The letter under the title of "Muslims in America" on 4 October is another such.
I have not commented on the letter's spurious moral equivalence: of the Catholics and Ireland, Japan and Pearl Harbour, the Oklahoma bombing. Save to say, the alleged equivalence evanesces under the most cursory scrutiny. In the case of the Oklahoma bombing, for example, Timothy McVeigh did not quote religion or any Christian text to "justify" the bombing. He was cranky at the Federal government.
The "equivalence" of IRA terrorism and that of modern Islamic Jihad is to compare pickpocketing and serial murder because they are both crimes.
Letter to the Editor, IHT, follows....
Pastor Terry Jones must be a god-send (Allah-send?) to Islamic apologists. With his dotty pronouncements on Christianity and Islam, they can now paint all criticism of Islam as of a cloth: bigoted and ignorant. Just as Nicholas Kristof (“An apology to Muslims”, Views, Sep 20, and Mohsen Moustafa, Muslims in America, Letters 4 Oct) have done.
But there are many thoughtful Americans who are not at all bigoted, prejudiced or xenophobic, who are nonetheless concerned about Islam, at least in some of its manifestations, and whose concerns are well-founded. Saudi-funded Wahhabism influences up to 80% of US mosques. The Muslim Brotherhood has set up in the US via numerous fronts, including the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America and the Council of American Islamic Relations. The Muslim Brotherhood says that its
“.... work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”These are clear and specific aims that ought to capture the attention of any peace-loving and tolerant American, tolerant Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
To label all such criticism of a clearly-espoused “grand Jihad” — or even just the act of pointing it out — as “bigotry and prejudice” is surely dangerous blindness, wilful or not.
******The Letter from Mohsen Moustafa, Doha, Qatar
October 3, 2010
Muslims in America
Nicholas Kristof’s article “An apology to Muslims” (Views, Sept. 20) was a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the bigotry and prejudice against Muslims in the United States and elsewhere. Mr. Kristof’s views give us Muslim Americans hope that the segment of the U.S. public contributing to an anti-Muslim tone in public discourse is in the minority.
As a moderate Muslim American, I am at a loss as to why in 21st century America millions of law-abiding Muslim Americans stand accused, in the eyes of many, of crimes we didn’t commit, advocate or condone? Holding moderate Muslims responsible for crimes carried out in the name of Islam by a tiny minority of terrorists is akin to holding all Catholics accountable for murders of doctors in abortion clinics and child molestations in Catholic churches. It is no different than holding all Japanese-Americans responsible for Pearl Harbor, and all white Christian-Americans accountable for the Oklahoma bombings.
As a result of the increasingly poisoned discussion in the United States, many Muslim Americans are becoming bitterly alienated.
What about my college-age children? They have helped the victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka, built homes for the homeless in Cambodia, and done humanitarian work in India, not as hyphenated Americans, just Americans.
Our kitchen table has witnessed many political arguments, many of which I lost, even though I may never admit it to my children. What do I tell them in face of this anti-Muslim tone? You are less American because of your faith? Your allegiance will continue to be questioned? Does anyone want an America where citizens are constantly viewed as suspects?
What about the Muslim men and women in the U.S. armed forces who are fighting for what we all believe in: liberty and justice for all? What about the Muslim teachers, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and the millions of other American Muslims in every walk of life?
They and their children have only one allegiance: to America. They and many like them deserve an apology and Mr. Kristof’s couldn’t have been timelier.
Mohsen Moustafa, Doha, Qatar