June 23, 2000
letter brought tears to my eyes. He is not quite right in his assertion
that we treat Afghans like Americans treat Iranians. We treat them worse.
Our historical hatred of Afghans is only second to that of the Arabs.
With a thousand and one bonds that exist between our two nations, our hatred
can only testify to our small-mindedness. A big nation strives to swallow
others and make them its own, no matter what the creed, color, religion
or even language may be.
It is the worry of puny nations that always seek purity and isolation
and cannot lend a helping hand even to neighbors in need lest they lose
I remember about 25 years ago it was in the news that a servant had
killed his employer and his employer's wife and children with a kitchen
knife. This made the headlines for days. After that I remember hearing
Afghans being referred to as the cut-throats. Imagine that! An entire nation
was thus defined by the action of one desperate man. Isn't that the same
way of thinking that condemns all Iranians as terrorists because of a few
thugs in the Islamic government's service?
I think one of the reasons our country is in such a mess is that we
don't know how to be compassionate. Perhaps if we treat our Afghan guests
better, we will learn how to be nicer to each other and then maybe we can
transform into a kinder nation.
George Bernard Shaw once said you see things and you ask, why? I have
dreams and I ask, why not?