Friends of America, especially liberal friends, will be alarmed at the news that divisions over the placing of an Islamic cultural centre continue to escalate. Hotter heads have prevailed, for now, and though the half-baked pastor has refrained from setting the world on fire with holy books, the inflammation has not settled. Sadly, this feels like a crisis of ignorance and malice not seen since the darkest days of the civil rights marches in the Deep South, or perhaps the Witch Hunt era. How has this happened? For too long it seems, the freedom of speech which is America's oxygen, has also been fanning flames of misinformation so great as to resemble the Reichstag fire. Fox, cuplrit numero uno, is an arsonist torching the truth - and Lady Liberty's high-held torch pales in the shadows cast by this smoking nonsense. America needs a bonfire of the inanities, needs to lean to its better angels, and stop indulging in the luxury of letting lies lap like warm waves. The 9/11 act was not caused by a religion, or even an ethnicity, but a belief system - one fed by such over-reactions. The chemistry of American Tea Party numb-skullness is potent, and will mix badly with the needs of new terrorists. The fundamentalists are now those who refuse to welcome all faiths to the party, and instead wish to pour jet fuel on the guttering lights of our better natures.