March 2005
March 2

Muslims in our midst

In response to Massoud Noghrekar's "The day I became an Iranian American":

Dear Massoud,

I hope that you became an American citizen with a clean heart. Congratulations to you and welcome if you have.

Someday I hope to see my son become an Iranian citizen too - but not as a Muslim, never that. Islam is too much at loggerheads with American values: freedoms of speech, dress, of conscience, of joy; equality between genders, religions, races; human rights.... None of which are assured or even likely in any country or people dominated by Islam as Iran is.

I'm an American that was once married to an Iranian Shi-ite and lived for a year (1981-1982) in Iran. I liked the people and the culture - except for what was contaminated with Islam. I'd accepted Islam before going there, but the experience of living under it soon appalled me with the religion (especially as I read more of the Koran and haddith that supported the bad conduct of the IRI), though I didn't admit this to anyone at that time - not for about 3 or 4 years after I left, in fact. After my first child was born there in Iran, a son, my husband stole him from me and send me back to the U.S. He promised to rejoin me with our son in the U.S., but it was a lie. He'd already taken a 2nd wife before my plane landed and wrote to tell me that I would never see my son again. Because our countries weren't speaking to each other, there was no help to had in getting him back. So my son was raised in Iran... as a Muslim, knowing nothing, being told nothing, of me. He thought his Iranian step-mother was his real mother but somehow didn't bond with her.

When my son was 19, he saw his identity papers for the first time while peering over his father's shoulder at the airport. That's when he found out about me and started bugging his cousins - who had all known me, incidentally - to tell him the truth and then to find me. One who had immigrated to the U.S. while still a child did so, and I have been in e-mail contact with my son ever since - ever since October of 2001, that is. It was late to be getting to know each other and the timing, right on the heels of 9/11, was bad but we tried to get past this. My son said he wanted to get to know me and that he also wanted to immigrate to the U.S. and I could help him do it. But over the years following, I couldn't help but suspect that was all he wanted and that Islam and all the hatred and death threats it generated against Americans, especially ex-Muslims like me, was still very much a part of his life. So regretfully, I've told him I still want to know him, but will never help him immigrate here as long as he's a Muslims.

Many of you may hate me for this... but I want you all to know. For every act of terrorism, chauvinism, intolerance, and cruelty committed by a Muslim that goes uncondemned or flat-out denied by the majority of Muslims - including the so-called moderates - we kafirs & murtads grow less tolerant or forgiving of Muslims in our midst. In the area where I live, there are literally daily arrests of would-be Muslim terrorists, both home-grown and immigrant. It's enough to make one VERY leery of the lot. I think American should shut its doors to the immigration of Muslims. Tell me if you think I'm wrong in this and why you think so.

Moussad, tell me why you wanted to come to America, the country you'd been taught to hate. Did your hatred ever end? It sounds like it did, but when and how?

Debra Watts


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