Friday, January 28, 2005
Only people who speak the language and are immersed in the culture can interpret events and thoughts. One might not agree with what they say, but at least one can get a good idea of their rationale.
He begins his article by being appalled by this: "A poll conducted last month found that more than 47 percent of Americans surveyed didn't object to formal surveillance and restrictions of the civil rights of Arab Americans." I got to tell you, I am appalled that the number is not higher than 47, and why El-Kikhia can't wrap even the smallest bit of comprehension around the reasons for this is beyond me. Should we round up all Arabs and arrest them, no; but neither should we ignore the fact that the terrorists on 9/11 were Arab as are most of the terrorists that would do us harm. They are almost all Muslims as long as we are talking about it and we should not ignore that fact either. But what I find most inexcusable is the absolute silence of "moderate" Muslims to the horrors being perpetrated in the name of their religion. Finally, El-Kikhia uses the article to take a swipe at fellow SAEN columnist Jonathan Gurwitz:
Case in point: a recent editorial in the San Antonio Express-News. The piece claims the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported Americans were harvesting organs from Iraqis. It went on to lambaste the Saudis. I obtained a copy of Al-Watan's article and found the Express-News editorial wanting.
Let's hope Mr. Gurwitz responds.
Update: In response to a complaint from one of my readers let me address the point of “moderate” Muslims and their silence about what a few fanatics perpetrate in their name. I don’t expect Dr. El-Kikhia to apologize for acts of terrorism. That’s absurd, but he is upset at what some Americans think about Islam and much of this stems from the fact that we hear about Muslims blowing themselves up to kill others or cutting off people’s heads, and then we hear silence from the so-called moderate majority of a so-called religion of peace. If he wants non-Muslims to understand Muslims better then maybe he can use a few columns to talk about Islam and maybe debunk the beliefs of people like al-Zarqawi, who find their inspiration in the Koran. Finally, as of this Sunday, 50 million Muslims will experience freedom because of America after 9/11. If he can’t see that we are the solution and not the problem in the Middle East then he will never be persuaded. You can’t have it both ways: America was bad for supporting Saddam because he was a bad guy, but now America is bad for going over at freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam. I guess the only option left is to do nothing, and we all have seen what eight years of that did.