to a Multiculturalist Politician”

  1. Venu says:

    Question to Dr. Press: “Culturism” seems to be the social equivalent to Protectionism. Can it really be a viable option in a globalized world where ideas flow as easily and readily as goods?

  2. John Press says:

    Venu,

    Great question, sorry my answer was so long in coming. Culturism, to be sure, does have elements of protectionism. But, it provides a balance for, not an absolute replacement for multiculturalism and globalism.

    But first, speaking of degrees, your assumption about world wide globalization needs qualification. The world is not getting more diverse, the West is. China and Iran’s border laws are as tight as ever. Furthermore, countries that have relatively larger levels of protectionism than us – ie China and Korea, – continue to exist and thrive.

    Why must we err on the side of globalism to an extent that no other nation does? Other nations guard their borders. We can too. Do we have to listen to the globalists and multiculturalists and say it is racist for us to have a border (when every other nation does)? Who made us the leaders in openness? They did.

    More radically, I reject the premise that globalization means all nations are now becoming one ethically. The pretense of the UN is that diversity has dies and all nations share common values called “human rights.” But China and Iran stand for no such thing. The exception is when they want the right to build mosques and enter our nation illegally. Other than that, the neutrality of the UN, the existence of a neutral ethical space we all agree upon seems a dubious hope used against the West cynically.

    So, am I proposing that we stop all trade and migration involving us? No. Am I suggesting that we have a culture and a right to prefer it and promote it? Yes. And, in foreign relations, I hope we also recognize that we have sides. We do not need to be the only nation taking a “global” perspective.

    Thanks, John
    http://www.culturism.us

    Thoughts?

  3. Venu says:

    Well, there’s no doubt that China has become very Westernized, despite any protectionist efforts, because the Free-Market spreads ideas globally and breaks down cultural barriers, even if a people still retain their native cultural (which they can and will).

    The idea is that one culture adapts when placed in a situation that causes easy interaction with another society. It has never been more possible to communicate with more people, thanks to the Internet and the ever expanding Free Market. But this leads to Cultural Diffusion in both ways.

    Iran gets 80’s rock and we get some more Persian restaurants for example. The point is we have to accept that there will be some change of society at some level when cultures are allowed to co-exist due to the global nature of surroundings. Advancements in Communications and the opening up of many markets around the world allow cultures to experience each other unlike ever before.

    We can prefer “our” culture, but understand that both “our” culture and “their” culture are intermingled and have effects on each other regardless of our preferences.

  4. John Press says:

    Venu,

    This is so very multiculturalist. It all comes down to food, fashion, and festivals in a non-confrontational world. Over 15,000 terrorist attacks since 9 – 11, a conscious strategy to impose sharia, and we get told about “Persian restaurants.”

    So will China embrace democracy? Will we accept Sharia? or has the whole world become sold on rights, separation, and freedom of speech? Has history ended? “Understand that” (love the assertive masterly phraseology) the Southern Sudanese are now dancing to Northern Sudanese music! They are one!!

  5. Venu says:

    But John,

    I feel like there’s a middle ground between erecting a (cultural) wall around America and assimilating into Islam. Neither one of those things is a feasible option, and neither one will likely happen.

    I’m not even sure what your position is or why it is what it is. All I can find on the MAS website is support of people in GAZA (who undoubtedly have troubled lives), support of “peaceful” Islam. I can buy the parking issue, and the supposed “radical” issue (though I can’t actually find much info on their “radical” nature, but I could be wrong).

    Is Culturism opposed to the Rule of Law? Aside from the parking issue (which is the one issue that has significant merit to it), a group ought to be able to construct a building on land it has purchased. If there are true criminal leanings of the group, then obviously we can have some room there to act, but if your entire argument is that it’s a violation of our “culture” because of our pre-conceived notions of Islam, then should we bend our legal system around what we perceive as “us” vs. “them”.

  6. John Press says:

    Venu,

    While I appreciate your conversation and your research of their site, please read follow the links in the letter. You will find much more than support of Gaza. The ADL sources are very interesting as well, beyond what is quoted in the letter. You did see the quotes in the letter, right?

    When you ask if culturism is for the rule of law, I realize that you are coming from zero understanding of my precepts. Please go to http://www.culturism.us and read up. You can even buy the new second edition of the book!! Then we can proceed with some level of understanding.

    One roadblock that we’ll run into is a difference of understanding of geo-politics. Culturism assumes that the 1400 year struggle between Islam and the West is continuing. You likely see the future as one of global agreement wherein the conflicts of the past are dropped and over. Culturism does not share that premise.

    On that matter, we’ll disagree about the importance of culture too. As multiculturalists see the Southwest of America becoming increasingly full with a Mexican population, they – as you did – may point to culinary benefits. “Now we have more tacos!” Culturist think that cultures impact the economy and political systems, education levels and more. Culturists think that culture must be taken seriously. There again, we may forever disagree.

    Thanks for your interest. Enjoy the reading.

    John
    http://www.culturism.us

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    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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