Posted by: nazli | November 21, 2005

Translating Twain

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it”
– Mark Twain

A perceptive blogger wrote: “Faith is in supporting the teaching of Islam all the time, and (the actions of) your Muslim brethern when they deserve it'”
(clearly they were hinting at cowardly terrorists who perpetuate harm under the guise of Islam)

Let me add to this my surface views – although I do not know enough about Islam, I have the ability to think for myself and make simple logical deductions (or so I like to think). Terrorism and Islam are incompatible. Any inhumane, unconscionable terrorist cannot be a Muslim – because it is clearly stated in the Koran that if one kills even one life, it is as though he killed all of humanity – and if one could save even one life, it is as though he saved all of humanity. But – actually this creed does not apply just to Islam – it applies to all humanity – right?

It’s silly and myopic to equate Islam to terrorism – just as it is silly to equate all Germans to anti-semitism and all Americans to war-mongering and all Catholic Priests to pedophilia and all Brits to racist slurs during football.

The fundamental of Islam is to submit to God – and thus to take a life means that you are taking on the role of God – consequently, it is grossly incompatible to be a Muslim and be a terrorist – just as it is incompatible to be a democracy and disallow dissent . Believe me, of the 1.2 billion Muslims, most just want to lead a peacful, normal life – just like you and me.

And terrorism is not contained only within the Islamic world (although it is prevalent there due to the culture – not the religion); it is pervading and in many forms. Terrorism is the act that causes ordianry people to live in fear. And fear has many forms.

In all my travels the only one country that I have found to truly upold the ideals of democracy is the United States of America. Not necessarily the government, but the ideals of the average citizen. Indeed there are some Americans who are closed minded – but that is not a function of being American – it is just a function of human. The same applies to the rest of the world. The action of one man cannot and should not represent race, country, or religion.

From my personal experience, Americans in the remotest parts or in the busiest cities, are the most open to learning and in most cases they are not xenophobic at all. This is not the popular perception of Americans on the outside – but again, that is your media feeding you propaganda. They take a few examples showing a xenophobic American and that becomes media fodder abroad to misrepresent Americans. Much like they take one clipping of foreign dissent of America and that is used by the Western media. So ask yourself – who is the enemy? And what is really going on in this world. I do not know the answers at all – but I do know that the enemy is not an ordinary citizen in the US or the Middle East.

BTW – this blog was my reaction to the appalling racists slurs during a football match between Tottenham Hotspurs and West Ham today. Mido, a Muslim Egyptian Spurs player was subjected to “shoebomber” slurs by West Ham fans. Seriously – he had the best repsonse – he scored a goal! But more on that in the next blog.


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