Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi, firstname.lastname@example.org
I get lots of angry e-mails. I understand. The writers may be missing some facts and need to look at issues from different perspectives.
I believe in human decency, fairness and goodness, and have been proven right in many cases when anger and misjudgment gave way to more understanding and even agreement. Such is the power of man’s greatest innovation — communication.
Last week, an American reader fired a question at me: “I need to know why in hell people would murder in the name of Islam and take such apparent joy in it.”
I felt the man was innocently puzzled, maybe because he was caught up in the mood of the moment. He must have just watched a news story about a Palestinian suicide bomber avenging the Israeli air “bombing” of Hamas’ elderly leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. He could be one of those fast-food, fast-lane news-biters who don’t have time for backgrounds, observing the world via flash news, probably on Zionist Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
When they wonder about the insanity of the world, I understand their confusion. After all, with my limited knowledge of the CIA’s dirty history in Latin America, how would I know why over 80 percent of Latinos hate the US?
I answered my puzzled reader: Let’s start with injustice. For half a century, Palestinians have been robbed of life, property and dignity. The world has been watching, applauding or even sponsoring their adversary, as America has. When death becomes more attractive than life, desperate, insane things happen.
Religion has always been used to rally troops. Catholics in Ireland fought a religious war for decades. Europe went to war for religion, which propelled both Crusaders and colonizers for centuries. Indians and ex-Yugoslavians still fight over religion. Russians abuse their Muslim Chechens. Sharon, Blair and Bush are killing Muslims in the name of God. The latter claimed twice that God instructed him to wage war — no kidding.
I don’t advocate violence, not against innocent civilians. But, like you, I never experienced the hard trials many Native Americans, Palestinians, Irish, Chechens, Muslim Chinese, African Americans and Japanese Americans had. To be fair, we should at least acknowledge motives. Imagine the victim of a lynching and burning raid in the name of a white God being asked: Why in hell are you hitting back?
In a 2000 poll three quarters of the 200 million Muslims in Indonesia had a favorable opinion of the US. After the insane response to Sept. 11 and as a result of its blind support of Israel’s world-defying policies, only 15 percent still do.
Anger is a reaction, Bob, and hell needs fuel to burn. In many Muslim cases, Hell has sponsors.