Friday, May 21, 2010

immigration, profiling, 9/11 and families that don't see eye to eye

you will find below a forwarded email sent to me by a family member. it really riled me up and i reacted pretty strongly to it. i replied back to my family member and explained as best i could the problems i had with the mindset laid out below and i hope to continue to have a good relationship with this person. they're family so they kinda HAVE to continue to love me, even if we disagree on this one.
i've italicized the forwarded email and i'll go back to my font with my own response later.


This pilot 'hit the nail' right on the head in his open letter.

The paper stated that some Muslim doctor is saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an airplane

The following is a letter from a pilot. This well spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully....

Read, absorb and pass this on.

'YOU WORRY ME!' By American Airlines Pilot - Captain John Maniscalco
I've been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me.

I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.

On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.

How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter these same good neighbors and children?

The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.
I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America. Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in one of your Jihad's? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America ? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME now about it.

Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America. Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am only interested in action. What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?

I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless America ' I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know them.
You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.

The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing 'leaders' like Khadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.

If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your 'leaders' are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.
I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American. But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then.


Canadians should agree with this sentiment and forget all about the 'political correctness' mandate we've had rammed down our throats, and see if this doesn't ring true in your heart and mind. For Canada, with all the multiculturism we've been told is so important....why should we not, as Canadians, expect that the millions of new people immigrating to our country will show their love for our country, their allegiance to our country, their willingness to obey the laws of our country, and acceptance that we are a Christian country? Just because they are able to enjoy exercising their own religion, they should not expect us to be ashamed of ours. They knew Canada was a Christian country when they came here. Why are we erasing Christianity because immigrants who are unwilling to adopt our way of life expect us to? There is just too much insanity in the world, and we have to start taking a stand.

I hope you will forward, so others will feel they are not alone if they are starting to feel the same.

i read this and then decided that to be silent would only give assent to a perspective that i don't agree with. here's what i sent to my family member in response to this email and the request to forward it on to others.

I won't be passing this along. I reacted pretty strongly to these statements because it was full of assumptions that many don't hold to. I'm not protecting terrorists, I just want peace.
This TALKS of peace but it only talks about peace on their terms. He talks about protecting innocent lives but how many innocent lives have been torn apart in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan as the West tries to support foreign policies whose only goals are their own interests.
Wars start and continue as a convenient reaction to 911 but really the reasons appear to be insular, xenophobic and ethnocentric. The USA goes into Iraq to find WMD's that never existed and then it became about removing a dictator. If that were the case why refuse to follow the direction of the UN at every turn? Do Americans really believe that they cannot and will not take direction from a world body whose only job is to do exactly what they claim they want to do? What agenda is being followed because the US needs to be a global cop?
I understand that people are worried. They don't want 911 to happen ever again. I get that, and I don't want it to happen again either. How does profiling and harassment ensure this? Do people realize the atrocities that people need to live through everyday in the West Bank? Does having your home bulldozed because your neighbourhood was annexed to Israel qualify as an atrocity? I say it does. How about being told to move out of your family home because you are a Muslim so that another family can take over your life? This happens every day in some parts of the Middle East. I'm not trying to sound anti-Semite here either. I just want peace.
When a person emigrates they do have swear oaths of allegiances. Many Muslims have troubles with this idea, like many Christians do too, because swearing an oath is sinful in several religions. That's one reason why affirming is provided as an option so that many people can conscienably align themselves with their new adoptive land.
It's things like this that just stirs up the waters and we end up with more xenophobic opinion like the stuff coming out of Arizona and Alabama recently. Please don't also say that I'm all for opening up borders so that anyone can get in but we do live in privelege and I'd actually prefer that immigration be MORE of an option in the West as we endeavour to help more and more people with zero options in their present situation.
All I'm trying to say is that we CANNOT be so insular. We CANNOT be so untrusting and we CANNOT survive in a world where we question the motives of anyone who looks differently than we do.
One day the tables may turn and we may not be in a position of privelege like we have seen in the West for the last couple centuries. If the tables do turn then I don't see many on the global scene coming to our aid.
I'm sorry if I have offended you in any way with this diatribe but that's just some of what I think and feel at this moment.

I do love you, even if we don't agree on this one.


Al said...

I, too, am worried.

I am much more worried about people who write emails like you received, than I am about Muslims.
I am worried about Americans who find 9/11 a terrible atrocity (about 3000 killed), and the ensuing war a just and appropriate action (hundreds of thousands killed).
I am worried about people (Canadian or American) who think their country is heaven on earth, the greatest thing, etc. etc. What makes a country great is how it treats its most vulnerable, how it welcomes people, how it respects people. Neither the US or Canada fare too well in being great.
I worry about people who say and act as if: "My country, right or wrong." That kind of blind loyalty has a potential for all of the same kind of actions that the email writer pins on Muslims.
I also worry about people who send these kind of hate-mongering emails out, and expect others to continue to spread the message.

By the way, this email has been circulating (at least the first part) since 2002 (snopes).

jstainer said...

Good for you,

A pretty calm headed response considering the emotions involved in the email, and you were willing to say some hard things that were needed to be said, but in a way that was hopefully not going to instantly divide people.

middle child said...

Sorry. I pretty much feel the same as the original writer of the E-mail. I hate what this country is becoming. I hate that pretty soon we will totally lose this silent war and I will have to learn a new language. Opps. Got off base there, didn't I? I don't believe in racial profiling but do agree with Arizona wanting to enforce a law that has already been enacted. I am loving and tend to trust everyone. I am not one to judge. I do think everyone who is acting strangely should be confronted. Friends just came over from Germany. They had to be finger printed. Friends are trying to come to America from the Philipeans and after much paper work and interviews and repeats of such, they now have been told to have their sponsers send pitures of themselves holding a newspaper with the current date. And, do this two days in a row. Don't be paranoid but keep your eyes open too and DAMMIT - This is America. Love it or leave it.

shallowfrozenwater said...

thx for dropping by middle child and thx for commenting when you don't agree with me. as long as we keep things civil i'm ok with debate and i'm fine with being disagreed with.
what's wrong with learning a different language? no matter, English will always be the language in the US and places like Canada are just fine with bilingual policies within its borders.
what i'm saying is that you trample the rights of your own citizens when you question over and over again because of the colour of their skin. right now Arab Americans get a rough deal, as do Mexican Americans. what's next? Africans? all Latinos? is that a society you want?
if your friends had to be fingerprinted, pictured, newspapered and then had to do it again the next day and the day after that is that enough? that's the direction we look to be headed.
again, thx for coming by and i hope you can return again sometime.