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Geert Wilders honored by Florida House Majority Leader, Rep. Hasner, and that too at a Synagogue

Reader comment on item: American Muslims vs. American Jews

Submitted by Sardar Fida (United States), May 3, 2009 at 05:21

Dear Mr. Pipes:

I am a Muslim from Pakistan. I am not anti-Semitic. I have many close friends who are Jewish. My only son's closest friend is Jewish. I and many I know consider Jews our brethren. We believe in all the Prophets that they do. Our religious codes are similar. They are people of Holy Book and will receive the reward for good deeds just as a Muslim will. Please read Hon. Rabi David Rosen's paper at Davos 09 in this respect. He concurs.

I also want to assure you that the aforesaid remarks are not a mere lip service for English speaking audience. They represent my true belief. Regrettably, it's the Middle Eastern politics over real estate that has clouded these profound facts, and both sides are equally guilty of using their respective religions to advance their political agenda. So, en bloc characterizations of South Asian or other blocs of Muslims are dangerous. With this preamble, please comment on the recent event at a Synagogue in Florida, where Rep. Hasner hosted Geert Wilders, who does not have a single intellectual bone in his body.

Even more disturbing was the composition of audience, prominent and powerful Jewish men and women some of whom had traveled from far away places. I'm totally demolished. I could never imagine, let alone think or believe, that there was a concerted Jewish effort against Muslims, one that had sanction of the educated and the powerful. I never believed that Jews were afraid of the growing influence of Islam and Muslims in America and that they were trying to stall it, a generally held view. I always defend Jewish people and admire them for their contributions at so many levels.

But, Rep. Hasner's performance has left me dumbfounded. His reaction to Muslims' Day on Capitol, first ever to be part of the mainstream America, "stop them, do not meet with them", failing which he shot back with Geert Wilders, who, in my unbiased opinion, is no less a bigot and ignorant than some of his so called Muslim counterparts. The honor, and sprinkles of thunderous applauses, with which he and his hateful remarks were bestowed with is alarming and it speak of a certain mindset. How can I defend it as an act of an isolated crazy man, which is not the case given the stature of the host and the audience, and that too in a Synagogue?

How do you propose I explain it to my son and his Jewish friend, whom he considers more than a brother, and I regard them both as my sons? To top it off, statements of the new Israeli foreign minister about Pakistan only add insult to the injury. I can say this on authority that Pakistanis never knew a thing about fundamentalism until the so called "Jihad" by the "Holy Warriors, or Mujahideen" was introduced against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And you know the rest, I suppose? Friends then are targets now. Neither the war was holy nor the men that waged it then. It was about control and domination then, and so is the case now with the same thugs.

And the Taliban, how did they come about? How are they getting night vision aids, up-to-date movement of Pakistani Army, and unending supply of weapons with which they attack innocent civilians and Pakistani Army? Who has paid the ultimate price for it? Pakistan, indeed? And the medal it gets: Pakistan is breeding ground of terrorists! It is absolutely false and misleading to say that majority of Muslims hates America and Western freedom. The most recent survey published as "Who Speaks for Islam", by Jon Esposito, Georgetown Prof, and Dalia Mogahed, paints a completely opposite picture to the one by US media. It shows only 7% of them are against, and not hateful, of the US because of its support of Israel, as against the hype by Rep. Hasner and some of his protégé, a growing number of writers, and the media. And then there is deliberate use of terms such as Islamists, Islamism, Islamic fascism, Islamic terrorist, Islamic terror, and the deceitful innovation goes on... Can an act of terror committed by a Christian or Jew be labeled as Christian / Jewish Terrorist?

Is it right to link such evils with a noble religion followed by more than a billion people in 57 countries? Media, with its entire wherewithal, cannot be as ignorant about the basic facts as this recent book reveals. So far, the struggle was restricted to political issues, such as real estate in Middle East, Kashmir and elsewhere and people like me didn't pay any attention to their religious coloring by the concerned parties. But, now open and blatant attack on the very religion of Islam and that too in a Synagogue adds another dimension. What's one to make of some of these facts? When connected, these pieces do not paint a pretty picture. It is bound to strengthen hand of the conspiracy theory mongers, and legitimize existence of the ignorant FEW - monsters who don't deserve to be called even human, let alone Muslims. How does it make them superior to the ones Wilders calls "inferior" amid a thunderous applause? I hope you will publish this note as well as respond to it on your web site

God Bless Fida


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