A note on Haifi’s column [Archives:2003/635/Letters to the Editor]
Let me begin by saying “thank you” to Yemen Times and to Hassan Al-Haifi for his article “The Shiite Way” in issue 633. I appreciate the rich portrait of Shiite history he paints in his article. Truly there are many great things that can be attributed to Islam and its practice throughout the world.
Much of what you say in your article is true. As an American and a Christian, I am appalled that my country would support anyone that would practice tyranny. However, I do understand why the support took place, as I am sure many of your readers do as well (many are also incorrect, having not studied American history).
The world can be an ugly place. Many peoples, whether they are nations, religions, sects, or political bodies, think only of themselves and only whether or not their point of view is taken on by everyone else. It is true everywhere in the world, including America. It can also be said of Yemen. Or Rome, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, or any other country.
No person or group of people is perfect. That distinction belongs to God alone (by God I am referring to the Creator of the Universe, I understand most of your readers call Him Allah.)
If I could, I would sit down to a meal with a family in Yemen that would be willing to do so. We would eat, laugh, talk about the silly things our children do, talk about what things we agree about, and try to understand that which makes us disagree. We would part from one another's company without fear, hatred, or ignorance. And then I would go share a meal with another family from Yemen. Hopefully, they would do something similar.
The only things I disagreed with in the article is that democracy in America was not remotely connected to Islamic influence. It comes from the Christian Bible, which predates the birth of Mohammed. Even then, it only caught on because it worked for many nations. I am glad to know that Islamic history sets precedence for democracy as well. Though truthfully, I don't believe it matters what culture “created” democracy, it should be seen as a gift from God to everyone fortunate enough to have it for their government structure.