Some time ago… |
I waited patiently in the Customs queue at Riyadh. The flight from Houston through Paris via Air France had been tiring. I hoped someone was meeting my flight.
“You plan to play tennis?” The voice came from the gentleman behind me, a pleasant-looking Pakistani. He was eyeing at my carry-on tennis bag. I learned later he lived in Canada, had three daughters, and was an engineer brought over by a Saudi firm on a two-year contract. His name was Asif Mirza.
I smiled and nodded. “I’m told the athletic facility in my building to has a court? You play?”
“I’ve brought a racquet as well,” he said. “Maybe we should get together.”
I gave him the number of Amkest, Amr Khashoggi’s firm, where I would have an office. He promised to call. He did. We became good friends.
On the taxi ride to my flat in Al Khozama Towers we drove by a bombed-out apartment building. The driver advised me several American servicemen had lost their lives. I remembered seeing the news clip. “Not to worry, “he said. “The assassins were caught and beheaded.”
The very next day I flew to Dhahran to meet representatives from Yusuf Bin Achmed Kanoo, a transoceanic shipping company. I ate lunch al fresco with a young Indian engineer, Gulam Mohammed Shah, who pointed out the ruins of Khobar Towers where over 20 American servicemen lost their lives in a bombing just three days before. “When the culprits are apprehended their heads will be chopped,” he said matter-of-factly. Then he gave me a wry smile. “Of course, the American government has insisted they be handed over, which will never happen. Your government coddles terrorists, which causes more death. Over here we eliminate them a week after they’re caught.”
Both Asif and Gulam, faithful Muslims, were concerned about my safety noting I should mask my nationality. I understood enough Arabic to know I should maintain a low profile. The sermons airing from the minarets on Saturday were filled with rants against the West, and America in particular. I noticed liberal use of the Great Satan reference, which originated in Iran after the Shah (Pahlavi) was thrown out.
US Congress began hearings to investigate home-grown terrorists emanating from those of the Islamic faith. Some liberals and academians protest that Islam is being unfairly singled out. On the flip side, none of the Muslim faithful whom I know objects; in fact, they welcome the probe. They suggest it will show America exactly what kind of people Muslims are; a people of peace who have surrendered to God, and simply wish the rest of us to do the same.
That said, 90 percent of the terrorist attacks worldwide over the past 20 years have come from Islamic extremists. I don’t care how liberal or progressive or politically correct or caring you are, those are the irrefutable facts. To ignore what is going on in American mosques in the name of the nutcases’ screwball Jihad would be idiotic to the maximum.
I’ve been upfront-and-close during a few whack-o Muslim lunchtime rants in Times Square calling for death to America, and promising (when Shariah Law is established) that whores like Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell (and their ilk) would be put to death for their lifestyles. They also promised death to those with tattoos and piercings for trying to improve on God’s creation. The crowds were huge and they shouted Allah hu Akbar in support of each point, sort of like the holy-roller’s amen. There was no news coverage! Zero! Can you imagine the media’s hue-and-cry if a Christian group would have been the source?
Since the agnostic, progressive, liberals in this country vilify Christianity with such vigor, I wonder how they’d feel if they really understood Islam? Islam believes Jesus is the Jewish Messiah who will return again to fight the anti-Christ, live 40 years, marry, die, and be buried alongside Mohammed in Medina. How does that grab you, media? Further, they believe Miriam (Mary) give birth to Jesus after the breath of Allah came upon her. Further, she remained a virgin all of her life. They also believe depiction of any animate object is the creation of an idol. Christianity for most Muslims is represented by either the Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Church both full of icons and statues, which are blasphemous to Islam. The other impression they get about Christianity comes from our secular side.
The West, particularly the US, worships money above all else. The first people who faced the gallows after the Iranian revolution were bankers and executives of institutions who charged interest. I mean, come on, who in the world is more usurious than US credit card companies and mortgage bankers? Airports around the world provide free luggage carts. Not the US. The charge now is up to $2.00. Four dollars for telephone information, which used to be free? Newlyweds and graduates demanding money only? Businessmen professing faith, and trying to screw everyone else in the name of astuteness (buyer beware) in the process? Corrupt labor unions especially those in the public sector (fire, police, and teachers)? Teachers claim they’re all about the children then shut down the schools? Cops walking off the job? Fire fighters letting a building burn? Though all of this is disguised in altruism, it’s really all about what we worship most: money!
Now do you understand where the extremists get their Great Satan material? I have to admit they have a point. Another US-is-the-Great-Satan depiction from the Middle East comes as a surprising revelation: the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslim sect invented by the late Elijah Mohammed and led today by Louis Farrakhan. The Sunnis of Saudi Arabia are quick to point out that these people are not a part of Islam, but an abomination because they are a racist organization. In Islam, race does not exist, only faith. How do you like that media?
Bottom line: I believe the investigation should go forth because there is a very dangerous, proactive part of Islam. I also believe we have in part brought it upon ourselves.
A few years ago…
Heeding the advice of Asif and Gulam, I grew a beard that I left untrimmed. Upon seeing it, Amr Khashoggi declared that since I was now 75 percent Muslim, I should go the remaining 25 percent. It was soft sell, not convert or die. He and Rajib Rajab Al Malki also gave me a new name, Abu Jaafar (father of Geoffrey).
Here’s the paradox: Whenever I was in public with either Amr or Rajib they took great pleasure introducing me as their American friend. Without exception the Saudis were delighted to meet me and pumped my hand vigorously. Some even kissed my cheek. Who the Saudis really were and the anti-American propaganda that spewed from their mosques represented two different matters. I asked several (mail clerks, executives, and athletic club trainers) if they didn’t consider the US as the enemy who was. I always got the same answer; Iraq and Israel.
Present or past, I take away the same notion. When I’m asked why don’t the overwhelming number of “good” Muslims take the “bad” Muslims to task, I reply because they’re just like us. In other words, why do the small amount of left-wing progressives in the US control opinion? You see, it’s all about political correctness. They have the same disease we do.
Copyright 2011 by Gene Myers.
Author of AFTER HOURS (2009), Strategic Publishing, New York, NY; web site: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AfterHours.html
Author of SONGS FROM LATTYS GROVE (2010), PublishAmerica, Fredericksburg, MD.
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