Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sunday, April 25, 2004

First ME, I want to say thank you for being willing to have this discussion with us.
Now I want to address just a few things to begin with, since there is a lot to digest here.

The first thing is in response to:
I enjoy reading your blog immensely. even though I found it pro-Israel and pro-America and frighteningly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim.

Yes, it is "pro American" (by this I take it that you mean we seem supportive of the current administration's policies, which as far as foreign policy goes, I would say is true overall), and you could say it is pro Israel. The real question for me is why does that automatically make it anti-Arab and anti-Muslim? Particularly where Israel is concerned, if one's views are "pro-Israel" it seems that one is automatically considered "anti-Arab". This is ridiculous in my opinion. When we get to the Israel/Palestine question, the question for me will be not whether Palestine has a right to exist, but whether Israel does? Unless this is answered by the Arab world community truthfully in the affirmative, there's no reason to have the discussion.

Next I'd like to say that I am constantly referring to events happening in Iraq and Iran, which last time I knew were considered heavily Muslim and partly Arab (in Iraq's case), and not in derogatory terms. In fact, millions of Americans are Muslims, more live here than in any one country in the Middle East. We do, however, distiguish between those that practice the Muslim religion, and those who invoke Islam to carry out acts of aggression and terror. I will admit to supporting trying to foster a democratic thought process in those countries, I will always support those who strive in any country for equality and justice, for free and open expression of ideas. The very fact that you are communicating with us in this way indicates that you understand that you have a certain inherent freedom to speak your mind about ideas and opinions. I support that but I believe that it should apply to all, in this way some Arab cultures have a long way to go in many countries, in particular where women are concerned.

Also, I don't know that we can use the US and Europe in the same comparisons of the rise of miliant Islamism. The US has a definitively different culture from Europe. We tend to not baby our citizens quite so much. We pretty much believe that anyone has the right to make it here, but ALSO with that right comes RESPONSIBILITY. Here's my experience, and I'm not unable to say that it is somewhat limited, so maybe it isn't as widespread as I think, but I have also read many books (The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri comes to mind) and articles that agree with my experience. Many minorities in the US OSTRACIZE THEMSELVES. They don't try to assimilate, they don't go out of their way to be friendly, and assume that everyone is ignoring them or putting them down for their "race" or "origin" or religion, when in fact it is often just like the shy person that is taken for a snob because they are so quiet and introverted.

This struck me particularly:
Why is no one offended when black gangs in NY prevent people from entering their street or are constantly jibing others , standing in defiance of transgressors on what their see as their turf .Now I?m being mild I?m not even mentioning the drug wars. Others bully their peers at school or family members. It is the same thing , a EU citizen of Arab/Muslim ethnic origin could possibly bully his sister and maybe even mother for many things including wearing a scarf ? So why the shock ? why the racist intonations?

I am offended by this, and so are many other Americans, but this is EXACTLY what we are trying to prevent with other cultures. Isolation, the creation of their own society within another. Their turf? If they own it, you bet. If they are living in tenaments payed for my me, and other hardworking Americans of all backgrounds including their black brothers and sisters, that'd be OUR turf. Why? Because in America every person is entitled to education through high school. After that, you have no excuse not to make it, there's always an example of someone who has that came from a tougher life than you.

That's all I can get into for today but it is a start. With anyone that will have a discourse, we are more than happy to do so. What we need are people like ME to get their disenchanted brethren to have that discourse, instead of carrying a chip on their shoulder to theirs and someone else's graves.

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