Can we stop participating in the closing of American minds?
By F. Kian
September 26, 2001
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
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
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.