Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/46/Letters to the Editor]

November 12 2001

Islam is Against Terrorism
Terrorism is a crime against humanity. It is a brutal attack on innocent people. Those who resort to or support terrorism in the name of Islam are in a great mistake. They are committing a crime which God has cursed in the Quran. All true Muslims denounce terrorism of any kind and share the sorrows of its victims.
It is the work of ignorant, bigoted people, criminals who have nothing to do with religion.
The solution, to be given to these individuals and groups who are committing their savage actions under the mask of Islam, is to instruct them with the true moral teachings of Islam.
The word Islam has the same meaning as “peace”. Islam forbids terror, violence and all forms of barbarism. What is happening in the world today under the name of “Islamic Terrorism” is the work of ignorant people who have nothing to do with religion. God forbids rebellion, cruelty, aggressiveness, and murder in the name of the religion of Islam, including terrorism and violence, and condemns those who commit such deeds. As God says in a verse, “God does not love mischief makers.” (Quran, 28/77)
God invites all people to accept the moral teachings of the Quran as a model whereby mercy, compassion, tolerance, peace, joy, happiness, justice and security may be experienced in the world I suggest to everyone to take a look at the following website: “www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com”I think it explains what the real Muslims think of terrorism!
jonny town
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Dear Editor,
I was pleased to see that you finally brought up the subject on “Can Americans Answer These Questions?” I agree very much with the comments you made. As an American who has lived here in Yemen for the past 14 years I can say that all of what you have said is very much true. The one thing that I would like to add is that the misunderstandings are not only on the “Western” side. Instead, there is a huge misunderstanding on both sides. The Americans believe that democracy is so important that they will support the only true democratic country in the region without second guessing the morals behind it. At the same time, it seems to me that the “Arabs” have become so busy with what is going on in Palestine, that they fail to see what has been going on in the rest of the world. The Americans wrongdoing has caused many deaths and abuses over the years, as well as a growing anger on the Arabs side towards what is our greatest privilege, freedom. The Arabs obsession has led the rest of the world to view the Arab people as only caring about what is happening around them. There is one main reason why the “Westerners” view them this way. That reason is the fact that, whenever there is an event in the Arab world in which the West intervenes, there are lots of complaints. However, when over 1 million Muslims are killed in less than a year, there was no complaint or offer of support from anywhere in the Arab world. Sorry that this stretched out and thank you very much for you article. I would say that both sides need to care more for understanding.
Jason Scott
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Dear Editor,
Much has been made in the Muslim world about America’s activities in Afghanistan as being a war against Islam. Nothing could be further than the truth. The fact is that it is an action designed to bring radical elements to justice, who destroyed two buildings in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington, DC killing thousands of innocents.
Because the more radical Islamic regimes in the Middle East do not even allow the publications of these facts for the benefit of their citizens to read and judge for themselves, the United States Great, Britain and other Western nations feel it necessary to take steps themselves to bring these criminals to justice. This is a war against terrorism and not against Islam, the Arab nations nor the Middle East.
During the Middle Age, Westerners had more allegiance to the Christian church than to the local kingdoms and national governments, which led to the excesses against the natives that we read about in the history of South and Central America as well as the Inquisition and other persecutions. As late as the 17th century, my own French Huguenot ancestors were the subject of such religious persecution. But the reform of the Christian church helped it to mature and move beyond such behavior. The Middle East has yet to do so.
The principal difficulty now existing in the Middle East, as I see it, is that of tribalism. Tribes enjoy more allegiance from the common citizen than do the national governments.
Then in the absence of stronger central governments, the religion of Islam becomes the means allowing the citizens to come together giving rise to the concept of a “Nation of Islam” which supersedes national governments. In the West, there may be “Christian Nations” but there is no “Nation of Christianity” which exceeds the authority of the individual national governments.
Tribalism disappeared in the civilized Western nations a long time ago. It is now relegated to simple practice, encouragement and celebration of ethnic cultures. Even Islam!
Marvin C Cruzan
United States
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Dear Editor,
This is the first time that I am writing to you. From now on, I will write more frequently. It’s seems to me that on this planet (“Duniya”) there are two communities: Muslims & Non-Muslims. Muslims are Muslims, but Non-Muslims means the other religious groups. This is the reality.
I am a Muslim. I don’t want to be cheated or don’t want to let anyone make me or think of me as a stupid. As Muslim I want to remind all other Muslims to wake up before it gets too late.
Why no Muslim leaders from any Muslim country set up an organization called UMO (United Muslim Organization). Islam could be represented through this organization. Any small or big matter can be sorted out within the Muslim world rather than by non-Muslims. Even the present crisis around Osama Bin Laden could be solved by Muslim people.
I am not a racist and I don’t hate anyone who is not Muslim. As a good Muslim, I respect all good human beings. All I am saying is that the Muslim world should be ruled or served by the law that is selected by Allah not by the law that is formed by human beings on the basis of their own comfort.
Mahbubur Rahman
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Dear Editor,
As a totally uninformed American who came across your website by accident, I would like to respond to your question “If America is against terrorism, why is it supporting Israel, which is killing Palestinians by the hundreds every year?”Like most Americans I don’t know anything about Islam. I don’t know anything about Jews. I’m not even religious and I wish you guys would stop fighting and learn to get along with each other. But to answer your question, why are we supporting Israel? I suppose it is because if we supported the Palestinians, the first thing you guys would do is drive the Israelis into the sea. You accuse the Israelis of atrocities, the Israelis accuse the Palestinians. How do I know what the truth is? When I look at a map, the Arab countries are so big and Israel is so tiny. I can’t understand why you don’t let the Jews have a little bit of land to live on.
Really, I am so tired of hearing about this conflict. I wish we could stay out of it, but the impression that I and most Americans have is that you would massacre the Israelis if you had the chance. So I guess that is why we support Israel.
“Why is the USA applying an embargo that caused no damage to the Iraqi regime but rather resulted in the death of millions of innocent people?”
I agree with you on that one. We had an embargo against Cuba for many years and it hasn’t knocked Castro out of power. Those embargoes are a bad idea as far as I’m concerned.
If you don’t want Western infidels in your homeland, then deport them. I don’t want you Muslims in my country either. Bombing Afghanistan will probably accomplish nothing, but what are we supposed to do? Americans are really mad this time. We are starting to hate all Muslims. To us, it seems like you guys are nothing but troublemakers. If Hussein hadn’t invaded Kuwait, there wouldn’t be an embargo. If terrorists hadn’t blown up the World Trade Center, we wouldn’t be bombing Afghanistan. I don’t know what’s right or wrong. I just feel like we are doing what we have to do. Thanks for asking my opinion.
Doug White
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Dear Editor,
Firstly, let me congratulate you on an excellent on-line newspaper, which I find fascinating and enjoyable reading.
I am an American, born of American-born parents (from NY), with a mixture of Arab (from Oman) and Turkish (Kazar) combined with some European (Germanic and Russian) in my ancestors. My forefathers traveled the Silk Road before eventually settling many centuries ago in what is now Ukraine.
I would like to make a comment with regards to your recent editorial. While I agree with most of the observations made by this correspondent, I do take issue with the first paragraph.
I am neither a Jew nor Zionist, but I find it fascinating that you italicized the opening paragraph of your editorial to try to infer some kind of grand Zionist conspiracy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
My first point in regards to this is that people like Ted Turner (who founded CNN) and Rupert Murdoch (the Australian media mogul) are not Jewish as are many of their counterparts in the media.
Then again, neither are the key board members of General Motors, Occidental Petroleum, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Ford, Boeing, etc. Therefore, I do not see a US economic sector severely influenced by Jews, outside of foisting some pretty mediocre TV soap operas and sitcoms on an unsuspecting world. Sorry, my Arab brothers, but Jews do not control the financial and political systems of the USA; the Nazrani’s (Christians) do.
My second point has to do with the roots of Zionism. This philosophy is a result of the 1000 years of racial prejudice against Jews living in Europe by their Nazrani neighbors, supposedly for not converting to their religion during the time of the Christian Crusades.
These Jews were, for the most part without land in the lands of their birth and, like our Palestinian brothers do today, dreamed of a land which they could call their own. The European Jews used the Diaspora as an excuse for promoting the Zionist concept, and Christian Europe ultimately supported the idea. Hey, now we Christians can finally resolve the Jewish Question of how we get the Jews out of OUR lands!
So in 1922, the British (Remember them? They used to have control of Aden, amongst other parts of Yemen) decided to partition what they called the Transjordan into two, one being reserved as a Jewish homeland, called Palestine. Too bad that the Palestinians living there, whether Muslim, Nazrani or Jewish, had no say in this decision. Of course, the rest, they say, is history, especially since the time of the Great Catastrophe in 1948.
My conclusion, therefore, is that perhaps it’s the Nazranis who are the real Zionists. I mean, what better way to have someone else play the scapegoat in their having control of THEIR holy sites and provide a politically friendly port in the Arab World?
If you and/or readers of your website disagree with me, I will respect that, as the Holy Qu’ran has taught us to do.
However, if you look at history since the time of the Prophet (May peace be upon him!), Jews and Muslims lived in relative peace, with the exception of Palestine from the middle of last century. From Morocco and Pre-Christian Spain, eastward through to the Holy Lands, Yemen, Syria, Oman, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan, they have lived, worked and played together, even marrying each other. Many of my older Palestinian brethren tell of the times of their Jewish neighbors preparing Iftar for them and their families, as a sign of love and respect during the month of Ramadan.
As we will soon begin the holy month, I sincerely ask everyone, no matter what your religion is, to take some time to think about what is going on in the world and how we can learn to love and respect each other, as the Holy Qu’ran teaches us.
With God’s grace, some good will comes out of this political situation and my American compatriots will learn to appreciate other peoples’ points of view, and conversely, my Muslim brothers will remember the tolerance and acceptance of others that Islam instills in all.
Butros Al Khazar
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Dear Editor,
Most Americans that do not live in the North-East did not support Israel and wanted a Palestinian state. We abhorred the misery of the Palestinians under Israeli rule. We certainly want to aid Afghanistan and are horrified that Muslim countries as well as western countries allowed these conditions to exist under the Taliban’s regime. The vast majority of American people do not hate Muslims or Islam. However, it is impossible to understand the utter tolerance of the Taliban’s cruelty to the Afghan people. These are opportunistic parasites preying on a poor nation, killing the men and unspeakable cruel to women. Where in Islam does it say that this is good and proper? Where does it say it is okay to slaughter with malice thousands of innocent men, women and children?
When you condemn America, please remember that the vast majority of us while supporting Israel’s right to exist, did not support most of its policies. Not even the Jews in New York supported most of Israel’s aggressive policies. The polls proclaiming this vast support for Israel’s policies are put forth by NY times and other biased news organizations. Lately, it has been much harder, though not impossible, to support a Palestinian state with the suicide bombings going on.
Why are Muslims not defending Afghanistan from the Taliban? Why are Muslim’s allowing outsiders to control a country not their own? Why does Israel not leave Gaza and the West Bank? Why does Israel deny Palestinians this land even though the U.S. is pushing the Mitchell Accords? Why did Arafat not accept the Dayton Peace Accords that offered him everything he wanted? Now, Israel and Muslim countries are critical of the United States. It seems that it is better to poke a stick in our eye and then blame us for not responding properly, rather than see that we are trying to create peace. I feel that peaceful co-existence is an American ideal and not one that is commonly shared by others, friend or foe.
Krysty C.
Colorado, USA
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Dear Editor,
“If America is against terrorism, why is it supporting Israel, which is killing Palestinians by the hundreds every year?”I want to first make it clear that I, like most Arab-Americans, agree that there is a double standard here. But most non-muslim/Arab Americans will NOT be able to see your point that easily. The real issue here is are these killings justified? What the media here have successfully been able to do is make most Americans feel that it is, and I’ll explain how. Although many Americans acknowledge that the media are full of lies, very few can point them out. With that said, let’s just agree that Americans are heavily influenced by what they see on the news. Believe it or not, the news has painted a picture of Israel as the victim of Palestinian violence, and all Israel wants to do is live in peace. For as long as Americans do not know the full history of Israel, they will support the sufferings of Israelis who live in day to day fear of being killed by those “evil” suicide bombers.
Arabs/Muslims see Palestinians throwing rocks at tanks and feel the pain that would lead a human to that extremity. Uninformed Americans see the same site and answer the questions of “why” with the answers only told to them on the news… these people will kill themselves to get you, they’re Muslim terrorists, and countless other racist labels. My basic point is that most Americans are not Jewish or Muslim, they’ll side with what they know is the truth and right. Instead of allowing our frustration towards America’s actions to turn to anger, I highly recommend understanding, exactly what we also want. Americans are not evil people, just misled. Knowledge is power, and if we can somehow educate and give the average American a different perspective of the matter without the media’s interference, I’m very confident that your question wouldn’t even need to exist.
Abraham Ahmed
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