WASHINGTON – Many thanks to the more than 600 peace-loving American Muslims who have sent me hate mail – including a dozen death threats – over my Sept. 27 column, “If pigs could fly.” You have helped me gather, effortlessly, valuable intelligence about the mindset of worshippers at the more than 3,000 Islamic centers and mosques across the country.
Islam-Infonet, a news service of the supposedly mainstream Council on American-Islamic Relations, carried my column. Many American Muslims — men,
women; young, old; college students and professionals; almost all of Arab origin — linked to it from there.
Though they hardly represent the views of all the nation’s 6 million or so Muslims, their venomous letters reveal anti-American biases and predispositions that don’t square with the peace-loving and patriotic rhetoric mouthed by Muslim scholars and spokespeople on television.
Here is what I’ve learned:
In general, Muslims living in America are in deep denial about the role their religion played in the 9-11 attacks.
For example, one Muslim woman insisted that “Muslims did not commit these crimes,” referring to the 19 Arab hijackers who left documents drawing on traditional Islamic prayers and alluding to Koranic verses. “Very confused individuals did.”
Most, but not all, doubt Osama bin Laden is behind the 9-11 attacks.
“He has not been tried in a court,” argued Lina Abusali. So under American law, “he is innocent until proven guilty.”
“Osama is only a suspect in America’s mind,” scoffed another. “There is no proof.”
Most do not condemn Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban militia for sheltering bin Laden, and don’t suspect its Islamic clerics had any involvement in the World Trade Center or Pentagon attacks.
“Remember, it’s not the Taliban that was behind the WTC attacks,” claimed M. Attaulla Khan. “They had nothing against America.”
While roundly condemning me for proposing, somewhat tongue in cud, a swine offensive against Afghanistan, not one of the 600-plus American Muslims offered an alternative strategy to defeat Islamic terrorists there.
In fact, some seemed more worried than offended by my porcine psyops strategy, and did their best to cast doubt on its effectiveness.
“C’mon, man, do you think your stupid strategy will work?” said a man who signed his name, “Ahmad.”
“There are times when Muslims are allowed to eat pork,” he assured me, kaffir that I am.
“Muslims aren’t afraid of eating pork or [pork] by-products,” Dareen Neerad insisted. “And if Muslims eat, unknowingly, pig’s meat or lard, then they just have to ask Allah’s forgiveness, purify themselves and rinse out their mouths.”
Safia Naqvi swore that “Muslims aren’t afraid of pigs,” and suggested I ham-bone up on my Koran.
But Karen Soud, “a loyal Muslim American,” who slammed me for “hate-mongering,” admitted in a ray of honesty: “You obviously researched our dietary habits thoroughly.”
Indeed, my information came from a spokeswoman for the Islamic Education Center in Potomac, Md.
Many American Muslims actually believe the Israeli Mossad hatched the plot to strike New York and Washington, somehow enlisting Islamic extremists to carry out the evil deed, in order to drum up more American support for Israel.
“Do you even know if it was Muslims who committed the act?” demanded an American Muslim who signed his letter, “AJM.” “How about the Jews who are slaughtering innocent men, women, children, infants, sick and old in Palestine? Why not write an article about them?”
This fellow and other faithful seem to be singing from the same hymnal as bin Laden, who also has fingered Jews for the attacks.
Muslims in this country assert that Islam is a “peaceful religion,” as one Muslim woman put it, that “absolutely does not tolerate violence.” Many quoted President Bush’s recent comments to that effect.
Gee, I wish someone would fill in hot-head Muhammad Khan. He apparently skipped over the more soothing suras in his Koran.
“Maybe we could grind up your filthy, pathetic body and feed it to the pigs before we send them to the Muslims,” Khan wrote me. “You should watch your back from now on. Maybe these ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ could come after you and your family.”
Or Zaafir Mahdi: “Since you are a swine, we will cut you open and drain you of blood, and then the U.S. military can use that if they wish.”
Or this peace-loving guy: “I’m surprised that such an anti-Muslim lives. Now you know what needs to be done to anti-Muslims. They deserve to die.”
Then there was this sweetheart: “No Muslim would mind to kill a bastard like you.”
Others who aren’t into murdering columnists just likened me to Hitler.
But the coup de grace came from a guy who compared me to “Bay Watch” actor David Hasselhoff – the ultimate insult. After seeing my column mug, he dismissed me as a Hasselhoff knock-off and said I should go “run down the beach with your little red shorts and fake tan.”
All this because I proposed a nonviolent (at least to humans) way to quickly win the war on terrorism, one with no risk of collateral casualties to women and children. Pigs may not like it. But, hey, they’re short-timing it anyway with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching.
You’d think American Muslims would want to avenge the deaths of their 6,000-plus fellow Americans. But they seem more interested in honoring and guarding ancient customs, even on behalf of known terrorists half way around the world.
More disturbing, many of them consider America a terrorist nation.
“Don’t get me started on all the countries the U.S. has bombed for money or (out of) political ignorance, and then said it was justifiable,” fumed one Muslim man. “But when someone else does it here, they are terrorists.”
“These hijackers did not hate Americans,” wrote another U.S. Muslim. “They hated the (American) foreign policy. And many nations don’t agree with the policy, even many Americans.”
American Muslims are far prouder of their growing sect than their country.
“I don’t need to remind you that there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, including over 7 million in North America, and that Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world,” boasted a Muslim woman.
(Given that virtually all foreign terrorists who attack the West are Muslims, that actually may be more cause for alarm than celebration.)
“Before I am an American, I am a Muslim,” declared the man with the initials, AJM.
Such a statement coming now, after what has just happened, is chilling. It smacks of divided loyalty. Indeed, American Muslims seem to be straddling two worlds – one of wealth, freedom and security here, and one of cultural identity with their brethren in the Middle East.
But America’s security vaporized Sept. 11 with the twin towers, and its wealth and freedom aren’t far behind, thanks to the terrorists who attacked us in the name of Allah.
Will Americans of Islamic faith help us get our security back, or will they secretly sympathize with the jihad waged by the murderous thieves who took it?
It may not be a choice of country over faith, but it most certainly is – like no time since the British terrorized Washington 187 years ago – a matter of patriotism.
American Muslims must ask themselves: Do I love and respect my country?
If the answer is yes, then fight with us for her. If no, stop pretending to love and respect her. Have the courage to publicly renounce your citizenship and join the enemy.