Yemeni friends, please unite! [Archives:2004/800/Letters to the Editor]
A few years ago I first wrote some small articles for the Yemen Times. My interest was in the archaeological sites there. But soon I was drawn to the country, its people and their love for Allah. I visited Yemen in the spring of 2001 and produced a documentary film about the country and tried to encourage tourism. Then the tragedies on September 11 occurred.
As late as 2002, well before the Iraq war, I accepted a position as Director of the Modern American Language School, but when I attempted to leave America, I was detained as a “person of interest.” I had to decline the job with the school and I moved to Southeast Asia instead.
I have wanted to write some more articles for the Yemen Times, but I have been afraid. I wanted to tell the good people of Yemen that I am sorry for what America has been doing to the Arab world. I wanted to tell all of you that the re-election of president Bush signals a new Crusade, pitting Christians against Muslims. Not just in Iraq, but everywhere in the world.
If I were not afraid that someone would silence me permanently for saying it, I would tell you to open your eyes and see the enemy of your God and of your great culture. That many Americans also see this same evil enemy clearly but we could not stop it.
I would also say, don't watch the news and wait for a more dramatic event to motivate you. It has already happened. Each day Islam is being attacked and disrespected. Your generation must save it.
But most important, I would have told you to fight the great battle, remembering that you are on the side of Allah, the One and the Only God of justice and peace. The time is not yet in the future. The line has been drawn in the sand and you must choose which side you are on. There is no more time for doubt or inaction. Hundreds of years of devotion to Allah have made this time ripe.
Now that you have chosen your side, you must act. Unite, forget your tribal differences now. Come together under Allah and act. Do it now.