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The MidEast is not the MidWest

Reader comment on item: The Middle East and Islam Dominate U.S. Public Life

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Saudi Arabia), Jan 3, 2007 at 12:43

The Associated Press release would lead one to believe that the Middle East looms large in the daily discourse of ordinary Americans. But my personal experience questions the validity and conclusions of this release.

(I think the Middle East (et al) should be uppermost on Americans' minds, but I don't think it is…. not by a long shot).

A quick review of the online front pages of the top 20 dailies in the nation, shows if not scant, then definitely not prominent, attention paid to the Middle East.

(A list of the top 100 papers by readership, along with their website URLs, can be found at http://www.mondonewspapers.com/usa/readership.html

Among the "top stories" in many of these papers are such items as "Woman found dead with plastic bag around head; Murders fall, rapes rise in '06; Nardelli resigns at Home Depot; Mayo to separate conjoined twins" and so on.

I see very few "Middle Eastern" stories displayed, and when they do appear, it's seldom on the front pages.

The point is, it is local news that seems to be what really interest people, at least in the print media.

This is the way it should be, of course, during normal times. But these aren't normal times…..they're treacherous times.

At another, more personal level, my experience contradicts the conclusions reached by the Associated Press report.

As a long-time Middle East resident, I have long since given up trying to engage anyone in the US in a serious discussion having to do with the Middle East when I go home on visits.

Such statements as "Oh, you live in the Middle East…..do you speak Islamic or Islam or whatever it's called?" are common currency whenever the subject of "what I do" comes up. Even the intellectually "elite" among my acquaintances or new people I happen to meet, display such a jaw-dropping ignorance of even the "basics" that I avoid the subject at all costs.

It's this simplistic, pie in the sky world-view at the popular level that poses the greatest long-term danger to the US against the onslaught of an Islam bent on taking it over and establishing a world-wide Caliphate. That, and the even more ominous disbelief of our intellectually elite that "religion" has in fact once more become the centerpiece of international discourse.

It's like sheep being led slaughter with nary a peep.

Submitting....

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