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Holy smoke
Thick cloud over Islamic fanaticism

By Jahanshah Javid
September 11, 2001
The Iranian

As horrendous and savage today's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington have been, I'm sure there are some among us who think the Americans deserved it. They point at U.S. support for Israel and Arab dictatorships. They believe U.S. oil companies are sucking the Middle East dry. They are convinced Americans are the enemies of Islam. If there's a problem, anywhere in the world, they blame America first.

Let's assume all of that is true. Does it justify what happened in New York and Washington? Hundreds of people have been killed. Probably thousands. You may not consider Pentagon staff as civilians, but what about those who worked at the World Trade Center? What about the passengers in the hijacked planes?

Is this a glorious day for Islam? Is this a day Muslims can be proud of? Is this how Islam fights against real or perceived injustice? Should September 11, 2001, be marked as one of the greatest days in the struggle against imperialism? Did you jump and cheer when you saw the devastation on CNN? Did you feel the blood of countless Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis and Iranians have been avenged?

U.S. policy in the Middle East has been far from fair. Palestinians and other Muslim nations in the region have reason to be angry at America. We can understand WHY Washington and New York became targets of terrorist attacks. But nothing, NOTHING can justify them. What these fanatics have done is silence genuine concerns about U.S. foreign policy and underline the insanity of our fanatic "brothers".

Let's be very clear: those who carried out these attacks have committed one of the worst crimes in history. Period. And all in the name of Islam. These deranged murderers are no freedom fighters. What they are fighting for is a form of "Islam" that is nothing but pure hatred and destruction. If they toppled American-backed governments today, you and I would not last a week under their rule.

In fact that's why so many of us left Iran. Look at what's happening there. Leaders of the Islamic Republic are mild compared to the Taliban and Osma bin Laden's gang. Still, they're hanging people in public, lashing youngsters in streets, stoning those accused of adultery, chopping limbs of petty thieves, not to mention jailing journalists and politicians for the simple act of criticism. And they call America the Great Satan!

It is this kind of medieval brutality and extremism that has driven more than a million of us out of our own country during the past two decades. Those with real power in Iran are the ideological cousins of those who murdered so many innocents in today's attacks in New York and Washington. They have not hurt Uncle Sam one bit, but they have seriously damaged Islam's reputation.

The cloud over Islamic fanaticism is much thicker than the smoke in downtown New York.

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