Monday, 16 July 2007

And the hatred continues...

Yesterday in my e-mail I received a hate letter to all Muslims allegedly penned by a John Maniscalco, an American Airline pilot. A few minutes of investigating revealed that the letter was a hoax, and that their pilot by this name denies any involvement in it.

Michelle Simmons, customer relations representative for America Airlines, told that they are investigating the matter, but have not yet found the letter's source. And that “On September 12th, our Chairman issued a statement to all American employees specifically stating that we would not tolerate hate of any kind at our Company. That statement remains true today."

And from, “The origins of "You Worry Me" remain murky — it first appeared on the Internet in June 2002, but attempts to verify whether its real author is an American Airlines pilot and/or someone named John Maniscalco have led to dead ends. “

The fact remains that someone wrote this piece…and here is my response. I hope you will read it…

To whomever penned this letter:

I wish I could say I understand and sympathize with your fears. But I do not.

I do not wish this because I want to share your fears and distrust, but so I could better address the many errors they represent.

Sadly, the facts and emotions you cite in your letter are born less of truth and understanding than of of paying attention to the ramblings of media talking heads who are paid to incite fear and distrust in the name of higher ratings and more expensive commercial rates.

You asked for answers...please allow me to humbly offer you a different perspective.

I would like to address your points one by one. For ease of following my response, I will be inserting my response into your original text in green. I challenge you ---all of you – to read to the end. Please.

YOU WORRY ME!" allegedly by American Airlines Pilot – Captain John Maniscalco

I've been trying to say this since 9-11, but 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.

Did you know that the majority of the world's Muslim population is not Arabic? And that odds just as likely that the majority of people you are "noticing" as you move through your day are Jewish, Christian, Hindu, or Sikh? People of all faiths have been attacked and even killed on our streets since September 11th simply because someone "thought they looked Muslim." Did you know that the largest population of Muslims is in Indonesia, with significant numbers in India -- not Arabic countries at all?

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.

The men who hijacked the planes on September 11th had spent the days before hand drinking and engaging in sexual activity with women. These are documented facts. They then killed thousands of innocent people.

As the killing of innocents and to a lesser extent, both alcohol use and extramarital sexual activity are strictly forbidden by the Qu'ran, clearly these men were not practicing Muslims, any more than the members of the IRA who bombs malls or Timothy McVey who bombed the building in Oklahoma are Christians, although they all claimed to be. And we do not brand the entire Christian community for the acts of Mr. McVey and his fellow mass murders who also attacked and killed our fellow citizens. Nor do we condemn all Irish people for the acts of IRA.

As for not understanding the basis for long standing dislike of the US among certain countries, please, please start with a basic review of history...of the many governments we have set up and armed in that region, only to bomb and destroy at will when the puppet governments no longer suit our purpose or play our game. I would refer you to the archives of the New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald or any other major newspaper to read the news stories concerning our friends/foes in the Middle East and North Africa. You will be amazed at the vast discrepancies between what the news media reports today about the events and what was written at the time things actually happened.

This does not justify September 11th. Nothing does. But it answers your question about hatred.

Sadly most Americans are grossly uninformed about their own history, and thus are easily swayed by the media. Shame on us...we should know better.

On September 11, nineteen 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.

As stated above, the individuals were no more Muslim than McVey was a Christian. History is replete with examples of people who assumed a religious label to justify horrific acts of violence. Few religions have not seen this tragedy. We should be able to see through this guise by now. But it is still trotted out by power-hungry people worldwide and in every faith, and still used to justify hatred and retaliation against honest practitioners of the target faith. Shame on us...again, we should know better.

The Palestinians Celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the Arab World. 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.

After September 11th, did you approach your Muslim friends and neighbors to ask how they felt about the tragedy? Were they happy? Or were they as devastated as you? Did you start there when you were seeking answers?

Or could it be that you have never talked with a Muslim, except perhaps for a brief exchange in a business setting? Who are the Muslims in your neighborhood? Have you visited their homes? Invited them to yours? Shared a dinner? Gotten to know their children? Or are you relying on the sensationalist media to tell you who Muslims are and what they believe? There is hardly a person in this country who does not know that television is run on ratings...and that includes the news...and yet we are willing to swallow wholesale the "facts" they tell us and change our lives based on that "information." Why? Shame on's time we considered the source before we believe anything

And once again, I need to point out that using the phrase "Arab/Muslim" as though the two are interchangeable is incorrect, as the majority of the world's Muslims are not Arabic, and many Arabs are not Muslim.

See the rest of the letter and my reply on To Be Continued ...

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