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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Sep 21, 2010

The Advocate of Islamophobia

Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks has received a very negative reaction from Muslim countries in general and the Arab world in particular. A few days before September 11, Terry Jones decided to not burn the Quran. Nevertheless, the United States has more than its share of bigots and ignorant fanatical people who undermine the first Amendment. IT has been reported that some copycats of the same type as Jones committed a hate crime by burning the Quran in East Lansing, Michigan. Those who committed the act are under investigation by the FBI. Similar acts also took place in other states, such as Kansas and Wyoming. What will be the conclusion of such acts remains to be seen. Terry Jones’ daughter stated publicly that her father “has lost his mind”. However, the impact of such a hate crime caused a great deal of damage to the American National Interest. This has been confirmed by military leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the bigots in the U.S. view Islam not as the faith of 1.5 billion people, but as an evil system of terror, and they view mosques around the U.S. as outposts for terror. This is reflected in the attack and burning of mosques in a number of states across the country.

The accusation by some evangelical leaders that Islam is an evil religion has enhanced Islamophobia in the U.S. Furthermore, some politicians have joined the hate circus and also encourage the anti-Islamic rhetoric. Such a war of hate against has begun to create a backlash of hostility against the American Muslim community in the U.S. This population has been estimated to be between 7 and 9 million people. The proposed construction of the Islamic cultural center in New York City was also used as an excuse to attack Islam and Muslims, despite the fact that the location was two blocks away from Ground Zero. The bigots, hate mongers and some dishonest politicians have manufactured the Islamic cultural center controversy. It is also sad to see how the mass media ignores the fact that it was not only Christians and Jews who died as a result of the attacks, but that more than 60 Muslims died that day. Bin Laden and his criminal attackers didn’t calculate that there were Muslim Americans in the World Trade Center they destroyed. As Michael Moore suggested (N.Y. Times, 9/11/2010), “The site is a sacred graveyard and to be building another monument to commerce on it is sacrilege. Why wasn’t the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.”

Blaming the American Muslim community for the tragedy of 9/11 is unjust. Using this rationality, we should criticize Christianity for the terrorist acts of Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma.

As usual, the history of the U.S. reflects that during war or economic hardship, some fascists, extremists and bigots try to undermine American democracy. Since President Obama was elected, public remarks were made by some politicians that the president is Muslim despite the fact that he publicly stated that he is Christian. Nevertheless, a Newsweek poll revealed that 52% of Republicans believe that the president is Muslim. As Colin Powell noted, even if Obama were a Muslim, so what? After all, the Constitution clearly defines the separation of the state and religion. The irony behind all of this is that those ignorant bigots lack the knowledge and understanding that Islam is one of the three basic monotheistic religions. The accusation that Obama is Muslim is not truthful and is racist. Those who spread such rumors do not want to see a black person in the White House. They lack the courage to say it openly. From their point of view, classifying Obama as a Muslim will discredit him.

On the bright side of this controversy, there are many Christian and Jewish leaders who stood up for the American democracy and the freedom of religious beliefs. Also, some prominent writers and activists such as Michael Moore have also voiced their support for religious freedom. Moore started a campaign to raise funds for the construction of the Islamic cultural center (N.Y.T., 9/12/2010). Those who are interested in participating can contact: webguy@michaelmoore.com.

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