good people WILL do something, no matter what you think...

Well fuck you, Osama, or Taliban, or whoever ultimately proves to be responsible for this inexcusable crime against humanity.

For 9 days now, I have watched longtime friends of Arabic origin regard me with trepidation as if they feared that I was going to hold them personally responsible for what happened on 11 September.

In that same period, I have seen lifelong Anglo-Saxon friends who have never given a flying fuck about Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism, or any other of the world’s major religions turn against myself and my son because his girlfriend happens to be a Lebanese Muslim.

Not that these bigots would ever bother trying to find out or understand that Islam is just as, if not even more fragmented than Christianity.

So tonight, rather than standing in the local pub - as is usual on a Friday night - with my white, Anglo-Saxon “friends” who have been around for the last 30 years, I’ll be at the Mosque with my Muslim friends, clothed from head to toe : not because I believe that is the way women should dress, but because I’m damned if any bigot in this world right now, black or white, Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Christian, is going to intimidate me into not standing by my friends.

It’s pretty easy right now to be a white, Anglo-Saxon in my country, but if my children are ever again to live in the nation where skin colour and race meant nothing, then we are
more needed at the Mosque tonight than we are in any cathedral.

Martin Luther King jr said it best in his “I Have a Dream” speech. And we almost got there - are we going to let one fuckwit like bin Laden destroy that dream?

So with heavy heart, and with much awareness of the divisions this issue has already caused on this board, I go proudly to the Mosque tonight, because I just cannot - CANNOT - be the person who allows and encourages my children to turn their backs on friends in need, rather than embracing them with open arms; I CANNOT be the person who will regard or defend my fellow countryman less because of the colour of his skin or the nature of her religion.

I never, ever, believed that in my lifetime I would have to contend with the horrors of war which my own parents confronted - the Depression, air-raid shelters, the Blitz, rationing, conscription. I most certainly never believed that my own children would ever have to deal with a war fought far away and televisied by CNN.

Much has been written in the media over the last 10 days about how the “suicide bomber” psyche is so far beyond our comprehension as to be mystifiying. Have we LOST a couple of generations of history here? Do we not remember Australians, Britons, and others lying about their ages to fight in the “war to end wars” in WW1? Do we not remember the Samurais? Do we not remember the kamikaze pilots of WW2? For goodness sake, the “suicide bomber” is not only a well established, but much honoured, war tradition. Check your news stories over the last few months, I’m sure that you’ll find there have been many suicide bombers whose names aren’t even worthy of mention just BECAUSE there are so many. Did we only not care because they committed their “acts of honour” in lands far away?

Dubbya said, basically, that you’re on his side or no side. Given that “his” side - which is now a worldwide alliance of democratic countries determined by the voters, we can - AND WILL - either by our active participation or our indifference, influence what happens next.

Truth IS the first casualty of war, and truth it’s last hostage. Long before the term “mass media” was even invented, “Tokyo Rose” existed.

Far more than the fact that so many people were killed in the initial terrorist attacks (and I DO hate that), I hate the fact that the Taliban has achieved the ultimate wartime objective of waging warfare on such a massive psychological scale that the barriers of trust and empathy have been totally eroded. What I hate even more, is that it’s the same tactic Hitler employed with such devastating results, and against all the warnings, we seem to be ALLOWING history to repeat itself.
PS I’ve tried to make this a gentle rant, and realise, on reflection that it is anything but. I’m not going t shy away from either the member or mod responses. K?

If ever we needed a perpective outside of the “let’s get 'em - now”, and the perspective I personally feel right now of first defending the people who have fled the oppressive regimes; because right now they ARE perceived as the enemy in my country like no other time since we interned the Japanese and the Germans, we NEED your voice now Coldie.

We need your voice just as much as NYC needs to hear Rudy every day. We have seen you fight so hard and so long for what you believe in on these boards - and at an obviously personal level. We need your wisdom, even if it is abrasively delivered.

More than even needing you hear Coldie, we WANT you here right now. People have been banned on this board in the past for calling you a “Nazi” - right now, people are being assaulted and killed for being perceived as Muslim in my nation.

I’m prolly gonna get banned for posting this quote in more than one thread, and yet being “banned” seems so insignificant to me now - I can’t even believe that at one time it DID matter to me.

“Now is the time for people who think, to start thinking”.

I’m about to go to Mosque right now, not because I subscribe to the beliefs of the Taliban, but because if I don’t stand up right now and defend the rights of my peace-loving Muslim friends who have contributed so much to this commmunity and this nation, then I have no right whatsoever to call myself a “friend”. This is not the 1940’s and I refuse - absolutely - to take the Nazi defence. Tonight, I will go to my Muslim friends and die with them, rather than live among the hateful, despicable people most of my fellow countrymen have become.

You can bring to this discussion, Coldie, a viewpoint which is both wise and unique - please come back; this community needs your clarity and your insights like it has never needed them before.

guess I should cry around about now and call you Clogboy…

I’m trying to make sense of this–really, I am. But I’m not in the least sure that I’m accomplishing that.

You write this like it’s going to be some sort of controversy–who do you think is going to object here? I mean, yeah, there’s a certain number of whackos who might bitch, but if you’ve been paying any attention recently you should know they get landed on with both feet in a hurry. “[T]his issue”–fighting bigotry and scapegoating–causes no divisions here that I’m aware of.

Volunteering to fight has nothing to do with suicide, regardless of age.

A subject I know very little about–did they intentionally kill themselves to murder civilians?

As I recall, the Kamikazeattacked military targets during an ongoing war. They were not used to start the war by, for example, crashing themselves into the middle of Honolulu.

Intentionally giving up one’s life for a military purpose is not uncommon. Intentionally giving up one’s life to murder innocent civilians is not the same thing.

You’ve lost me. I assume you are not seriously suggesting that Bush and his “side” have some desire for the general oppression of Muslims and Arab-Americans in this country, so I can’t figure out what you mean.

It occurs to me that labling “most” Americans as “hateful, despicable people” is just as stupid as labling “most” Muslims as being supporters of terrorism–it’s called “stereotyping.” In both cases the idiot minority is easy to notice, but they aren’t even close to being “most.”