69 million page views

Several more words from a witness (to Mrs. O'Neill etc.)

Reader comment on item: The Travails of Brooklyn's Arabic Academy

Submitted by Leonid Kaplun-Leonov (United States), Jun 1, 2007 at 16:17

I see that my poor English did not allow me to describe some things clear enough. Let me try different way.

I worked at Middle East around September 11. I saw (directly and on their TV) huge, multi-thousand celebrations. They burned American flags and congratulated each other. They were giving candies to children on the streets. People who worked with me (educated, pretending to look cultured and broadminded) of course did not express their joy monkey style, but they were obviously happy. Since they new I am Russian (as you know Soviets supported Arabs for many years) – they were relaxed and sincere with me. Nobody even bothers to make worried face and to say so called "condemnation" - "You know, this is all because of wrong American policy…" – as they do it on American TV.

What also stunned me, the very same people (with engineering degrees, seemingly logical!) in the midst of their joy sometimes said things like "Americans did it themselves!" or "Jews did it! Nobody of them came to the Towers that day!" So, maybe something was stirring on the bottom of their conscience?

By the way, American media (both your ‘Lefts" and "Rights") were more than shy on reports about these demonstrations. Together with both Clinton and Bush administrations they continue searching for non-existent black cat in a dark room – "moderate Muslim majority".

To describe the whole my impression, I must mention that I grew up in the family that was harshly critical (to say the least) to Jews. (It was and still is common to about 80 % of Russians). And we were pretty favorable to Muslims because Soviet Muslims were quiet, not pretentious minority. As a student in Moscow, I enthusiastically participated in demonstrations to support the Arabic cause, participated in assembly and shipment to Egypt old Soviet fighters after they lost all their Air Force during "Six Days War".

Years later I came to the US and started traveling all over the world. I can not find words to describe my horror (and pain – it is not easy to change views at later years – even if all your life you pray only gods of facts and logics) when I started working in the Middle East. To say – disappointment – is to say nothing.

Now - just small notes.

- Do not use Muslim immigration to the US as a proof that "they DO NOT hate America", it is laughable. Any immigration to the US is not the sign of affection to the US, it is a sign of affection to hefty (and frequently free) lunch. In my Russian community in Midwest I see plenty of old folks (I stress – old, young are different) who worked hard to immigrate here, and now, having almost free apartments, free food and free medicine from American government, they blame and curse America, proudly recalling how they helped to fight Americans in Korea, Vietnam etc…

- I did not mean Muslims hate America because girls here "go almost naked". Their hate consists of several things. The first is envy – common for many other nations. The second is teaching from their Koran – to hate "unfaithful". (I recommend you to read it yourself – and not from their translation: this religion calls not only to hate other people, but also cheat them). You may say – Koran is centuries old, why is the splash of hate now? And why mostly in Arabic nations?

The answer is – because Arabs created the most restrictive society. Their youngsters can not, unlike Malaysian or Brunei, escape for an evening and go dancing to nearby Christian village. In the past they did not see different life and endured their misery. About 20 years ago contacts with other countries increased, and – most important - vivid images of foreign life appeared on TV in every home. It was like gas on smoldering fire, "almost naked girls" being the most burning issue.

There are two ways to react to neighbor's prosperity: the first is - " I also want such life! I will work hard to have the same!" (Oriental nations went this way.) The second way – to declare that the neighbor is a devil, a crook, etc. This is normally the reaction of people who subconsciously feel that they are not capable to compete. You are loosing a chess game? Kick the chess board! Arabs are not alone. Unfortunately some of my Russians in Russia are the same, some Latinos etc… With some small difference: these two do not have the encouraging summons of Koran. Or… May be 77 virgins are still not enough for them to target innocent people?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Several more words from a witness (to Mrs. O'Neill etc.) by Leonid Kaplun-Leonov

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)