If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Friday, September 22, 2006

On Speaking Out...

There are many calls for 'moderate' Muslims to speak out against terrorism. In fact, Letters to the Editor and Editorials in most of our popular newspapers often ask "why don't Muslims speak out and condemn terrorism and violence." Silence is often interpreted as a sign that Muslims the world over condone terrorism and is used by some to further support the stereotype of the ugly, violent Arab.

I came across this interesting piece in "They Dare to Speak Out" by Paul Findley...

"...the late I.F. "Izzy" Stone, a widely respected author, commentator, and self-styled radical, told me why many of his fellow Jews work so
aggressively to stifle free speech. He explained that, because Jews in
Israel seem constantly at war with Arabs, Jews in America feel that they are in the same war
. To them, free speech is a luxury that can be
sacrificed where debate might weaken US support for an Israel at war."

The same can be said of Muslims in the West. TheMilitant Islamists not only know this, but use this to their full advantage. Bin Laden's continual reference to the "Islamic nation" is not by accident. His carefully selected words are designed to
exploit the notion that Muslims around the globe are involved in the war
with Israel. And it's working.

When Mohammed Siddique Khan, the ringleader of the London bombings, a British born, second generation Pakistani said in his video message "I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters" he was not referring to Muslims in Pakistan or Britain. He was referring to Muslims at war with Israel and the US in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my experience, everytime I've met a Jewish person, he or she will sooner or later bring up the Palestine/Israel issue. The first time this happened I was surprised. Why should I want to discuss this issue with anyone? Why should I have any interest in this issue at all? I'm not Palestinian. I'm not Israeli. But I am Muslim.

And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the crux of the matter. Because I am Muslim, it is assumed that I have something to say on the issue even if I'd much rather talk about the mating habits of the African sand fly!


Hossam said...

I'm born to a secular Sunni Egyptian family in Cairo, but I'm secular, and firm believer in Internationalism rather than nationalism and flag waving. Funny enough, though, since 9/11 my identity which seems to be imposed on me is a "Muslim" one, thanks to the security procedures at airports and Western embassies (when I try to get a visa to travel somewhere).
This whole "war on terror" launced by the US seemed to forge the new modern "Muslim Umma" in a way that no Islamist could have ever dreamt of...

The Usual Suspect said...

Completely agree with you there mate. The rhetoric from both sides is not helping those of us who want a different agenda.