Thoughts about America

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: United States Of America Views: 2223
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A large number of Arab and Muslim Americans now feel that he or she belongs to the enemy camp, and that being in the United States at this moment provides us with an especially unpleasant experience of alienation and widespread, quite specifically targeted hostility. For despite the occasional official statements saying that Islam and Muslims and Arabs are not enemies of the United States, everything else about the current situation argues the exact opposite. Hundreds of young Arab and Muslim men have been picked up for questioning and, in far too many cases, detained by the police or the FBI. Anyone with an Arab or Muslim name is usually made to stand aside for special attention during airport security checks. There have been many reported instances of discriminatory behavior against Arabs, so that speaking Arabic or even reading an Arabic document in public is likely to draw unwelcome attention. And of course, the media have run far too many "experts" and "commentators" on terrorism, Islam, and the Arabs whose endlessly repetitious and reductive line is so hostile and so misrepresents our history, society and culture that the media itself has become little more than an arm of the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, as now seems to be the case with the projected attack to "end" Iraq. There are US forces already in several countries with important Muslim populations like the Philippines and Somalia, the buildup against Iraq continues, and Israel prolongs its sadistic collective punishment of the Palestinian people, all with what seems like great public approval in the United States.

While true in some respects, this is quite misleading. America is more than what Bush and Rumsfeld and the others say it is. I have come to deeply resent the notion that I must accept the picture of America as being involved in a "just war" against something unilaterally labeled as terrorism by Bush and his advisers, a war that has assigned us the role of either silent witnesses or defensive immigrants who should be grateful to be allowed residence in the US. The historical realities are different: America is an immigrant republic and has always been one. It is a nation of laws passed not by God but by its citizens. Except for the mostly exterminated native Americans, the original Indians, everyone who now lives here as an American citizen originally came to these shores as an immigrant from somewhere else, even Bush and Rumsfeld. The Constitution does not provide for different levels of American ness, nor for approved or disapproved forms of "American behavior," including things that have come to be called "un-" or "anti- American" statements or attitudes. That is the invention of American Taliban who wants to regulate speech and behavior in ways that remind one eerily of the unregretted former rulers of Afghanistan. And even if Mr. Bush insists on the importance of religion in America, he is not authorized to enforce such views on the citizenry or to speak for everyone when he makes proclamations in China and elsewhere about God and America and himself. The Constitution expressly separates church and state.

There is worse. By passing the Patriot Act last November, Bush and his compliant Congress have suppressed or abrogated or abridged whole sections of the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments, instituted legal procedures that give individuals no recourse either to a proper defense or a fair trial, that allow secret searches, eavesdropping, detention without limit, and, given the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, that allow the US executive branch to abduct prisoners, detain them indefinitely, decide unilaterally whether or not they are prisoners of war and whether or not the Geneva Conventions apply to them -- which is not a decision to be taken by individual countries. Moreover, as Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) said in a magnificent speech given on 17 February, the president and his men were not authorized to declare war (Operation Enduring Freedom) against the world without limit or reason, were not authorized to increase military spending to over $400 billion per year, were not authorized to repeal the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, he added -- the first such statement by a prominent, publicly elected official -- "we did not ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan." I strongly recommend that Rep. Kucinich's speech, which was made with the best of American principles and values in mind, be published in full in Arabic so that people in our part of the world can understand that America is not a monolith for the use of George Bush and Dick Cheney, but in fact contains many voices and currents of opinion which this government is trying to silence or make irrelevant.

The problem for the world today is how to deal with the unparalleled and unprecedented power of the United States, which in effect has made no secret of the fact that it does not need coordination with or approval of others in the pursuit of what a small circle of men and women around Bush believe are its interests. So far as the Middle East is concerned, it does seem that since 11 September there has been almost an Israelisation of US policy: and in effect Ariel Sharon and his associates have cynically exploited the single-minded attention to "terrorism" by George Bush and have used that as a cover for their continued failed policy against the Palestinians. The point here is that Israel is not the US and, mercifully, the US is not Israel: thus, even though Israel commands Bush's support for the moment, Israel is a small country whose continued survival as an ethnocentric state in the midst of an Arab-Islamic sea depends not just on an expedient if not infinite dependence on the US, but rather on accommodation with its environment, not the other way round. That is why I think Sharon's policy has finally been revealed to a significant number of Israelis as suicidal, and why more and more Israelis are taking the reserve officers' position against serving the military occupation as a model for their approach and resistance. This is the best thing to have emerged from the Intifada. It proves that Palestinian courage and defiance in resisting occupation have finally brought fruit.

What has not changed, however, is the US position, which has been escalating towards a more and more metaphysical sphere, in which Bush and his people identify themselves (as in the very name of the military campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom) with righteousness, purity, the good, and manifest destiny, its external enemies with an equally absolute evil. Anyone reading the world press in the past few weeks can ascertain that people outside the US are both mystified by and aghast at the vagueness of US policy, which claims for itself the right to imagine and create enemies on a world scale, then prosecute wars on them without much regard for accuracy of definition, specificity of aim, concreteness of goal, or, worst of all, the legality of such actions. What does it mean to defeat "evil terrorism" in a world like ours? It cannot mean eradicating everyone who opposes the US, an infinite and strangely pointless task; nor can it mean changing the world map to suit the US, substituting people we think are "good guys" for evil creatures like Saddam Hussein. The radical simplicity of all this is attractive to Washington bureaucrats whose domain is either purely theoretical or who, because they sit behind desks in the Pentagon, tend to see the world as a distant target for the US's very real and virtually unopposed power. For if you live 10,000 miles away from any known evil state and you have at your disposal acres of warplanes, 19 aircraft carriers, and dozens of submarines, plus a million and a half ,people under, arms, all o,f them willi,ng to serve ,their country, idealistically in the pursuit of what Bush and Condoleezza Rice keep referring to as evil, the chances are that you will be willing to use all that power sometime, somewhere, especially if the administration keeps asking for (and getting) billions of dollars to be added to the already swollen defense budget.

From my point of view, the most shocking thing of all is that with few exceptions most prominent intellectuals and commentators in this country have tolerated the Bush programme, tolerated and in some flagrant cases, tried to go beyond it, toward more self- righteous sophistry, more uncritical self-flattery, more specious argument. What they will not accept is that the world we live in, the historical world of nations and peoples, is moved and can be understood by politics, not by huge general absolutes like good and evil, with America always on the side of good, its enemies on the side of evil. When Thomas Friedman tiresomely sermonizes to Arabs that they have to be more self-critical, missing in anything he says is the slightest tone of self- criticism. Somehow, he thinks, the atrocities of 11 September entitle him to preach at others, as if only the US had suffered such terrible losses, and as if lives lost elsewhere in the world were not worth lamenting quite as much or drawing as large moral conclusions from.

One notices the same discrepancies and blindness when Israeli intellectuals concentrate on their own tragedies and leave out of the equation the much greater suffering of a dispossessed people without a state, or an army, or an air force, or a proper leadership, that is, Palestinians whose suffering at the hands of Israel continues minute by minute, hour by hour. This sort of moral blindness, this inability to evaluate and weigh the comparative evidence of sinner and sinned against (to use a moralistic language that I normally avoid and detest) is very much the order of the day, and it must be the critical intellectual's job not to fall into -- indeed, actively to campaign against falling into -- the trap. It is not enough to say blandly that all human suffering is equal, then to go on basically bewailing one's own miseries: it is far more important to see what the strongest party does, and to question rather than justify that. The intellectual's is a voice in opposition to and critical of great power, which is consistently in need of a restraining and clarifying conscience and a comparative perspective, so that the victim will not, as is often the case, be blamed and real power encouraged to do its will.

A week ago I was stunned when a European friend asked me what I thought of a declaration by 60 American intellectuals that was published in all the major French, German, Italian and other continental papers but which did not appear in the US at all, except on the Internet where few people took notice of it. This declaration took the form of a pompous sermon about the American war against evil and terrorism being "just" and in keeping with American values, as defined by these self-appointed interpreters of our country. Paid for and sponsored by something called the Institute for American Values, whose main (and financially well- endowed) aim is to propagate ideas in favor of families, "fathering" and "mothering," and God, the declaration was signed by Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama, Daniel Patrick Moynihan among many others, but basically written by a conservative feminist academic, Jean Bethke Elshtain. Its main arguments about a "just" war were inspired by Professor Michael Walzer, a supposed socialist who is allied with the pro-Israel lobby in this country, and whose role is to justify everything Israel does by recourse to vaguely leftist principles. In signing this declaration, Walzer has given up all pretension to leftism and, like Sharon, allies himself with an interpretation (and a questionable one at that) of A,merica as a r,ighteous warr,ior against t,error and evi,l, the more to, make it appear that Israel and the US are similar countries with similar aims.

Nothing could be further from the truth, since Israel is not the state of its citizens but of all the Jewish people, while the US is most assuredly only the state of its citizens. Moreover, Walzer never has the courage to state boldly that in supporting Israel he is supporting a state structured by ethno-religious principles, which (with typical hypocrisy) he would oppose in the United States if this country were declared to be white and Christian.

Walzer's inconsistencies and hypocrisies aside, the document is really addressed to "our Muslim brethren" who are supposed to understand that America's war is not against Islam but against those who oppose all sorts of principles, which it would be hard to disagree with. Who could oppose the principle that all human beings are equal, that killing in the name of God is a bad thing, that freedom of conscience is excellent, and that "the basic subject of society is the human person, and the legitimate role of government is to protect and help to foster the conditions for human flourishing"? In what follows, however, America turns out to be the aggrieved party and, even though some of its mistakes in policy are acknowledged very briefly (and without mentioning anything specific in detail), it is depicted as hewing to principles unique to the United States, such as that all people possess inherent moral dignity and status, that universal moral truths exist and are available to everyone, or that civility is important where there is disagreement, and that freedom of conscience and religion are a reflection of basic human dignity and are universally recognized. Fine. For although the authors of this sermon say it is often the case that such great principles are contravened, no sustained attempt is made to say where and when those contraventions actually occur (as they do all the time), or whether they have been more contravened than followed, or anything as concrete as that. Yet in a long footnote, Walzer and his colleagues set forth a list of how many American "murders" have occurred at Muslim and Arab hands, including those of the Marines in Beirut in 1983, as well as other military combatants. Somehow making a list of that kind is worth making for these militant defenders of America, whereas the murder of Arabs and Muslims -- including the hundreds of thousands killed with American weapons by Israel with US support, or the hundreds of thousands killed by US- maintained sanctions against the innocent civilian population of Iraq -- need be neither mentioned nor tabulated. What sort of dignity is there in humiliating Palestinians by Israel, with American complicity and even cooperation, and where is the nobility and moral conscience of saying nothing as Palestinian children are killed, millions besieged, and millions more kept as stateless refugees? Or for that matter, the millions killed in Vietnam, Columbia, Turkey, and Indonesia with American support and acquiescence?

All in all, this declaration of principles and complaint addressed by American intellectuals to their Muslim brethren seems like neither a statement of real conscience nor of true intellectual criticism against the arrogant use of power, but rather is the opening salvo in a new cold war declared by the US in full ironic cooperation, it would seem, with those Islamists who have argued that "our" war is with the West and with America. Speaking as someone with a claim on America and the Arabs, I find this sort of hijacking rhetoric profoundly objectionable. While it pretends to the elucidation of principles and the declaration of values, it is in fact exactly the opposite, an exercise in not knowing, in blinding readers with a patriotic rhetoric that encourages ignorance as it overrides real politics, real history, and real moral issues. Despite its vulga,r trafficking ,in great "prin,ciples and val,ues," it does ,none of that, e,xcept to wave them around in a bullying way designed to cow foreign readers into submission. I have a feeling that this document wasn't published here for two reasons: one is that it would be so severely criticized by American readers that it would be laughed out of court and two, that it was designed as part of a recently announced, extremely well-funded Pentagon scheme to put out propaganda as part of the war effort, and therefore intended for foreign consumption.

Whatever the case, the publication of "What are American Values?" augurs a new and degraded era in the production of intellectual discourse. For when the intellectuals of the most powerful country in the history of the world align themselves so flagrantly with that power, pressing that power's case instead of urging restraint, reflection, genuine communication and understanding, we are back to the bad old days of the intellectual war against communism, which we now know brought far too many compromises, collaborations and fabrications on the part of intellectuals and artists who should have played an altogether different role. Subsidized and underwritten by the government (the CIA especially, which went as far as providing for the subvention of magazines like Encounter, underwrote scholarly research, travel and concerts as well as artistic exhibitions), those militantly unreflective and uncritical intellectuals and artists in the 1950s and 1960s brought to the whole notion of intellectual honesty and complicity a new and disastrous dimension. For along with that effort went also the domestic campaign to stifle debate, intimidate critics, and restrict thought. For many Americans, like myself, this is a shameful episode in our history, and we must be on our guard against and resist its return.

First published in March 2002 by Al Ahram Weekly


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: United States Of America
Views: 2223

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Older Comments:
JASSME FROM USA said:
Mr Bush
Has really put America on front end today
it's very bad.that he need to have a Fight on order for him to say iam big and bad and iam not
the one to just sit down iam going to fight when
i have the power to over rule anything are any people iam going to do what i want never mind
what the whole of the people say i don't care iam
the boss because i call the shots in USA the big
and the Great me never mind what Army family i mess over are they lose there life. so what i have
somewhere i can go to protect myself thank you American for putting me in office i love you and i can broke the law and make it sound good remember you did put me in office iam the winner
thank you American.were's the justice please tell
me God is good.
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K.J.YEH FROM US said:
Excellent, thoughtfull article,
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K.LIVINGSTON FROM USA said:
As a white, Anglo Saxon,female who was adopted by a Syrian when he married my mother, again I am embarrassed, even ashamed by the ignorance of the leaders of this country. The Native Americans, the Japanese Americans, the Arab Americans have all received the utmost of cruel treatment from our government which is supposed to uphold the Constitution which was formed to protect the many "foreigners" who come here to start new lives.
It is so frustrating. And how do I raise my children here? Don't let them watch or read the media. I'm tired of ignorance all around me. Not that I am the utmost of intelligent, but it doesn't take much to be culturally aware.
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SHAFICA FROM USA said:
Assalamu Alaikum-
Innocent charities and it's employees have been unjustly taken to jail and held without charges. The good work they did has been written about as if they helped no one. In the meantime, there families have been tramatised and the honest life they once lead is slandered. Pictures of them even havebeen distorted to make them look evil. Our communities should be crying out loudly in protest. This action has hurt not only those working for the charities but all those who were being helped by them. Orphans, widows, the homeless, the ill ect... all these people are suffering also because major chairties were declared wrongly of being connected to terrorism and money for them has stopped. Several chairities immediately offered help to the victims of 9-11, but this somehow meant nothing. Why are so many in our communities sitting back and hoping if they don't say or do anything these injustices will go away!!

Wassalamu Alaikum
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LOUBNA NASSER FROM U.S. said:
IT MAY BE LATE TO RESPOND FOR THIS ISSUE. THERE IS A REASON WHY IT TOOK ME TOO LONG TO REPLY. THE REASON SUPPORT EVERY SINGLE WORD THAT YOU HAVE MENTIONED ABOUT THE RAGE THAT U.S. IS RAISING EVERYWHERE AGAINST MUSLIMS,AND ESPECIALLY ARAB. MY PERSONAL EMAIL SERVICE WAS INTERRUPTED WHEN I RECIEVED YOUR EMAIL. I TRIED TO CHECK MY EMAIL AT THE LIBRARY AND THERE WAS A BLOCK FOR ACCESSING THE EMAIL SENT BY ISLAMICITY SPECIFICALLY.
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YUSEF SALAAM FROM US said:
i'm not surprised that even though mr. said is a scholar, he made the error of saying that the american indians are the only folks in america who are not immigrants. the african in america certainly did not come over on the mayflower. we wer forced over here on slaveships. "immigrants,"
signify that the person came over on his/her own free will like mr. said did when he decided to leave his native land and come to the us. Mr. said's comment reminds me a a sheik i knew who taught at the isalmic center in nyc. he was a ph.d grad of al-ahzar. he wrote a book abt islam in countries africa, and he didn't include his own country, egypt, on the map because in his mind egypt is arabia, not africa. when it was brought to his attention, he was embarrassed, and he that error in the edition of the bk. what does mr. said's comments say abt his connection to the Black movement in america -the history of slavery, the struggle for rights, the current struggle for reparations, which he pushes so hard for for the palestinians.
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SAGIR HAMMAD FROM IRELAND said:
this is a propagnada to sell america and to continue its inhuman atrocities in the world including palesteine. we must put a stop to this war of injustice and tyranny in the world. we will invoke almighty allah to destroy and scheme out america if they did not stop.
may allah assist the muslim and islam all over the world ameen.
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NORAZIZAH SALLEH FROM MALAYS said:
Thanks for the information. I believe its the American public themselves that can change America into a truely just society model for the world.They should be given the news like this and others all the time to make them more aware and knowledgable and hence be humanistic and can emphatise the suffering of others in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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JUHA FROM USA said:
Phil,every one points at you becouse Americ,s intire history has been shameful.Think about this and you will get the answer!
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ALEX E.LKIN FROM USA said:
Edward Said a foremost Arab thinker _If he is the best they have then they do have a problem . He at one time claimed to have been born in Jerusalem . it was proven he was born in Cairo someone caught him thinking .This proves to me he has no right as he claims to Jerusalem .
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FRANK said:
I would like to thank Rodney Schilling for his comment. I can respect muslims which love this country - and I have a desire to live with them peaceably and in equality.
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PASCAL NGWA FROM CAMEROON said:
When I look round and see people say Americans are bad, I feel very depressed for there are good people in America although the majority of them are the bad ones and the greatest terrorists in the world today. I feel sorry and compassionate for all those who are in America for most certainly the wrath of God will soon decend on that land and the faithfull may be in the same pot of soup.
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YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
I thank Allah for patriots. I thank Allah for Dr. Edward Said and for all other Palestinian patriots who would make their VOICES heard in this country. On the same note, I thank Allah for all the Zionists who would endeavor to shed at least some light upon their true motivations as well. Without the representation of both of these classes of patriots, America would become the servant of one of their peoples, the enemy of the other and an agent for those on all sides who would act as servants of evil - oh, and no, I do not secretly hope for any side to cease to exist.

By the way, just like Brother Rodney, I also am a Muslim and an American. I happen to agree with Brother Rodney completely, in regard to his previously posted comments for Dr. Said's well-expressed observations (and opinions). Jazak Allah, Brother Rodney, for your military service to my country.

I am also grateful to Allah that some armed services personnel have discovered Islam - evidently, during or after an assignment to the Holy Land. I would like to express, however, a sense of disappointment that such members of our ummah, after having had (an admittedly coveted) opportunity to see the Holy Land for themselves, appear to be so few in number. Perhaps when members of our Muslim Ummah are no longer expected to refrain from expressing pro-American sentiments, more such Muslims shall emerge, Insha'Allah.

If it's any consolation to my dear and cherished African, Arab and Asian sisters and brothers, I would like to share a small confession with any Muslims who might feel uncomfortable on sidewalks, at airports, at the marketplaces, etc. I feel much the same way, myself, while at Masjid - shortly after prayers have been completed. Tawak-Kalto Al-Allah (I place my trust in Allah).

Allah alone is worthy of praise.

Assalamo Alaikum.
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ZUBEDA MUSSA FROM TANZANIA said:
Thank you Mr Edward for tour article, it is true for all you have said. God bless you.
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RODNEY SCHILLING FROM AMERICA said:
I am a Muslim. I am an American. I have traveled to many different countries and some of them were Muslim nations. Any way you slice it. America is still the best country in the world. Her politics may be messed up, but whose isn't?
The terrorist attacks on Sep 11 were a horrible assault on this great nation. Those responsible should be hunted down and judged. Lest you forget. About a decade ago America came to the aid and liberated a muslim nation which was invaded by another muslim nation. Remember? I lost 3 friends in Desert Storm. I have trained and fought in the military so that you can make your opinion known; right or wrong. I love America. And without America the world would be worse off because we have some how some way helped or financed every country in the world. But I regress. DO NOT!! Tell me that I should look down on America or that I should side on issues because I am a muslim. Or what the government or media is saying. I could go on, but I won't. America is a great nation created by God. Thank-You
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JANET BRADEN FROM U.S.A. said:
That is an excellent, excellent, article, especially the part about all, but native Americans, are immigrants. Also the analogy phrase 'American Taliban' is very good. I applaud the author(s) of this piece of intelligent, truthful and enlightening journalism. I wish that these articles were printed in a national independent daily newspaper. Thank you.
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TYLER JOHNSON FROM USA said:
Here we go again!! There are fools like "Phil, Chris" and other nationalistic "Americans" who in their blind nationalistic America first ideaologies can't even see the hypocracies and contradiction of their beliefs. This is the fundamental problem that society has always faces. Prof. Said as an intellectual cannot be understood by the greater public at large. Because some of the things he says which is the absolute truth offends you goofballs!
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PHIL FROM CANADA said:
It's amazing how when you're at the top everyone points at you and thinks that you are so bad that's why you are there. Yet I have not hear these same voices how are speaking against America ever speaking against the Taliban or any other wrong Arab government or party. Nobody says anything when the U.S. sells F-18's to the Saudi's but they say something when they sell it to non-Arab countries. They say how the bombs are falling but not how every other nation in the world combined does not equal the aid that the U.S. gives. I feel for you when every other statement that comes out of America's collective mouth doesn't placate to your small ego's, trust me I understand, I'm Canadian we've been ignored since the beginning of time and we live right next door. Just remember it is not there jobs to look after you, they do it because you can't look after yourselves.
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4ANCESTORS FROM USA said:
Mr. Said, your article was well written; I enjoyed reading it. You made a lot of truthful, thought-provoking points well worth mentioning. However, as a fellow American and a Black Muslim, you don't seem to know all of American history. Blacks were not immigrants to this country, looking for a better life. The genocide of American Indians and theft of their land was major; certainly not something to be mentioned in passing and quickly move on to the next point. I wonder why it took America's "war on terrorism", which is really a persecution of Muslims and Islam (and anybody who looks like "one of them"), to wake you up to the contradictions of this society. You call this persecution of Muslims and Arabs a "shameful period" of our history. America's entire history has been shameful. This is the character of its history. How can a well educated man as yourself miss this important point? The U.S. has always needed a "bad group" of people to persecute and demonize, during various periods of its history, for whatever political & economic motives of the time. Nothing has changed---only the players and target group. Liberty, justice, democracy for all----the American dream. Dreams aren't real. You can chase after patriotism, as long as reality doesn't wake you up.
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AZIZA FROM USA said:
Excellent article. How can I forward it to my friends? Please let me know??
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IMRAN ALAM FROM USA said:
Why did Islamicity post the comment by Thomas Jafferson,(2002-07-29 5:35:06 PM USA)who used the "bullshit" in his comment?

One day I used the word "NUT" for Esther in my comment to her, but Islamicity did post my comment after deleating it. WHY?

One day I asked Islamcity to give me Esther email but you totally ignored it. If it is Islamicity policy not to give email, then you could write me back about this policy.

I was thinking to become Islamcity member, but now I changed my mind.


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FRANK FROM USA said:
If you don't like this Country PLEASE LEAVE!!!!
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CHRIS FROM USA said:
The errors of Prof. Said are too numerous for me to deal with in 2000 characters.

I know many American Moslems---none Arab, though. Not one of them would agree with Professor Said's assessment of the U.S. or its policies. They think that Arab and Persian Moslems are "crazy people." The distortions evinced in Professor Said's views have a clear scientific explanation, and though you "crazy" Moslems seem to be opposed to science---except as a means of mass murder---I will try to share it with you.

Psychological experiments have verified that people tend to cling to their first impressions, ignoring evidence that would confute their beliefs and remembering only that which would tend to confirm them. This phenomenon is referred to as "Primacy Effect." False convictions are then reinforced by slick arguments pasted together after inconvenient, non-conforming facts have been discarded. When you challenge sufferers of Primacy Effect with better, fact-based arguments, and they get a feeling of unease---a form of "cognitive dissonance"---which will usually cause them to lash out at you. They prefer the comfort of their blissful ignorance to the uneasy sensation of confronting their own mortal fallibility. Professor Said's facility with language only makes him more adept at self-deception, however well intentioned he may be. He should stick with language and not pretend to be an expert on history, current events, or the disposition of all American Moslems.

Here in the U.S., our freedom of speech daily forces us to confront new facts and arguments. Our histories consider all the facts, unlike those taught you by your government or church controlled schools. Our perspectives are broader, and we see ourselves as virtuous.

Jesus learned from Socrates that the way to Truth was doubt. He thus included Thomas among his disciples. Try it.

The moral virtues of Christianity are now a part of me, but I have put aside the childish supernatural trappings of religious b
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SERAFS FROM THE NETHERLANDS said:
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
18. The U. N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference? START NOW!!
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I AM AN AMERICAN FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
Yes, it is obvious that you hate america, americans, everthing that we stand for and everything we create.

False. you use all of our products. You use everything we create. American products are your biggest imports and YOU KNOW IT. You are the biggest hippocrits in the world if you think that you can attack us like you do verbally and physically. And it is obvious that you do. The question is why do you hate us so when you use our products so much. Is it that we help you and your countries so much. Is it because America tries to help Armenia, a muslim nation (as if i have to tell you) when being attacked by a fellow muslim nation. should we not help any of YOU? or should we? You tell us. BEFORE YOU ATTACK US AGAIN!!!! YOU THINK YOU ARE SO SMART. don't you. Americans think you are smart as well. But what Americans don't know is that you are as ignorant as pathetically simple as the Romans were, back in the medeival period. Attack and defend (for g-d), that was their motto. What's yours??
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I AM AN AMERICAN FROM UNITED STATES said:
If it was your country then you would feel defensive as well. I can understand how you feel offended. Don't you think i feel offended by 09.11.01. If you were a true american you would lead american muslims into denouncing muslims that are anti-american. Besides its the anti-americans that ruin america for you. Americans were very accepting before Anti-American muslims bombed America. Its funny (sarcasm) I have not heard a single denouncement of a muslim by a muslim. If my ethnic background attacked and/or killed another ethnic or national background just for the sake of killing, I WOULD DENOUNCE MY ETHNIC BACKGROUND FOR MURDER. You should denounce your background for attacking and murder
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ABDUL MUHSIN AL-MUHAJIR FROM UNITED KINGDOM (UK) said:
This is an excellent article and Edward Said's academic reputation and uniquely balanced perspective is especially worthy of our attention, bearing in mind that this is a critical time for concepts of truth and justice, on an international scale. The tragic destabilisation of so many countries outside of europe and america means that the whole of humanity is in an extremely precarious and fragile state. As a palestinian christian educated in america, Mr. Said is a credit to the generous spirit of his native people, the palestinians, a credit to his religion, christianity, and a shining example of the American education system, all rolled into one! His words give hope to all honest, decent people, whereever they are. If there were more people like him, and more people in government prepared to listen to his words, we could see a way out of this current madness. Those who care about this world and the rich diversity of peoples that inhabit it, Unite! The enemy is ignorance, and those who seek to perpetuate it! May God have mercy on us all, and show us the way out of darkness and into light.
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SEKAR FROM INDONESIA said:
Dear IslamiCity,

There's more to lives of muslims around the world than (Middle East) contemporary politics. Now, you love highlighting a one-sided view of authors who claim no reference to Islamic doctrines. One fails to notice even a slightest error in Palestinian way of fighting. The other discusses (White European) racial profiling which is in contrary to non-racial Islam (Quran 49:13).

You overlook most muslims who strive every day for advancement in science, culture, art, medicine, sport, etc. This goes against your mission statement that is "to invite people to Islam with wisdom and beautiful preaching".

Put the heavy political content on the side bar or somewhere else.

In my opinion, it is better to teach muslims (your visitors) how to live by the true Islam rather than to critize American authority who will pay no heed. Why didn't you channel your criticism via your Senator?

I enjoyed your picks during Prophet Muhammad pbuh birth commemoration. It can be expanded to featuring other muslim public figures who have contributed a great deal for Islam. This is the best way to counter negative media coverage on Islam because the other version of Islam (of Al-Qaida) has gained popularity through their tireless efforts in producing video tapes and press releases with threatening messages.

I'll pray for your best. May allah bless you.

Salam.
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TAYAB DEENMAHOMED FROM CANADA said:
I agree that the supposed democratic U.S. is but a dictatorship of their president and his acolytes and the congress.All but a bunch of nincompoops , their brains in reversed positions with their lower parts.
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JESKAT FROM USA said:
excellent piece, very well written, and good facts. I am terrified of Bush's idealism, pride, and pushiness. I am a white 25 year old, non-religious, wary of all 3 (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)although that may be irrelevant, I know that the readers might want to know. To put this into some perspective or box. But Bush is redneck mad-man hiding behind a good ol' boy facade.
One point to disagree with is that 2 wrongs don't make a right. America made mistakes and handled their weapons irresponsibly, and Afghani's died because of it. But wasn't it the Taliban who didi the actual killing, and it was USA's irresponsibilty that led to the killing? The Sept. 11 attacks were intentionally done by these people, therefore they should have to pay. AMerica should be held responsible as the catalyst for murder, while Al Quaida should be held responsible for murder. Similarly, America should be held responsible for murder in Vietnam. And no Muslim or American or Muslim-American, Chrisitan-American, etc., should be held responsible for the acts of their government, obviously. Fortunately Bush is not explicitly punishing Muslim-Americans for Sept. 11, but we do need to keep a close eye on him. He may be forging an evil new path and is so stupid he doesn't even know it.
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A'WASIU FROM NIGERIA said:
all praises is due to ALmighty Allah my comment is that brs. &sisters in the us should not be discouraged about the various reactions instead they should intensify thier effort in Dawah
masalam
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JAMIL SCOTT FROM USA said:
To some extent I agree with this article. However, I disagree with two points made:

The inconveniences arabs suffer in the current situation, and the notion that the vagueness of current US policy is due to character flaws in the White House.

I travel frequently and my name causes me some inconvenience. However, 5,000 people weren't killed by Irish, Chinese, or Europeans. They were killed by arab men. It is ridiculous to think we shouldn't pay particular attention to a group that has demonstrated itself to be a specific risk. In the US, most murders are committed by men. When you investigate a murder, naturally you focus on men. You consider women, but that rarely bears fruit.

In my opinion, this vagueness is part of the hazards of mounting a terrorist campaign. Current laws of war address rules for combat between armies (state sponsored professional organizations). They are designed to minimize non-military casualties. In the US, you typically hear that we are at war with "The Government, not the peoploe". In a terrorist campaign this concept is turned upside down. If arab governments are actually cooperating to end terrorism, and terrorist organizations continue to function in those countries, we have an unprecedented situation. That is, a situation where the US government is actually at war with the people and not the government. The laws of war do not cover such a situation and do not apply. If you apply the laws of war to such a situation you effectively render governments and their people defenseless (which is not the intent of the laws of war). So, we are in a very vague situation where no rules exist. In that circumstance, it is understandable that policy will be vague, and subject to constant change.

I have other observations, but the 2,000 character limit isn't sufficient to cover them.

Thanks for your time.
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YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Deportation and relocation are but two of the more subtle methods employed by an authority for the annihilation of some portion of a society subject to that authority. It would seem fairly clear that those who would long for the annihilation of others are effectively willing to pray to the devil. It would also seem fairly clear that those who rejoice at the annihilation of others, without spending a moment to reflect on the meaning of such events, are to an extent demonstrating their willingness to praise the devil. I, myself, know just how hard it can be to accept assertions such as these - but here you have them, all the same. As for myself, I willingly seek to be in bondage to Allah - that it might be the good pleasure of Allah to grant me refuge from the accursed Satan - for Allah alone is worthy of praise. How about you, dear friends - what disposition would you elect for yourselves?
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SHAATIRAH FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
salaam brothers and sisters
i agree fully with the article about the "American way".I recently watched the "West Wing"_an American Show)and the it clearly portraid an Amercan perspective on Islam.As a muslim,I felt heartsore to listen to an interrogation of an Arab who worked at the White House.Although only a program I clearly understand why so much hate is felt towards the "land Of the free".
All it will take is for the muslim ummah to stand together and work as one and Insha-Allah we will overcome the oppressors of Islam.
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BROTHER MIKAIL FROM USA said:
For those who disagree with this article, I feel a deep sense of sorrow. It seems you are brainwashed by the media and go along (like sheep) with what the government wants you to think. By no means are "Islamic countries" Islamic, and by no means are they successful governments. But at least they don't go around terrorizing the world and bullying countless nations like america does. Threaten the Muslims as you will, however, we are all held accountable for our deeds on the day of judgement. Ameen.
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WARREN WEAVER FROM USA said:
TOUGH [] LUCK []. GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY AND CLEAN THEM UP. GET RID OF THE DICTATORS,AND MUDERERS, THEIR! QUITE CRYING HERE!
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SKYWALKER FROM INDONESIA said:
Omigosh.. manner James Kidder, manner pls ^_^...

Unfortunately Edward W Said is not a Muslim, he is one of the best US renowned scholars and a Palestinian Christian (Should the editor say it again?).

Here are some of his books that I hope could enlighten your mind (you can buy them from Amazon.com or just read the review):

1. Orientalism
2. The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After
3. Culture and Imperialism
4. The Politics of Disposession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination: 1969-1994
5. Covering Islam: How The Media and The Experts Determine How We See The Rest of the World


Co-author:
1. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism
2. Acts of Aggression: Policing Rogue States
3. Kim


PS: By the way... how about if the poor Indians who are mostly living in nowhere land say the same thing to you? Where would you return to? Oops now you're saying that four letter words again.

God bless you and me.
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IBRAHIM FERNANDEZ FROM VENEZUELA said:
Thomas jefferson raped dozens of slaves and sold all his coloured offspring into slavery. A great American role model!
Frankly, I wonder why you american Muslims continue to support and love america in the way that you do. Sure, it's the land of the free, land of opportunities, but the hate spurred by the biased jewish-american media has resulted in wide spread naivete and bigotry on the part of the american public. By reading many of the preceding comments, including one by a moron calling himslef Thomas Jefferson, you will see what I mean. We as Muslims have a superior faith and to let these idiots humiliate you as they are presently doing is nothing short of enfuriating. They are narrow minded ... who will not accept you no matter how hard you try to integrate yourselves into the american society.
InshaAllah, our day will come...
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JAMES KIDDER FROM U.S. said:
You damn Muslims. Get the [ ] out if you don't like it. You're here because this is the best damn country in the world. I hope Bush and Cheney keep kicking your [ ] along with our military. yeah, you would side with the Democrats; they don't really like our country either. No, dealing with the power of the U.S. is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is that the devil himself has you convinced that Islam is true. Oh poor, poor soul of yours.
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KHAIR BEGUM FROM USA said:
very true
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FURHAN FROM USA said:
As a Muslim I am saddened by the negative and constant criticisms of America.

Does not our religion teach us to show our goodness and compassion? I can think of many good deeds that America has done. What good has any so called Muslim country done in recent history?

To live in this country and then put it down does not make sense to me. I wonder what would have happened to Mr Said if he had written his article against the Saudi Monarchy while living in Saudia Arabia.
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NANCY FROM EGYPT said:
Dear Sir,
I think this is a great artical.Thank you
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THOMAS JEFFERSON FROM UNITED STATES said:
If you arabs and muslims do not like it in the United States, why not leave? Most americans would applaud your departure. Americans seldom travel to the middle east and criticize the backwards civilizations that exist there. We don't go burning arab, palastinian, flags here while chanting death to arabs and burning your leaders in effigy. Burning your holy books and acting like animals. Most people in the United States realize that a lot of people in the middle east are just plain crazy...and violent. We don't need scum like that in this country. Blame it all on a war on Islam. We don't care what [] you believe in, we just don't want you ranting about how we don't bend over backwards to appease you. I'm sick of hearing arabs whine about the United States. Why don't you try and weed out the corrupt pigs that run your countries? They'll cut your heads off that's why. So come over here to whine; beautiful. You folks will taste fire. Soon. You can count on it.
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S. KASHIF HAQUE FROM USA said:

Excellent article. However, perhaps mr. said should acquaint himself with the self-proclaimed "scholars" of Islam who see it as their divine duty to defend and promote U.S. interests at all costs, even if it means sanctioning the murder, cruelty, and torture that is everyday U.S. policy. After all the interests of the slave master seem to outweigh the interests of the other slaves.

skh
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VIQAR ABBASI FROM CANADA said:
Excellent article! Should be mandatory reading for those who want everyone to "shut up and be support your country"... thank you for not listening to them. Keep up the quest for truth and justice - those are the principles we should all be aiming for, especially those holding political office.
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DAVE W. BEASLEY FROM U.S.A. said:
As Salaamu Alaykum

My Dear Brothers/Sisters, you are just begining, I
repeat just begining, to understand what it means
to be Black in America. And you and the rest of
the Arab, Middle Eastern U.S. Muslums are outraged
as well you should be. U.S. Black Americans have
been outraged for close to 400 years in the U.S.
May Allah Bless us all.

Wassalaam

Dave W. Be
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STEPHAN FROM USA said:
Why should America tolerate a presence inside of
its borders that any Islamic nation would not? No Islamic State would tolerate a group of people openly trying to destroy it and nor should America. I don't see Islamic Americans 'Droping Dimes' and turning in the cancerous Islamic radicals to the authorities. The only way to get at these people is unfortunatly to shake the whole tree and see what falls out. When more Islamic Americans start joining the law enforcement and FBI to become involved in infiltrating and destroying these criminal organizations will it be possible for the government to stop 'shaking trees' and concentrate solely on the bad people.

Most people here think I'm an American first and then my faith come. You think that you are an American, then defend it and dont be offended if you are questions in the search for the bad actors. I've been stopped by the police simple because I resembled by race someone who commited a
crime in the area I was in. I didnt take offence to being asked questions. Islamic Americans shouldnt take offence either.

As for Iraq. America should let the middle east
take care of itself and withdraw all aid from any country there. If they want to kill eachother, why should America care? It seems what ever we do there ends as a wasted effort so lets just cut our losses
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VIOLA GARY FROM USA said:
As Salaamul Alaykum, Your articles are very interesting and thought provoking to say the least. I am not into politics. I am into striving (Jihad) to please my Lord (Allah, AWJ) in keeping to His Way and the Way of Rightly Guided Predesessors. That is a struggle everyday of which I make Du'ah to Allah to keep me on His Siratul Mustaqeen. There is much change taking place all over the world which Allah has created without any help from anyone of us past or present or future. He Allah does what He wants with His creation and since He is the All Knower and Seerer of all things in Heaven and Earth why should we dispair over these events that are now taking place. Sure I hurt when my brothers and sisters fee Ismaniyah are hurting, misplaced, etc, but I have to stay focused and sane so I make du'ah for them and me to have patience patience patience in these times of trial and tribuation and strife. For sure Allah Knows. May you continue to hold on tight to His Rope and bite down hard with both molars into the Sunnah of His last Prophet and Messenger, Muhammand, (SAAW) Ameen. May du'ah for Allah's Rahmah (Mercy) and Fa'laah (Success) in this life and in the next, Ameen.
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LARRY COLLINS FROM USA said:
Edward Said is one of the most respected members of the Muslim community in the US, but I think he is wrong about anti-Muslim feeling in America. As a Muslim (but, from the name, clearly not of Middle Eastern descent) and an American, my experience and that of my brothers in the umma, at least in this area of the Deep South, is that the American people have by and large accepted us and do not attach the actions of criminals to us. Moreover, the people here are not blind or stupid, and they do not accept the actions of the Tel Aviv regime on faith. Indeed, they see the Israelis for what they are, not what the media wishes them to be. Said's criticism, however, should be leveled at our central government, which represents a danger to not only Muslims, but to the liberty of all Americans. The Homeland Security Department is, to me, indistinguishable from the Geheime Staatspolizei. Muslims are the present target, but all Americans have reason to fear them.
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NOUROUDEEN ASSAF FROM CANADA said:
I truly believe that there are no fair rulers these days so that even in the middle east where most muslims and arabs migrate from there are no fair rulers who have patience and humility and try with all their hearts to follow the quran and the sunnah of the prophet peace be upon him.

So no matter how you flip it muslims are being oppressed even in their own homeland because in most muslim countries the Shariah is NOT being put in place.

May allah teach me what i know not? Ameen
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SALIU MUSA FROM NIGERIA said:
It `s a pleasure that I have the opportunity to scann through this article and my comment shortly is that the American authority should sit back sensely and promulgate laws that duely represent her citizens and that will give rest of mind to the whole world .There emergence as the world super power should not be taken as the real super power because Allah is the real super.All in one, they should let people in the other part of the world think good about America.
They should find a better way of getting the terrorist rather than dislocating the innocent people of the Arabs, we have not hear in a day America fighting terrorism in any other country except the Arab country, is it to say that there are no terrorist in some other countries?They should allow the over 80% of the Muslim refugees get a home to live.For the sake of global peace ,America should consider the implication of all this war threat.
Thanks.
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NATHANIEL FULTZ FROM USA said:
Rest assured that we are brothers of one God. I pray that God will give you the endurance to stand this test of faith. Keep to you religous training and be a beacon to all to observe that you are a man who follows God. Time does heal all wounds and I await the time and opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with men of faith. May we all proclaim that peace, and justice is our goal. A layman of Methodism
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DIANN FROM USA said:
I think you are expressing your own thoughts and feelings and making it look like all american muslims think this way and it is not true. I am american and marrying a muslim man who is coming here to live with me. Also if you support Iraq you support terrorism, you support dictatorship and a man who intends to hurt many inocent people including his own as demonstrated in the past. I agree that innocent people in aghganistan should not have to suffer and it is not americans intent to do so but war is war and always someone will suffer that is life, they are victoms becuase the coward terrrists hide amoungst them knowing the inocent will be killed and knowing it will make us look bad. So please do not make your own personl opinion look like the opinion of all muslims or that all americans hate them because it is not true. I love muslims and I am marrying one great wonderful muslim man.
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FAIROZ FROM INDIA said:
This country has been assigned with the a licence to kill innocent peoples in the name of justic,create war like situation to retain as super power,spread US terror all over the world by creating new policies to rule the world,moreover this nation is living in a fear that when they lose the super power.
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NABEEL FROM INDIA said:
also u can see another article

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=313235

titled A strange kind of freedom
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OBULKASIM FROM CHINA said:
persistant
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PAUL J THOMAS FROM USA said:
Exellent! There are many, and hopefully a growing number, of voices that are trying to peel back the rhetoric and find the truth in these most troubling events. It is shameful to see such animosity and bigotry towards arab and islamic americans. Unfortunately, history has shown that prejudice has too often reared its ugliness in the land of "freedom". May God grant us wisdom, and have mercy for the spiritual ignorance so often displayed in the U.S.
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TARIQ FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
aslam-o-alekum

brothers who reside in america and think of thgem-selves as american citizen r mislead to the notion of freedom. we as muslims have a duty to allah first and formost,no other can judge us but allah. yet we let the zionist jews kill our brothers in palistine, somalia, sudan, iraq, etc.

i would call upon all muslims to unite and to bring back our own islamic economic system for all muslim nations. i know that september 11th was not the work of muslim terrorists, (al Quida)
but the work of the Cia and other organisations within USA.
when u look at the media corporations,financial institutions of the world u will find, jewish sovrenty. they own the lot. we muslims r merely porns within the equasion.
they control the IMF, the white house etc. i just pray that the muslims can unite and show the world our way of life. I hold USA resposible for war crimes against humanity. they want to kill every muslim in the world, and they wont stop at iraq, eventually they will attack saudi arebia. i can only pray that by that time we the muslims unite and stop the attrosities which the muslims face day to day.
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ABDUL AZEEZ ADAM FROM IVORY-COAST said:
Dear sir,I'm very discourage to hear united state peoples against arabs and muslims,me my self am praying the almigthy God to help islam for life,Ameen
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CQUATTRO FROM USA said:
I am shocked to hear that those named would sign this article...I must read it before I can judge... but please dear God don't let it be happening. Please do not take my country away from me. These people mentioned are my heros and I have eaten their prose and thesis for breakfast , lunch and dinner for the last decade or so. I am only 30 and I do not know if I am prepared to stand upon this hill and die for this cause....but I will have no choice but to commit professional suicide and write and speak out against the very social science intellectuals I have aspired to be like.... My friends and I were not permitted to come back through the US border from Canada without being detained while our identification was "verified" we were treated with disdain and chastised for asking questions about how long it would take (after hours went by) our friends are from Oman. The INS officials were confusing Oman with Yemen. They acted like they had never heard of the country. It was bizarre sitting in the INS office with the pictures of Ashcroft and "W" prominenetly displayed with a large framed poster of the trade centers being hit and the pentagon superimposed in front of it. The next night, I had a nightmare that this event would come back to haunt me later....that there would now be a "file" made for me now and that it might hurt my chances in my upcoming state department interview. The very thought I had in the car driving home after the incident was...it is like Mcarthyism. Dear GOD I never thought I would live to see history repeat itself so fast. I am afraid, I am very afraid.... CQ from CMU in USA
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NIRAV CHOKSHI FROM INDIA said:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters ,

I am not advocating America but the world knows the way muslim community is going , and whatsoever is been done with muslims there is just the outcome of the way you are going.

OSAMA BIN LADEN SHOULD FOLLOW ISLAM , BUT NOW A DAYS IT SEEMS THAT WHAT OSAMA IS DOING IS BEING CONSIDERED AS ISLAM.

PLEASE , DO GO THRU QURAAN E PAAK AND THEN THINK FIRST ARE YOU A MUSLIM IN REAL SENSE.

HINDU'S GITA SAYS NOBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU ARE GETTING IN LIFE EXCEPT YOU ! SO WHAT MUSLIMS ARE GETTING IS DUE TO THEMSELVES ONLY.

AND IF THEY REALLY BELIEVE AMERICA IS NOT IN THEIR FAVOUR THEN SIMPLY LEAVE AMERICA AND GO TO ARAB COUNTRIES. WHY THEY ARE STILL THERE ?

PAAKISTAN IS ALSO DOING THE SAME WHY YOU ARE NOT COMMENTING OVER IT.

WITH CARE ,
YOUR BROTHER
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JOHN DOE FROM USA said:
I use such a unspecific e-mail because I know what muslims do to those that oppose them.I have a freind who has a cross burnt in his back because he help christian excape the persection of muslims in sudan and he was a muslim himself. Bush and other goverment leaders have been gracious to the mulsim by say that they are not all bad. Islam teaches muslims to abuse those who are not. Therefore they can not be trusted as a group. what they say to your face and what they say behind your back are completely different.
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STEPHEN J BOOS FROM UNITED STATES said:
I do somewhat agree with what you have said here. I would have to disagree with you on a few point. I have many friends that follow the Islamic religon. I myself have been thinking of also converting. I do not feel that all muslims here feel the way you have said. All of my friends are happy to be hear and do not fear discrimination becouse of their religouse belifes. I do agree that in some cases some have been singled out at airports and such. But i think this is more from a fear that has grown after the september 11th attacks than any thing else. And I do not belive that the American people asked for this to happen. I dop belive most people belive that those attacks had nothing to do with religon but it more caused by a goverment system that has helped make the problem happen over the course of the years. I do belive the American forgin policys that were made many years ago were what went wrong in peoples thinking about the U.S.. Tell me what are we suppose to do about a longstanding pproblem like this. I belive the American people would much rather see our goverment working to correct this problem a little more vigorasly then they seem to be doing.. but we only elect the ones that are in power..we do not run the show. I wish more people would see and understand that we have no more controll over what our goverment does than any one else in any other country..sure we can voice our opinions but do they listen? i think not.
Now about what you have said regarding religon and state.. Well i kind of like the fact that people can follow any religon they like without goverment interferance. Remember we all pray to one god so we must all be praying to the same one..true? And in the end it will be the induvidual that will meet allah not the religon.
We have a religouse tollerance here that is just accepted by all. I do think some people fear Islam now buy agian that fear grew out of the attacks not buy the religon itself. I wish i could continue but out of room here.
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ABUBAKAR UBALE DAUDA FROM NIGERIA said:
Allah the Almighty had promised that his religion will triumph, therefore the likes of Bush and his co-horts are virtually a non issue in Islam.All this I believe is only happening to muslims because we sometimes compromise our resolve.It is only a matter of eight years for President Bush to fall into irrelevance. Great haters of Islam who have done more than what Bush is presently doing had perished such as Paroah of Egypt. Bush will come to pass like the others before him and Islam will remain forever INSHA ALLAH>
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MELISSA FARSAKH FROM USA said:
ASALUM ALKUM
HELLO, I HAVE JUST FINISHED READING YOUR ARTICLE "THUGHTS ABOUT AMERICA", AND I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL. I AM AN AMERICN MARRIED TO A PALESTINIAN MAN, AND I DAILY SEE THE INJUSTICES DONE, BUT I THINK THAT FOR THE "MUSLIMS" TO SAY THAT AMERICANS ON A WHOLE ARE INJUSTLY CRUEL TO THEM IS UNFAIR. YOU COULD SAY AMERICANS GOVERMENT, THE CONGRESS, OR YAHOUD ARE UNFAIR, BUT MOST AMERICANS ARE JUST IGNORANT. ALL THEY KNOW IS WHAT THEY ARE TOLD... AFTER SEPTEMBER 11,2001, THE WORLD CHANGED. IT WAS ANGRY AND CALLED FOR A CAUSE AND EFFECT CLAUSE TO BE PUT IN PLACE. AFTER SUFFICENT EVIDENCE WAS MADE AVAILABLE THAT BIN LADEN AND HIS MEN WERE RESPONSABLE FOR THE ATROSTIES COMMITTED THEN DUE PUNISHMENT MUST BE CARRIED OUT. I, NO MORE THEN ANYONE ELSE, WANTED TO SEE MORE INNOCENT LIFE LOST, BUT THAT IS THE CASUALTIES OF WAR, AND MUST BE LABELED AS SUCH. I DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THE 3000 PEOPLE THAT DIED ON SEPT. THE 11 DIE EITHER,BUT IT HAPPENED. NOW HERE WE ARE ALMOST A YEAR LATER, AND WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED???PERHAPS INSTEED OF INSTILLING MORE HATERED AND SADDNESS INTO THE HEARTS OF YOUR READERS YOU COULD ENCOURAGE THEM TO ENLIGHTEN "AMERICA" WITH THIER KIND WORDS, AND GENEL TEACHINGS. MOST AMERICANS THINK THAT ISLAM IS THE FURTHEST RELIGION FROM THEIR OWN, INSTEAD OF THE CLOSET. SOMETIMES WHAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER IS THAT YOU WILL GET MORE BEES WITH HONEY THEN YOU WILL WITH VINAGER. BEING THE BIGGER PERSON IS SOMETIMES THE HARDEST THING TO DO, BUT IN DELICATE SITUATIONS SUCH AS THESE IT IS ALSO THE MOST IMPORTANT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. MASALEMA.
SINCERELY,
MELISSA FARSAKH
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YOUSEF (YO-YO) TURSHANI FROM UNITED STATES (PARENTS: LIBYAN) said:
It pleases me to see these topics discussed, and always motivates me to become pro-active.

We should not let the voice of this Representative die- or let him beleive for a second that his speech fell upon deaf ears. Please contact him and personally thank him for the words he expressed. Let him know that his speech alone re-instilled your faith in the system and that the gov't is not the single mind of 'hate and war' that many perceive it to be.

Contact Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) @
http://www.house.gov/kucinich/
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YOOSUF R ABDALLAH_GHAFOOR FROM USA said:
asSalaamu Alaikum - May ALLAH continue to bless
you and your family!
Paper Chaser!! Welcome to the REAL America! As a
'son of Africa', born in America, attentive to the vagaries
of American politics and, by the Mercy of ALLAH,
recently (22yrs) reverted to Islaam, I find my dear
brother's rant/ plea for 'the America that could have
been' regretable. The 'Veil' has been removed from
those who want to see! Will we live for what could have
been or should we live to promote, define, and defend
Islaam as our Creator, and HIS beloved Prophet, has
shown us it can be - if HE/ They are our priority and not
just our beliefs!
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KHALID LATEEF FROM INDIA said:
This refers to Edward Said's article-one thing is certain that USA as a great economic power is on its way out-it just a matter of few decades when the curtain on the great American dream will finally fall.Nature has its own way of controlling and finally annihalating 'the mad elephant' gone berserk.It will be sad for the dreams and aspirations and the best intentions of the founding fathers of America and American constitution but then every good thing comes to an end.
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M.L.LOFTIN FROM AMERICA said:
Please do not assume all Americans feel hostile toward Arabs or anyone that is Muslim. It is not true. What really bothers me though, is that people from all over the world, come here to live and work, but constantly complain about the people here and the government. If the U.S. is so terrible, why did they come here to begin with? If we are so bad, why don't they go home? I do not agree with 99% of what our government does, but I can not think of a better place to live. If I ever find that place (other than heaven) I will move there. As for the racist views of Americans toward Muslims. It works both ways. My husband (yes, he is Muslim and from Pakistan) will not sit down to dinner with my Hindu friends. Yes, that is racist, but in America it is his right. I am finding most Muslims think all Christians are pagans and we are not worthy of their friendship. Before people start saying all these awful things about Americans and our policies, they need to open their eyes and take a good look in their own backyard. Also, they need to ask their self, Am I better off here or back home? If they are not better off here, there is a wonderful invention, it is called an airplane. I think the diversity in America, is her greatest strength. Has the American government asked anyone to choose here or their home land? I do not think so and I do not think that will ever be the case. I am sorry that our war on terrorism is targeted at mostly Muslim countries. Muslims are very loving and peaceful people. It is a shame a few has spoiled most people views. You know what, it could have very well been Hispanics, and then they would be posting articles just like the one I am responding to.
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TERRY MUHAMMAD TAHIR FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
I converted to Islam in 1953. I have only been meet in my new religion with moral encouragement. While in the military service in the 60s, I was awoken at 3:00 am and fix a special meal so I could fast. When I was station in Newfoundland I was given permission to go to New York at government expense. America has bent over backwards to see that I can adhere to the principals of Islam. When America was attacked by people claiming to be Muslims, the reaction of the Christian and Jewish people were must more Islamic than the reaction of most Muslims. Speaking about this phenomenon with other Muslims, we concluded that this was the real reason why so must anti-American feelings are expressed. Americans are must more Islamic than most Muslims and there are many Muslims that are jealous Americans are the true Muslims of the 21st century. And maybe this is the way that Allah has plan this. If we are to believe Rose Wilder Lane the idea of freedom, equality and justice were pick up by the English during the Crusades. It was the ideas of freedom, equality and justice that later gave birth to the USA. America is the child of true Islam. When Muslims re-discover Islam they will act must like the Americans of today. Terry Tahir
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LINDA WRIGHT FROM US said:
I have never felt so alone in my own country. I was in Jordan during 9/11. I returned to the States very upset over what I saw on the television. What I came back to I was not prepared for at all. My family have disowned me because I am muslim. I cannot find a job to support my family. I am afriad to shop, get my car fixed or even go to the dentist because of the behavior of the people here. I don't believe all Americans feel the way our government would like us to think. The media makes muslims look like animals. I can only wonder what the rest of the world thinks of Americans. Now I even wonder where I belong.... This is a sad time for the entire world. I can only trust that Allah will guide me in the right direction.
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ELSAYED KANDIL FROM AUSTRALIA said:
The point is what would or could a single voice like Rep Kucinich would affect in changing or amending the aggressive attitude of Bush & Co?
Could you encourage more to go along the same path of fairness and reason?
Jazakum Allah Khayran
Elsayed
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MOHAMMAD SHUAIB FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
Unfortunately we, muslims, did not do our duties and forgot Allah and did evil things in the name of religious that geoperdised the live of million muslims especialy in the west. For example while Osama and Bin Laden were committing crimes on poor Afghan Muslim nation, all muslim countries keept quite and interperating it as act of Jehad and dood deed. It was in fact Pakistan who created evil Taliban and Saudi Arabia and other so-called Muslim countries supporting it.
I think, finally Allah responded to those innoccent people and punished those evils. But thanks to Allah that those evils don't have any place to hide on the face of the earth.
Unfortunately millions of all muslims around the world suffer. It is still time we muslims should act according to Allah and prophit's orders.
Wassalaam.
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YUSUF FROM USA said:
Does being muslim prevent me from being patriotic?
Does the admonition of the Profit (pbuh)to fight to protect our land only apply if you live in a muslim country, or does it mean protect the country that you are a part of? I read a hadith regarding this, but I can't remember which one).
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AZEMOON FROM USA said:
I am still bittered about the fact that our Moslem leaders supportted George Bush during his run for office. We only got our (fill in the blank)leaders to blame for losing our rights in this country.
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PAULA FROM UNITED STATES said:
One of the many fantastic parts about living in America is that I can be proud to be an American. My advise to anyone who does not understand the Constitution, why it was written andto those who do not believe in this great land we call, The United States of America is to actually read the document. If you still do not like this wonderful country, nobody ever said you had to live here. You are free to choose where you live -- if it isn't here, go somewhere else.
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RASHID FROM USA said:
MashaAllah very well written and articulate piece or writing.
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COLLEEN M. KEYES FROM USA said:
This is one of the best articles I have seen on Islamicity. I think it is a model of what the position of American Muslims should be on the topics treated. I agree with you about the translation of Kucinich's speech and it should also , Bahasa Indonesia and other languages used widely by Muslims. Thank your for your well-presented thoughts and quality of critical analysis. Excellent and powerful. I will share this with many people.
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SISTER AAMINAH MUHAMMAD FROM USA said:
I am an African American Muslimah. I appreciate the sentiments of the article. However, I do want to make one clarification. My ancestors did not immigrate to this country. They were brought here by force and stripped of their original culture. This is the legacy of African American people. Many of whom did have Muslim ancestors in Africa. All Praise is due to Allah for reuniting many of us with our Islamic heritage and making us Muslims. The truth is that what is happening to the Muslim people in America is typical of what has previously occured to oppressed people in this society. It is unfortunate that although this is the "Land of the Free", freedom has many limitations. And these limitations are based on religion, race, sex, ethnicity, age, disibality, economic status, etc. It is important to understand this when we are fighting for our rights. History is repeating itself (Remember the Civil rights movement, Japanese Internment Camps, Jim Crow, Genocide of the Native Americans). We can when the war but first we have to understand what we are fighting against. Shaitan has many disciples. This is not a war on terrorism. It is a war on Islam. When we are willing to accept that we can fight in the way of Allah. And with his support we will obtain the true freedom that we deserve, Insha Allah.
Wa Salaam.
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