The Dartmouth Observer
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
In Reply to Frank:
Frank Webb wrote:
I am told that in 1942, thousands of American Japanese lined up out the streets to sign up for military service. Has there been any major movement by American Muslims to offer a reply, defence or statement other than "we didn't do it and Islam teaches peace?"
To respond briefly, yes. Many people with the linguistic skills necessary to aid in the execution of our conflict (Urdu, Pashto, Arabic, etc.) who happen to be Muslims contracted with the FBI (and presumably other government organizations) to help translate relevant materials. In addition, Muslims of all nationalities, as well as many many other immigrants, rushed to join the military immediately following the attacks. The difference between WWII and now is that we already have a professional volunteer military, and so it isn't as if people are being drafted to fill its ranks. More people enlist than the military will use in this conflict. Anyway, it doesn't really matter what American Muslims do, they aren't the ones perpetrating these attacks. Likewise, for the Japanese to join our military was not some exonerating behavior; they did so because they wanted to prove their patriotism. Many American Muslims did the same, although Frank seems to be saying they should feel more compelled to do so. Is the suggestion, then, that people should be forced to prove their patriotism? If they do not take this pre-emptive action, are they then guilty of being unpatriotic? Why should American Muslims be offering a reply, defense, or statement? As an American Jew (nominally) I would laugh at you if you told me I had to argue for Israel's actions. You want a response from Muslims, demand it from the Muslims that are cheering "Allah akbar" in the streets of our "allies" while the people that broker the oil deals that keep those pits of squalor in the Middle East afloat are dying in their collapsing office buildings.