Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/41/Letters to the Editor]
Re: A Trap?
It could be a trap! But, who will be trapped? As the United States begins a military campaign against Afghanistan, the people in Middle Eastern countries rise up against their governments. If governments are overthrown and controlled by fundamentalist citizens, then the United States will have a Carte Blanche to attack entire countries and destroy large portions of those countries. This is not a war that the Middle Eastern countries are prepared to win. The people just want to die for “the cause.”
Apparently, the United States will grant their wish. What will Middle Eastern countries gain from this? Isolation from the world? More poverty, more war, more contempt, more misery? Fewer Muslims, fewer teachings, fewer people? The United States saw how little Middle Eastern countries rallied around Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. There is no unity in the Middle East. There are cautious leaders and crazy mobs, just like in the U.S. But the U.S. is one country with a lot of money and power. When the U.S. unites with other powerful governments, to go to war with them would simply provide an opportunity to commit suicide. Unfortunately for many, that would be better than the life they have.
Re: A Trap?
Your viewpoint entitled “The Trap” on your newspaper is simply not accurate and is purely propagandistic. When will you and others finally understand that this war is not against the Islamic or Muslim religions? We have never once considered this a “Holy War;” it is a war against terrorism.
The United States is at war against anyone who perpetrated the terrorist devastation here, as well as any countries who have and continue to harbor and support these cowardly terrorists. Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban and anyone else who took part in the death and destruction on September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, will one day in the near future pay the consequences for their reprehensible cowardly acts.
I would like to say that my heart goes out to the people that have been hurt by the terror. It is not limited to the shores of the United States. This group really does not belong to any religion. They may claim to support Islam, but that religion is for peace. They do not represent peace.
Everyone has the right to their religion. I firmly believe all people are equal. We are all God’s children. What we do with the power that God has given to us will determine our fate. I do see the goodness of people throughout the world. I just wish that the people that promote terror could open their heart and really see God’s beauty around them.
I believe that we are all the same. We need strength in hard times and find it in other people who are grieving as well.
What does it matter if those other people are grieving from losing their loved ones in a collapsing building or from as Israeli air strike?
When will we find strength in each other and turn away from those who drive us to destruction through ignorance and hate? From one decent human being to another (I believe), peace to my Middle-Eastern brothers.
I just wanted to tell you that I am Tareq Farook’s cousin. Please quit spreading rumors about him. His death was not race related. I’m sure you would have known that if you actually spoke to a family member. But instead, everyone jumps to their own conclusion. I’m not surprised.
What we said is that the attack may possibly be because of the incident in the USA. We have not confirmed that, and investigations are underway.
I wanted to send you a brief letter of thanks. I am a seminary student in the U.S. and over the last few weeks I have devoured the news reported on your website.
There is no doubt that these times are difficult for all: Palestinian, Afghanistan, Yemeni, and American. I find it a special privilege to have access to the ideas, hopes, fears and difficulties that you and the people of your country are facing, especially concerning the American response to the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Many of us throughout the world live in uncertainty and confusion about the best response that will engender the best results, but hopefully through honest dialogue and prayers, we can move towards a reconciliation that can only come from the Creator.
I encourage you in your relentless pursuit of the truth, and know that at least one American is thankful for the opportunity to read your perspective, in hope of reconciliation.
Thank you for your kind words. Your letter encourages us further in our mission.
I heard once there was a debate in Yemen Times about the book of Zana Muhsen, Sold and A Promise to Nadia. Unfortunately I couldn’t receive that newspaper but I am really curious if the Yemeni people know about these books and what is their opinion. Please inform me of the issue number and volume of Yemen Times in which the story or debate was published about this case.
Yemen Times did not publish a debate, but rather an investigative story. It was published in a series and started in issue no. 5 of the year 2000. You can find debates at http://yementimes.com/bbs.
Happy Birthday Nadia
October 13 will be Nadia Muhsen’s birthday. We can never reach her in any way. We have sent her a lot of birthday cards but it is always sent back to us. Can somebody please tell her Happy Birthday from all the people across the world that think about her, on that particular day. Thank you for your time and consideration!
I hope that this can reach her.
Nadia Muhsen probably reads the newspaper frequently. I hope that by publishing your letter, the congratulatory message would be delivered. Thank you for you thoughts.
My name is Jamal Abdulla Saleh and I’m from Yemen, the governate of Al-Baidah. The Americans wonder why this tragedy happened and they should look at their own government. People are dead, which is a terrible thing, but Americans don’t care about all the people and children who are dying in Iraq, due to the UN sanctions, which are headed by the U.S. Americans don’t care about all the Palestinians who are dying due to the occupation of their own country by Israelis. Americans lived through an occupation period during the American revolution against the British. However, Americans had a chance to fight for their independence, and when the Palestinians are fighting for their freedom, the U.S. pro-Israeli media calls them terrorists. But, I call it freedom-fighting! Why is their a U.S. military presence in most Arab countries? We do not need a watchdog looking over our shoulders; get your American troops out of our lands! How would Americans feel if Iraqi or Chinese armed soldiers were stationed in New York or California? American’s wouldn’t like that very much, would they? The U.S. military also brings their alcohol and pornography into our sacred Islamic lands, and that won’t be tolerated. The U.S. government talks about ridding America of terrorism; it will never happen until the U.S. shows an equal stance in Palestine and withdraws all U.S. troops from all Arab countries. Most of us who are enlightened know that if the U.S. government didn’t have anything to gain in the region (cheap oil), then they would not be there. Thank you Yemen Times; please inform our Arab and Muslim brothers.
Jamal Abdulla Saleh
Re: “I’m as American as the Next Guy!
“I loved the editorial “I’m as American as the Next Guy!” You are my American brother. I agree with some of what you said. However, I disagreed with some of it, too, but I’d die for your right to say it without fear of punishment (OUR freedom of speech). We are American brothers because you would fight and die for my rights, too (Home of the Brave).
I would like to apologize for non-Arab and non-Muslim Americans who act in ignorance and are too stupid to know the difference between Muslims and Al-Qaeda terrorists and retaliate against their own American brothers who feel the same pain from 9/11. They are just as guilty of evil as the bin Laden group.
As far as I am concerned, you are more of an American than they are and your editorial would have been praised by our founding fathers of 1776 who wrote our great Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I am heartwarmed by your love of OUR country.
As an American, I am too dismayed at the lack of outrage by the nations of Islam against the terrorist attacks. I am also amazed how such ‘religious’ people can be so easily swayed to believe that such heinous crimes are done in the name of God. All of this comes from the extremists and their governments and they put the label of ‘Holy War’ on the whole situation. It is at both extremes laughable and sad. Then I read in many of the Middle Eastern/Asian newspapers the letters from Arab-Americans and their fears of being attacked in the US, and this is all those papers focus on, these isolated incidents. But, they do not seem so outraged at the actual attacks and the deaths of 6,000 people and the economic and political impact this has on the world. Shame has been brought upon Muslims yet we see little from your part of the world to stand up against the true perpetrator, the terrorists, and the nations who harbor them. It must stop, and it will be stopped.
I have been in the US for twenty-four years, and during my years here I have met a lot of wonderful people of Arab decent and who are Muslims. I have the highest respect for all Arabs in the world; I just feel some of them have a misunderstanding of their religion. Having studied religions of the world in college, I am a little confused. I studied the Koran and I know that it expresses that killing is not acceptable in any form, whether suicide, war, etc. But yet Osama Bin Laden discloses himself as a Muslim. I have many Muslim friends, and in my confusion I would never want to offend any of them. Please help and suggest any article that has been written and that could be translated into English to help me understand better this view that is held in many Muslim countries regarding the acceptance of these killings. I have read many articles from many newspapers in different countries of Africa translated in English and I still cannot find an answer. Please help, explain to me the true values of the Koran that can make sense of it all. I am just seeking knowledge and no offense is intended.
Mrs. Marilyn Drissate
Dear Mrs. Marilyn,
Islam is indeed a religion of peace and does not allow the killing of innocent people under any circumstances. However, I leave the research for you, and I am sure you will find the right people to refer to. I also hope that one of our readers would respond to your letter.
Dear Editor and brothers in Islam,
Why do we allow the western media to always point at all Muslims all over the world when something bad happens, no matter what it is? Why do we have to follow the western media in their expectations toward us with regard to what happened in NYC? Why do we have to find it normal to be asked questions about what happened in NYC being a Muslim?
The fact is that still no one knows who really did “it” and whether or not this person was religious is quite irrelevant. Suppose this person was Jewish. Would they have stressed this fact? Suppose he was Christian. And even if he or they were Muslim, so what? That wouldn’t imply that we’re all the same as if Muslims are all the same all over the world. We are not all made the same as if we came out of a factory. And by the way, it’s not because someone calls himself Muslim that this person is to be held representative of the entire Muslim population.
I’m not pointing at my Catholic neighbor when Christian extremists murder innocent children in Northern Ireland, am I?
Muhammad Tariq Van den Broek
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The media here in Canada (and the U.S.) has, since the attacks, emphasized that the Koran preaches tolerance and love, and that those who committed the WTC atrocities were no more representatives of Islam than were the men who attacked the US Federal building in Oklahoma representatives of Christianity. We are all working here to prevent any backlash on the Muslim community.
I want to ask why do I continue to see the repeated distortions of reality on your story and commentary lines? Do you believe that the world’s people will respond to renditions that are nearly insane in their distortions? How do you expect to stop the conflict, which is not based on western barbarism but eastern false pride? We all can see that Arabs living in the USA would not go back to live anywhere in the world, especially the women, unless they can go back as wealthy partners in the dictatorship class. There will be hope when the Muslim people defend the rights of minorities to live freely in their countries as equals. Religion is your curse right now as it is for the west. Please don’t underestimate the wrath of the American people that has been aroused by Arab self mockery and anti-Muslim behavior. The wheel was invented after fire and it appears to many people that the chant on your lips is stuck somewhere in between these events. Catch up please before we all go back there together.
It is good that all have access to public forums in other cultures. I am an American. I am angry. But I would rather sit by the lake with you, and eat a good meal, enjoying the late afternoon. Talk about our differences. Come to common ground. But not kill.
Don’t talk of ‘negotiation.’ What is that?
Either you buy or don’t buy. You sell or you don’t sell. But you can’t get mad! Let sense be sense. There is no goal of terrorism, except death. Death has no glory, death has no lasting meaning. We all understand that God is in control. Let us stop arguing over what God is, and praise him for what and who He is! Make no mistake. If you invade my house, I will kill you rather than submit to you. You will do the same. That is understandable. It is natural. I ask you to consider what is spiritual. We have a great gift that WE ALL SHARE! Life, as given by God. Let us not waste it on ideological folly!
Live! Enjoy! Praise God! Die in time but not before! I write from my heart.
I wish you well. Let us come to understanding. All are equal. God favors none.
God loves. God is Love! Respond in your own inclination. I challenge you in Love!
I read with great interest your editorial “Enough is Enough,” regarding the brutal murder of a Canadian named Tariq Farooq Aman identified as a Yemeni. I was curious to find out more about this murder so I went to the Toronto Star newspaper. I searched the newspaper archives over the past several weeks and found no reference whatsoever to Mr. Aman or the murder of anyone of Middle Eastern descent in Canada. Are you able to provide me additional information about this alleged incident?
Miami, Florida – USA
The story is available in the front page of that particular issue, see
http://yementimes.com/01/iss40/front.htm. Thank you for following up with news from Yemen through our newspaper.
Canadian Expresses Sympathy to T. Aman
Regarding the brutal murder of Tariq Farooq Aman in Ottawa, Canada, I am an English Canadian who lives and works in Ottawa. I would like to say that most of the population of Ottawa and Canada are ashamed and horrified at this murder. Most Canadians will share my opinion, and we do not distinguish people on the basis of their country of origin, race or beliefs. In particular, we do not have ill feelings towards those from Yemen or Arab countries in general, and in fact have great admiration for their great history and culture.
I am confident that the Ottawa police will find the murderer or murderers and the full weight of the law will be applied.
To his family in Yemen, on behalf of all the people I know here in Canada, and on behalf of all Canadians, I would like to extend my condolences and assure them that Canadians do not tolerate such acts. Again, my deepest sympathy for him and his family.
I would like for you all to know that I for one know of many Jews who died in the attack on September 11th. Why is it that many Muslims (including Osama bin Laden’s brothers) live here in the United States of America, yet very few Americans live in your Islamic counties? I believe you hate the US because they are a country that has succeeded more than any other country in history. Are you jealous? I am a Canadian citizen and I for one think it is time to stick up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on earth. Germany, Japan, and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and had forgiven billions of dollars of debt. None of those countries are even paying the interest on those debts. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the U.S that hurries to their aid. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged counties without even a thank-you in return. I’d like to see just one of these countries that is gloating over American tragedy build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane even comparable to the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC-10? Why do all the International lines, except Russia, fly American airplanes? When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down from age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. Our neighbors, the Americans have faced all their troubles alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this tragedy with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present trouble. Stand proud America!
America has been blessed by Jesus Christ for their following of him. America is the most powerful superpower in the world ever. And it is because the Lord has put his hand on the country and therefore has prospered.
Please learn what is right and publish the truth? Stop blaming the Jews for everything bad that happens around the world. May God bless you and your nation.
We have not heard here in the US of a Yemeni being killed by hate crime. Yet, a Pakistani and an Indian Sikh and several others were killed.
There are Yemenis killed from time to time as a result of regular crimes, especially those who work in grocery and liquor stores. Many Yemeni immigrants work in such stores owned by Yemenis. Some come from Canada and work illegally in stores in very dangerous and bad areas of towns. It is a common thing in America to hear about liquor stores and gas station clerks being attacked and killed by robbers. To blame such killing on hatred is stretching the fact too much. I know of several friends of mine and some college-educated people working as pizza delivery boys and taxi cab drivers who were robbed and some killed during robbery. This is unfortunately a fact of life in the big cities of USA and especially New York.
Many people, including some Yemenis living in Canada, travel to New York and work illegally in stores that are located in dangerous neighborhoods. They work long hours, i.e., 80 to 100 hours a week, which is around 10 to 16 hours a day. Virtually living in the stores they work seven days a week for certain periods of time to collect the money they earn and return to Canada. I am sorry to say that, but that is a fact of life. People who choose to do this have to accept the consequences. I am not condoning such things but we have to work hard to educate our people and have them be aware of their rights. They need to take precautions.
I read your “View Point” in your paper today which I found very sincere. I am an Italian-American living in the State of Pennsylvania in America. Please be assured that everything is being done in America to dispel and punish anyone who harasses or attacks anyone of Middle-Eastern descent. Prior to the horror of September 11th, I believe that most, if not all Arabs lived in our country just like any other nationality – peaceful, comfortable, supported and content. I believe that since this has happened to our country, Americans have had their eyes opened and their hearts crushed to something we never even believed was possible -someone killing us on behalf of “God.” Americans were not killed on behalf of Allah. They were only killed out of a terminal disease called “hate” and self-righteousness. I won’t deny that there is suspicion and fear amongst us when we see a person of Middle-Eastern descent in our airports, at our train stations, and in our everyday lives. We are scared because we have never hurt you, we have never dishonored you, and we have never disrespected you. Seven million Arabs have chosen to live in my country because America provides opportunity to anyone of any race. America is also a very kind, gentle and compassionate place to live. I wished that this never happened. I wish that we could all honor God the way that we each choose – no right, no wrong, no judgement, no criticism – just the celebration of God. I hope that your country finds it in your heart to support the fight against hate and terrorism, which is not a fight against Arabs. God put all of us on this Earth to live, love and help one another. Finally, my viewpoint on another issue in which I have been very vocal about over the years is that Israel should have given back the Palestinians their land a very, very, very long time ago. I pray for a peaceful resolution, and that the Jews finally accept that the Palestinians need their land (which they stole) to call their own. Please do not believe that all or even most Americans agree with the Jews and their selfish quest. God bless you, your country and all of the children of Yemen.
My first thought when I heard about Tareq Aman’s murder, I too thought he may have been killed by some ignorant young hoodlums because of his faith. It looks as though this was not the reason. I am a fifth generation Canadian. My country and its people pride themselves as being a tolerant, unracist place for people to live. Although racism does exist everywhere, Canadians as a whole are not racist. Canada is a liberal multicultural society built on immigration, immigrants from everywhere and every faith. Please do not judge us all from the actions of some brutal idiots.
I pray Tareq’s family can find the strength to go on, to forgive. The men who did this will be brought to justice. Two of the three are already under arrest for murder!
I read your editorial about the young man killed in Ottawa this weekend. I think you have the story wrong. This was not (I hope) a racially motivated murder.
I read Mr. Al-Mujahid’s article in the 1 October edition of the Yemen Times titled “Who Did It?” with both amusement, as an American, and distress as a Yemeni.
I was surprised that such an article would actually be published by such a reputable newspaper as the Yemen Times. So many theories but zero evidence to back it up. I would like to point out the following issues to Mohammed:
1) I do not think that America jumped to conclusions about the attackers. The first things the Americans did was run the passenger manifest through the FBI, CIA and NSA computers and cross referenced them to known criminals. Then followed every lead. 2) The Administrations came out and stated that the public and the media should not jump to conclusions as was the case in the Oklahoma bombing.
My questions to you both are:
1) What was his source that no Jews were in the building? The question I ask you both is, “Would Israel really endanger their special relationship with the US by keeping quiet if they knew about the attack?”
2) I am distressed by the killing of Muslims in the West after the attacks in New York and DC, but in the article readers get the impression that mass arson and murder is taking place. Why was there no reference to the numerous speeches by the US administration regarding the attacks on Muslims? Nor the fact that ANY racially motivated attacks on Muslims is now considered a federal crime, and not a state crime, which carry a lesser penalty. It has been three weeks since the attacks and not one retaliatory strike has occurred. I often wonder what would happen if American terrorists killed 6,000 Muslims. I wonder if we will ever see the day when a Yemeni politician would ever enter a Church to assure Westerners that kidnappings by terrorizing tribesmen would cease?
As for his rambling regarding Zionism, well I think that’s all it is – just a load of useless RAMBLING. I’m sure that a lot of your readers are Westerners which, if true, is really embarrassing because it makes us all look like shallow conspiracy theorists, constantly paranoid about a Zionist plot, which in effect is only in our heads.
Maybe Mohammed should write about more useful issues such as the difference between Jewish and Arab financial contributions to Western political parties. Or maybe he should just stick with writing about local issues such as Yemen’s constant power outages, slow internet service, extremely poor educational system, bad infrastructure, slow services, and poor phone line quality – things that would actually make a difference and not on issues that distract from improving our country.