Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/52/Letters to the Editor]

December 24 2001

We are all the same
As the winter holidays of Muslims, Christians, and Jews are enjoyed, we all should remember the similarities rather than the differences in these three great and true monotheistic religions.
May our one God bless all worshippers who pray for peace and work for justice for all.
Jack Sawicki
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Dear Editor,
It is being reported in the Western news sources that there may be a British-led peace-keeping force established in Afghanistan. While this may be laudable in seeing peace return to a Muslim state, I find it interesting that my Muslim brothers in other countries are not taking a leading role in this. I am pleased to hear, however, that Jordan might be involved.
Amongst the AGCC countries, we have forces in places like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and my ancestral Oman which would be more than capable of performing this difficult and sometimes dangerous task. With armed forces from other Islamic States providing support, and working alongside other non-Muslim countries, we could demonstrate to the world the power of Islam and its traditional focus on peaceful coexistence. I understand the UAE, in particular, has done some excellent work in relief efforts, having sent a medical team to Macedonia to help look after Kosovo refugees. Unfortunately, this was ignored by Western media.
I believe it’s time we start to look after our own, rather than letting the USA and the former colonial powers from Europe run things. By doing so, we could go a long way to change attitudes towards Islam and make the rhetoric of those who are against Islam a lot harder to be heard.
Butros Al-Khazar
Dear Editor,
With reference to the recent video-tape about Osama bin Laden shown by the American Government, it is wise for the international community to think logically before it comes to a conclusion. For example, if ‘x’ is greater than ‘y’, it is not logic that the same ‘x’ is smaller than ‘y’. This means that if Osama bin Laden was capable to destroy the World Trade Center (WTC) without the interception of the American CIA and FBI, he will not be such a ‘stupid’ who leaves such a video-tape unprotected or un-destroyed, especially if he knows that the USA (the most powerful country in the world) is after him.
The same logic holds good. If Osama bin Laden is such a ‘stupid’ who leaves a video-tape (that can sign his death-warren) unprotected or un-destroyed, he cannot be the real ‘fox’ who can carry out an operation such as ‘the destruction of WTC’ under the tough supervision of CIA and FBI. Therefore, the ‘guys in Washington’ should not be ‘stupid’ and try to come up with something that can be accepted logically by the international community.
On the other hand, the guys in Washington are convincing the international community that the ‘Northern Alliances’ are the ‘good-guys’ and the ‘Talibans’ are the ‘bad-guys’. But when the so-called ‘bad-guys’ who are now in ‘Tora Bora’ were fighting against the ex-Soviet Union some years ago, they were defined as ‘good-guys’ by the ‘guys in Washington’.
To apply the same logic, if ‘x’ is equal to ‘y’ and ‘y’ is equal to ‘z’, therefore, ‘x’ is equal to ‘z’. I would like to assure the international community that if the ‘good-guys’ in Afghanistan go bad (according to Washington), those ‘good-guys’ should automatically take the nick-name of ‘bad-guys’ and be prepared for another B-52 bombs. Therefore the international community should also be prepared to learn quickly how to switch the definition of ‘good-guys’ and ‘bad-guys’ inter-changeably.
The question is ‘who decides what’? ‘The guys in Washington’ or ‘the international community’. ‘The most powerful one’ or ‘the justice’. ‘The dictatorship’ or ‘the democracy’. Unless we find logical answers to those questions, the international community will end up as (what the contemporary social-scientists known as) ‘INTERNATIONAL RISK-COMMUNITY’.
To make our world a better place to live in, we should not take RISKS by thinking ILLOGICALLY.
Awes Mohamed Abdullah
[email protected]
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
I have just read several comments in the Focus (Opinion) Section. Obviously I can not change peoples opinion (or prejudice, or bias). However, I feel compelled to offer a rebuttal – also obviously, from the “other side”.
I see the social and economic problems of the Middle East as self generated. The Middle East is a conglomeration of nations beset with religious fractures, tribal hostilities, the absence of a center (Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Central Asia, Indonesia) of authority and governments that cannot separate religion from government – the exception being Turkey. How can the rest of the world deal with the Middle East when there are so many different voices of “authority”.
The Western world has modernized and competes with one another, as well as with many Asian nations within the parameters of modernization. America, since the end of World War II, has not been isolationist – in fact we are everywhere with aid, purchasing goods and services from the world at large, and providing humanitarian relief. Do not confuse MODERNIZATION with WESTERNIZATION. America does not insist you Westernize – we offer you the goods and services of Modernization. Your governments and population purchase these goods and services – you want them or you don’t – so be it!. The problem is that because Islam is the government, clerics and true believers that interpret Islam in fundamentalist terms, represent an ancient historical way of life, radically opposed to a modernized world. And in order to justify fundamentalism, and the lack of progress in economic or social equality with the rest of the world, hatred must be generated toward the non Islamic world.
Hatred is the greatest unifying action to shift the blame from “us” to “them”. Blame America, blame Israel, blame the non believers (infidels) for all of your problems. Please note that the largest number of armed conflicts throughout the world for the past twenty years have involved Muslim peoples against Christians, Jews, Hindu, Sinic – (Balkans, Chechen, Israel, Central Asia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore). It would be my suggestion to quit blaming and begin developing yourselves. Also suggest that you investigate the success of Singapore – a British colony until the late 1960’s. In 20 years they fought off Muslims, Chinese communists, and developed into one of the most significant economies of Asia. You are using the Jews (and Israel) as an excuse for failure. Now you have added America. Your blind devotion to the Islamic brother (OBL), a genuine terrorist fanatic) has forced Islam further back into disrespect.
Hopefully this stupidity will revive true Islamic practice and development into joining the rest of the world.
Alyn S
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
My comments are directed towards the writers of “Don’t count on US for justice”, “Are we any Better”, and “Misunderstanding Islam and Terrorism.” I figure to give you a little background on myself would be the best way to start this out so here we go. I’m a middle class, 22 year old part time student, full time worker who has become emerged in political issues of the Middle East since the return of the Golan heights to Syria a few years back. And I had been following the mid-east issues since before that. Just the fact that I come to your site should show my devotion to understanding all perspectives. I am an enormous fan of newspaper sites out of Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Iran, etc.. I believe that the important opinions come from the average citizens of these respected countries.
The United States of America has troops in Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in the Middle East, that’s undisputable, but come on, we are protecting the world’s oil reserves (which includes our own). Are you going to tell me that the Saudi regime, or the Kuwaits didn’t want us there and/or didn’t care that the Iraqi’s had invaded Kuwait. The united states is in a terrible situation, we can either have nothing to do with these countries and devote our time and money to a more efficient fuel (that would make the middle east a lot more poorer than it already is as a whole) and completely stop sending any aid to countries like Afghanistan (which we were sending 170 million dollars a year, even though we new they were harboring terrorists that had blown up 2 embassies, among other things).
It’s funny how nobody wants us to have anything to do with us, but has this need to take our foreign aid with no problem, how’s that work. How come pictures of the Afghan’s thanking our troops and dancing in the streets or there children having a friendly snowball fights with our guys isn’t running continuously on the leading Arab news station or should I say Propaganda station “Al-Jazeera”? Were always paying this price for our relations with Israel (which I don’t like, myself.) If it wasn’t for us Israel would be a lot larger instead of smaller. We have been unable to support Arafat of late because it is becoming evident that he is a powerless leader. If he can’t get people to stop targeting civilians in suicide bombings then whats the point of involving him in anything. He was offered 90% of what he asked for a few years ago and instead of accepting it and using it as a stepping stone towards peace, and stability he turned it down and all off a sudden the US is blamed for the fact that the Israelis are firing missiles at the suspected “hide-outs” of the men responsible for these terrible acts that we are seeing today.
Wow, it is astonishing to me that any intelligent human being could compare that to some guy going to a pedestrian mall with a concealed bomb packed with nails and killing dozens of innocent people who he doesn’t know and definitely doesn’t know how they feel about the politics of the region. Isn’t it a coincidence that all of a sudden Haifa is getting hit, a place where (until now) Jews and Muslims lived in peace. Perfect target, take away the exception and you take away the argument! Well the United States is the greatest nation in the world weather you like it or not, we give to so many countries in need, sometimes even ones that do us wrong (Afghanistan). We are by far the largest donor of foreign aid in the world. Wow that’s the epitome of evilness I guess. And as far as Islam goes, I don’t know that much about it, I have plenty of Muslim friends some of whom are Pakistani born. The terrible thing that’s happened is that Muslims are blaming Islam being stamped as a terrorist sponsoring religion on the US when the terrorists like the Egyptian jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Al-Qaeda are killing innocent civilians PURPOSELY, and doing it in the name of Allah and Islam. I myself know Islam to be a great and peaceful religion but to someone who doesn’t know any better they just see letters laced with anthrax and the first line reads “praise be to Allah!” What do you expect? The Timothy McVeigh argument is always used “Tim is to Christianity as Osama is to Islam!” Wrong!!!! He said what he did was for his rights and his country (no matter how wrong and stupid that is!) he didn’t do it in the name of Christ.
I say to the people of the middle east “Do you want us, our business, and our money, or do you simply not? It’s as simple as that!
Michael Mills
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
I know many of the people at the Yemen Times as I used to proof read the paper for them as a volunteer while studying Arabic in Yemen. They are good people who are trying to change their society for the better and I respect them. However, as I have observed over the past six months, Al Haifi’s articles “Common Sense” do not do the paper justice nor do they contain any common sense. His hatred for America and his paranoia of Israel is nothing short of sad. I love to read the Yemen Times, but I do not understand why the paper gives his hatred a voice. To Al Haifi I say, America does not hate you, the American Jews – like the American Arabs – do not control our policy or our media, we support Israel because it is a democracy just as we support Yemen, we attack those who attack us, and finally, believing in conspiracies and telling lies does yourself and the wonderful newspaper you work for absolutely no good. In one issue you praised the Taliban for not bowing to the west! and then in another issue you say they are misguided.
Common sense does not come from changing your mind every time you want to rail against the United States. To the guys at the Yemen Times, keep up the great work and I hope to see you again when I am in Yemen the next time.
Richard Rubright
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
Please give me what your dictionary said about killing of innocent people in your country or any other part of the world. Please tell me also if your God approves the killing of innocent people.
Please tell me also, if your religion has any code of conduct in terms of what is good or bad before your God eye.
Please tell me what your dictionary said in regards to respect the way of thinking of those that do not share your point of view.
I can not imaging a God that enjoys the killing of innocent people, because they don’t share your point of view. What about the love. Is the love and respect to others are explained in your dictionary?
Did you consider that kill your family is good before God eye? This behavior will be rewarded with a good spot in the paradise.
I really don’t understand what your people consider is good or bad, please tell me what dictionary you are using to support your thoughts.
I don’t expect any answer, but I am very curious to receive your answer to this letter.
Frank Montanez
[email protected]
First, before I write what I think about this war in Afghanistan let me say that Im an Arab American Muslim and I’m very proud to be a Muslim. I would give up my life for any innocent person in this world Christian, Muslim, or even a Jew (as long as the person is innocent). I’ m suffering for the innocent people that are suffering in Palestine, and yet I feel no sympathy at all for the Afghan people. The Afghan invited the American army into their country. If they wanted to save their land and their people, they would have spotted Bin Laden anywhere in the country and given him to the appropriate authorities.
Secondly, I have read many letters that have been sent to this website. Many Muslims support another fellow Muslims without thinking the case thoroughly. Most Muslims blame this war on America and treat the Americans as being unfair. I would like you to close your eyes and imagine this. Imagine that you are in a store or a dukin you have three children and you love all of them and want them to be the best. You turn around to look at the products in front of you. All of the sudden, you hear one of your children crying, you turn around to see what happened, and you see that all of them have been stabbed. You turn around to see who did it, and a couple of people are looking at you, but your suspicions point to one guy and one guy only. So the first thing that you do is to do the same thing to that man, because of the anger you feel. This story is exactly what happened to America and what Americas responded to Bin Laden acts.
When a Muslim or an Arab president gets angry for another Islamic or Arab country that is being attacked, then why cant the countries become one. If they want to speak up to the world they will have to speak as one, rather than as a tiny country that is small as little New Hampshire (a state in the US).
I dont have any respect for any Islamic President, with the exceptions of the Egyptian president, King Abdullah, and Ali Abdullah Saleh. These presidents speak up, while the others are drinking tea. Most presidents speak about trying to help the needy countries, but none have made the effort. I have learned that one of the richest people are Muslim-Arabs, but the most confusing thing to me is, what do they do with their money?
My parents taught me to help the poor and let them rise up. When I see the richest people who are living in our prophet’s land, watching camel racing or drinking tea in expensive cup wares. That makes me feel very angry, because I tell every non-Muslim that Islam is concerned about love, giving the needy, respect, and peace, while I myself dont see this happening in the Islamic nations. It hurts me greatly to watch our greatest enemy rising over us.
Third thing is what I have read on many letters that have been sent to this website. To me its hard to comprehend that many non-Muslims think that most Muslims agree with what the terrorist did in America. Im a Muslim and I would give up my life to any person, a Muslim or not a Muslim. I want every one to understand that almost every Muslim, who knows and understand the Holy Quran condemns these kind of acts, that are committed by the terrorists. Whoever is the terrorist, may God, Allah, send him or them to hell, because they are not only creating dreadful disasters, but also ruining the name of Islam. Islam is one of the best religions, because there are no mysterious question, unlike other religions. May God strike the people, who want to ruin Islam. Another thing, who ever the kidnappers that are ruining Yemens name, I hope that they get punished badly for their sinful acts.
The only thing that keeps me wondering is an article that I read a couple of weeks ago (let me say that I have nothing against any innocent Jewish person once or for all). I read an article that said that before the attack on Sept, 11 that 4,000 Jews did not go to work to the World Trade Centers on that day, and that they were called before hand not to go to work. This website is one of my favorite websites on Yemens news, because I share the news with my American friends, without translating the news from Arabic into English. This website has shown a lot of information on the terrorist acts. It is only fair that America is doing its job in Afghanistan. The only thing that would hurt me greatly is if America, later on, finds out that it was someone else who did the bombings and not the Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden.
Dear Editor,
The Americans are demanding death for Arabs in Afghanistan but American Taliban fighter John Walker (AKA Abdul Hamid) is going to be entitled to the ‘ole American double standard of “justice” because his daddy was a lawyer for the U.S. “justice” department? Americans especially want to kill Arabs on instructions from their Zionist and Jewish masters. The U.S. funded occupation force commander Ariel Sharon told the Turkish prime minister a few days ago he wanted to be “rid of” Arab Arafat and this is translated by the lawyer run U.S. government, which takes orders from their Jewish masters, to give more help in the killing of Arabs which they do by furnishing war planes & tanks, etc. to Israel?
Now is time for the Arab Nations to become united against the U.S. funded foreign occupation army in Arab lands, have an oil embargo or at least a drastic slow down in output of oil and to unite to carry out the predictions of the apostle Jesus “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, Know ye the desolation thereof is night.” (Luke 21:20–where Jesus has predicted the great upcoming Islamic victory to liberate Jerusalem)?
The lawyer run U.S. government seeks to create division within the Arab Nations but by their open double standards against Arabs they are helping bring all Arabs & Muslims together to defeat the U.S. funded foreign occupation army in Arab & Islamic lands. And now is the time for all concerned Arabs to give support to Arab Americans who are willing to counter the Zionist influence here in the United States by sending donations to us.
E. M. Wheby
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
The Palestinian Hamas and Jihad organizations are terrorists, because they kill innocent Israeli citizens, for their political purposes, goals, rights.
Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda organization are terrorists, because they have killed innocent US citizens, for their political and religion purposes, goal.
Who is a warrior, who is a terrorist?
Before we charge a group, we must ask, why they do this, what their motivation is?
US justice does not ask, why. It charges Osama bin Laden as a criminal, because he attacked the strongest democratic country.
I want to make a neutral, independent justice, without US and Arab influences (money) and control. The Islamic countries could brought charge or opinion on this justice, but the main judge would be objective with many questions and answers. The USA would be called on this justice, too.
US Military justice has no rights to charge Osama bin Laden because Osama is an Arab and Muslim, and he does not belong to US Army.
US Military justice is militant and with a bloody history, so it has no rights to judge.
Marjetka Urbanc
Email: [email protected]