You worry me. I wish you didn’t. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don’t blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can’t help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don’t fully understand their grievances and hate but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.

On Sept. 11, 19 ARAB MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants and children’s mothers.

So I notice you now. I don’t want to be worried. I don’t want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.

How do I differentiate between the true Arab-Muslim-Americans and the Arab Muslims in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks and living in our communities under the protection of our Constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter those very same good neighbors and children? The events of Sept. 11 changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with all of its religions, with all of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab Muslim in this country to determine it for me.

I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know whether or not you love America. Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it?

Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your “jihads”? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America? If this is your commitment, then I need you to start letting me know about it.

Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America. Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. And no more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am only interested in action. What will you do for America – our great country – at this time of crisis, at this time of war?

I want to see Arab Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting “Allah Bless America.” I want to see young Arab Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now!

But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.

The very few Arab Muslim representatives that have appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States prove who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed toward them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing “leaders” like Gadhafi, Hussein, Farrakhan and Arafat. If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good and pure and true when your “leaders” are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism and intolerance?

It matters little how good Islam should be if large numbers of the world’s Muslims interpret the teachings of Muhammad incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members defended Johnny Cochran and O. J. Simpson after the latter butchered his wife and murdered an innocent friend. A form whose members (some as young as 5 years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because our women proudly show their faces in public rather than cover up like a shameful whore?

Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because we drink wine with dinner or celebrate Christmas? Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because we have befriended Israel, the only civilized democratic nation in the entire Middle East? And if you and your fellow Muslims hate us, then why in the world are you even here?

Are you here to take our money? Are you here to undermine our peace and stability? Are you here to destroy us? If so, I want you to leave. I want you to go back to your desert sandpit where women are treated like rats and dogs. I want you to take your religion, your friends, and your family back to your Islamic extremists, and STAY THERE!

We will never give in to your influence, your retarded mentality, your twisted, violent, intolerant religion. We will never allow the attacks of Sept. 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the greatest Constitution in the world.

I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands, and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very Constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American. But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance. It is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand.

Until then … you worry me.



Capt. John Maniscalco is a pilot for American Airlines.

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