Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/40/Letters to the Editor]

October 1 2001

The USA Should Not Seek Revenge
I have read the editorial of Yemen Times issue (38/2001). This is the first time that I have ever read the newspaper. While I am in pain about those who suffered because of the attack in America, I do not seek revenge. I believe in global peace. I hope that the Afghan women and their children will someday be able to experience education and the ability to earn a living for themselves, like myself, as education is the key to attaining peace within any country. I have much to offer my country for having received my education. I respect Islam. I would respect the Taliban more if my Afghan sisters were treated more respectfully. It is for the individual to consider their position and loyalty to their choices and their culture. I believe that all cultures offer beauty in understanding.
At the same time, I believe that there will be another attack on America and other countries, and the deaths will be more than before, with the methods of attack growing in sophistication until we may all die. Many husbands were left without wives and wives without husbands and children without parents. The terrorism must stop. America may be attacked again and the next time the attack may be so powerful as to destroy all countries on our planet.
Charlane Meyer-Miller
[email protected]
We Need to Protect Our Freedom
I am an American. As you can guess I am very saddened by the attacks on our country.
The victims of this attack were average everyday people. They were mothers, fathers, children, sisters and brothers, all guilty of only trying to make a life for themselves and their families. While I know that innocent people are also killed by our own forces in other countries there is a difference. When we get images of these ignorant, uneducated people celebrating the death of innocent people it is so sad that their governments do not tell them the truth. In America we can easily access news from other sources, we have freedom of the press and, like it or not, we know the good, the bad and the ugly about our country and the whole world. We don’t celebrate the loss of innocent people and we are deeply saddened by the innocent children that are uprooted and scared and hurt. That is the difference; we are a compassionate country. We are made up of all ethnic backgrounds, religions and lifestyles. We are tolerant of everyone’s differences and try to respect them.
Yes, there are lunatics in every part of the world, and United States has their share as well. And when other countries find themselves threatened it is the good ole USA they come to first. How many forget this. I am not picking on your country or any other Mid-East country. I can only say that if so many people with so many differences can live in peace in the USA, why can’t the world! You must understand that we as a nation are going to protect our way of life. We would love nothing better than to resolve this in peace, but the barbaric terrorists have made that impossible. Now it is time to protect what is so dear to us, something that a lot of people will never know…..Freedom. Thank you & God Bless. Just your average American, wife, mother and daughter, Kathy
Kathy P.
[email protected]
Rejoinder: Common Sense
I would like to respond to a few of the points that Hassan Al-Haifa made in his article, “Common Sense” entitled “Islam is innocent, Sharon is not”.
Since the tragedy of last week our media in the US (television, radio, and print) has been loaded with all kinds of speculation about who could have been the perpetrators. Of course, Israel has been considered as a possible benefactor of any ill will toward Islam that might result. But, the facts don’t add up to Israel as the culprit. Perhaps the most significant evidence leading away from Israel is the people that were on the planes and on the ground that organized and carried out the attacks. They were all people that would have little cause to help Israel, and most have a history of hate towards Israel. Simple police work brought this information to light within hours of the attack. So, while it would seem a credible motive for such a crime, any honest review of the evidence will force you accept that this theory doesn’t stand up.
Much of the Islamic world seems to be concerned that the attack on America will result in hostile attitudes toward Muslims and more support by America for Israel. Oddly enough, I think the opposite may be true. Most Americans view it as their responsibility to protect Israel from being overrun, but beyond that they wish some resolution could be found. Most Americans have been generally uninterested in the conflict surrounding Israel and have been willing to patiently wait while the participants threw rocks and mortars at each other primarily because nobody seems to have a solution to the conflict that is acceptable (or even remotely acceptable) to all sides. It seems like two children bickering. But I think our patience just got considerably shorter. I think we want to whack the children aside their heads and say, “Stop it, now!”
I don’t think you are going to see any significant demands from Washington to Israel this week or the next. The timing is not right. But I think Israel and Yassar Arafat will shortly learn that we are beyond being merely tired of their squabbling. It has become a matter of national security for the United States, and we aren’t going to tolerate that very long.
As a side note, Americans are united in wanting to make sure there isn’t a backlash against Muslims in this country. There have been a few high profile exceptions shown on television where some belligerent ignoramuses have attacked mosques and private individuals, but the outpouring of support shown around the United States dwarfs those stories. Mosques have been inundated with flowers and messages left at their doorstep offering messages of support.
Jim Kelly
Seattle, Washington, USA
Rejoinder to Hassan Al-Odaini’s Article
Stop Spreading Misinformation
In www.yementimes.com/01/iss38/l&d.htm, Hassan Al-Udeini wrote:
“The media, which is greatly influenced and controlled by the Zionists, has been promoting hatred against Arabs, as a race and against Islam, as a religion.”One great freedom we have in America is access to world media. In America, we have access to news reports from Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, an Yemen, as well as most countries of the world. It is a wonderful thing that I can read what people in Arab and mostly Muslim countries have to say about current events.
I find it hard to believe the news we receive in this country is so biased to one view or another, since there are so many news sources, even from Middle-Eastern countries. Granted, there is bias in each individual news source, but with the variety and breadth of available resources, there is an overall balance. Most Americans utilize the many news outlets available to them to get a more complete image of the truth.
Whomever controls the media in America, saying they promote hatred against Arabs and Islam is false. U.S. national and local media outlets (as has President Bush) have all called for calm, rational thinking and reminded us daily that the actions of the few who attacked us do not reflect on Arabs or Muslims in general.
The media has said repeatedly that there are many Arab and Muslim Americans and that Islam is a peaceful religion. They have made a point to denounce the few crazy Americans who have attacked other Americans on the basis that they “look” Arabic, or Middle-Eastern.
We have arrested and will punish any American who attacks others on the basis of race. As Hassan further wrote, we have had a long battle against racism in this country and it is troubling that so many people are still ignorant of other races and religions.
But we have come a long way and continue to battle hatred. We have laws against hate crimes and racism. In America, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they are of a different ethnicity or religion. Hatred is a terrible force and we do all we can to stop it, to promote tolerance, and to live in peace.
I’ll grant you that America’s government has misused its power on multiple occasions, but most Americans speak out against those actions and protest when we feel our government is not doing the will of the people.
And a lot of Americans agree that it is wrong for so few to control so much of the wealth of the world. We struggle to influence others to help the world and to get our government to take a more humanitarian role in the world: stepping in when people are dying of starvation, not just when there is oil at stake.
Fear spreads like a virus and makes people behave like animals. Spreading untruths and instigating fear amongst your readership only promotes ignorance and hatred, and we must struggle against hatred, in the world and within ourselves.
Please use your resources to stop the spread of misinformation. Don’t contribute to it. Hassan says the U.S. needs wisdom, not power. With this, I agree. We have more than enough power, but we’ll never have enough wisdom.
We all need more wisdom.
Aaron Howard