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American Fundamentalism
Can we stop participating in the closing of American minds?

By F. Kian
September 26, 2001
The Iranian

One of the strange things about learning a language is adopting its culture. Lenin says, where money goes, flag follows. At times this is unfortunate because we may lose our independent thinking as we acquire a new language. A lot of Iranian folks have reflected on the September 11 tragedy with some of those acquired thoughts. Maybe most of us have lost touch with the realities of the world. Let me summarize some of the shortcomings from a viewpoint of a non-Muslim:

1) You folks are in the communication business and communication does not necessarily mean relaying the messages of ABC, CBS or CNN with a Persian accent.

2) Whereas shows like Howard Stern opens the American mind to helping the pets of the victims that are left alone in apartments, can anyone compile a list of those Muslims and Iranians who died in the attack? There is supposed to be a freedom of religion in this country -- I mean, for non-Christians too -- right? So can someone tell us how it works?

3) This is a sad time for everyone, but I have not seen an interview with a Muslim child or women whose father or husband did not return home that night -- or the night after or after. I know of some Muslim women who can not go out of their apartment because of the prevailing bigotry. Tell us about those Muslims who also died in the Towers or became victims by ethnical association. Does echoing White Caucasian problems supersede ours?

4) Did you know that if you, as a Middle Easterner, were on board those planes, your name would not have been published -- because you would have been automatically portrayed as a suspect? Won't you say that this is another way to mold foreigners or trying to clone them so that they disassociate from their own culture?

5) Instead of tooting the horn of American ignorance, which is carefully tuned by some media gurus, can we open up a new path? Can we stop participating in the closing of American minds?

6) Should we not ask Why instead of Who -- or worse yet join in the stipulations which give a green light to hicks to impose justice Wild Wild West-style?

7) If these were Muslim terrorists, are they your Muslim brothers? Were Adolf Eichman and Adolf Hitler (whom the Pope condoned) their Christian brothers? Were David Koresh and Tim McVeigh anyone's Christian brothers? If not, how can we define the Branch Davidians? Are they Christian Fundamentalists?

8) Note also that we are at the threshold of American Fundamentalism which will thrive on other fundamentalists such as Osama bin Laden -- a "Muslim Fundamentalist". Americans tend to identify themselves by identifying others. But you see, as McCarthyism was unable to make a distinction between Lenin and Chaplin, the new American Fundamentalism will not distinguish between bin Laden and Aladdin. Everyone from "over there" is the scapegoat of American Fundamentalism's search for a villain.

Also note that if McVeigh had not been arrested, bin Laden would have been the main suspect. God-fearing Christians would not have done such a despicable act, Americans would have argued. Actually after the fall of the Soviet Union, Nostradamus narrowed down the search for terror. What saved bin Ladin during the Oklahoma bombing was the flyers and notes McVeigh had been carrying in his car explaining why he did it.

9) Could you find out how the 4th plane crashed? I mean, Really? Was it like that mysterious TWA as Pierre Salinger reported? Remember: the Truth will finally come out, if the government can't help it. Perhaps it will come out like CIA records -- 50 years later, when nobody cares anymore -- or perhaps even sooner, buried in so many other interesting news just like Maxim Gorky's "Beautiful France" overshadowed by fantastic new events.

10) We need to remind ourselves that nobody has sole ownership of power. That everyone has a weakness and demagoguery does not cover it. I am sorry to remind those concerned intellectuals that literary masterpieces about Esfandiar, Zigfrid, Goliath, and Achilles are not only for our amusement.

11) From Mafia gangs to IRA terrorists, from Israeli commandos to Colombian drug lords, you can eliminate a person, but there will be a hundred more to carry the torch. We should stay focused in solving the problem rather than jumping off to erase it.

I hope we do not fall into the trap that most mainstream media have fallen into. We desperately need to analyze the situation independently; otherwise, we fall victim to hitleresque propaganda. Some minorities -- unfortunately Asians among them -- have been eating up what the American mass media has thrown up. Let's have our independence. As Sartre said, with knowledge, comes responsibility. I hope you realize that.

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Articles following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks


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