Wafah Dufour Wont Date Fundamentalist Muslims

As most people already know Wafah Dufour, Osama Bin Laden’s neice, is posing for GQ Magazine next month. Don’t worry I’m not going to dive into uncharted waters here.

Though when I was reading the latest article which quoted parts of the interview that will appear alongside the provocative photos, I came upon an interesting one liner:

“In the interview, Dufour says she would not date a fundamentalist Muslim”

This struck me as odd…

A Muslim by default does not date (or rather: should not)

So why would a fundamentalist Muslim even be available for her to refuse in the first place?

63 Comments

  • Haitham, I have to say I thought the exact same thing, which is why I didn’t want to point fingers. But all things considering, I think this could go either way ๐Ÿ˜€

  • She is trying to cash in on her relationship with Bin Laden. She uses her mother’s name, and not her fathers. She is living well in a $6000 per month apartment in New York (presumably money from her father). So, she despises her Arab and Moslem roots, but has no problem cashing in when it is in her favour.

    On the other hand, she is too insignificant to insult.

  • SC, no actually, that line really caught my attention. if i wanted the traffic i would’ve just posted a picture with a provactive title and said it was a test ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Good eye Nas ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Big K, i watched the interview she had with Barbara Walters, and Wafah mentioned that her father stopped giving her money at the age of 18. So just coz she lives in a $6000 apartmen doesn’ necessarilyt mean she’s getting the money off her father. Maybe it’s her mother :p LOL! Ok, wait, maybe she’s got a job…but didn’t say want to become a singer? God, now i’m really confused :/

  • Oh, and that very same image was in yesterday’s newspaper ‘Al-Watan’ (Kuwait)…so i guess it’s going to cause a lot of controversy *sigh* The things some ppl do for popularity!

  • We were pleased to discover your blog; we’ve excerpted your comments of the Dufour pictures in our weekly review of the world’s blogs, Monday Morning Bloggerback, at Candide’s Notebooks (www.pierretristam.com). You’ll probably like the site as a whole. Its editor, and the author of this note, was once Lebanese.

  • Pierre Tristam, thank you for the excerpt and you have a very fascinating site. I am however interested to know why and how one defines himself as an ‘once lebanese’?

  • she was actually nobody, n maybe cant even single out as a singer if she didnt come across the controversy with the name.

  • I’m glad someone besides myself thinks this girl is butt ugly. Though she’d look good if she wore a veil. I give her a year to break into porn. Obviously no self respecting Muslim would have her.

  • Uuummmmm… She’s a beutiful girl, a lawyer who graduated from a prestigious school, and GQ isn’t exactly penthouse. She didn’t say she rejects Islam, she said she rejects the backward archaic thinking that guides militant islam. The type of thinking that labels these pictures pornography. As for the original assertion that a fundamentalist doesn’t date, give me a break. I guess fundamentalists don’t blow up women and kids either? And for the woman who patronizingly said she was trying so hard to be accepted by the west…. She doesn’t need to try. We don’t bomb non-Christians. Muslims live freely here among a christian majority. When a muslims home burns, his Christian neighbors help. What exactly did this woman do that causes all of you to post negative comments about her? She had the nerve to be free? She’s evil because she showed her legs? What’s the problem? I have to tell you, as an American, I see this blog and it reinforces every muslim stereotype.

  • Funny thing I read… I read that any self-respecting bin laden family member would be ashamed of these photos. Yup, don’t be ashamed of an animal who blows up kids. Be ashamed of a woman who has the nerve to embrace freedom and modernity.

  • I think she is hot, and ashamed of her relatives that still choose to live in the stone ages. I think her whole comment on not “dating” a fundamentalist muslim is another attempt to distance herself from the shame that her murderer uncle has brought to their otherwise proud family name. Why would any woman choose to be with a fundamentalist muslim? It would be like choosing to be a slave or second-class citizen.

  • mikec, thank you for your comments. However I must disagree with you respectfully concerning a point you mentioned: “As for the original assertion that a fundamentalist doesnรƒยข??t date, give me a break”. In Islam dating is haram (or sinful) and while many muslims do actually date, one can logically assume that a Muslim who is fundamentalist, militant or an extremist will in all probability not date. In fact these kinds of people who are a minority in the Islamic world are just as likely to kill fellow muslims who do date. So this is what I was talking about in the above quote, regardless of who said it. Because it does represent a misunderstanding or some degree of casual ignorance about Islamic beliefs.

    thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This woman is obviously using her infamous last name to gain fame and stardom, similar to the way paris hilton used her infamous tape to gain fame and stardom. And she wants us to believe that it hurts to be associated with bin laden, well no one would have given her a second thought, had she not gone on national television and exposed her own heritage. No one forced her to tell the world she was bin laden’s neice, so therefore whatever negative comments come with that, she brought them on herself.

  • Did Someone say that fundamentalist muslims are a minority in This world ??

    Would a person covering their wife, daughter, and who would spit on women who are not covered from head to toe, or call them terrible Arabic names not be considereded a fundamentalist Muslim ?

    I’d say a the majority of the islamic world is fundamentalist . That is why there is more uproar about this woman showing her legs than the bombings of innocent people that go on daily.

    Shame on all who are making this issue the big focus of islamic conversation.

    Just my two bits

    Joe

  • Nas…. I understand that In a perfect world fundamentalism is a utopian wonderland. My point is, it doesn’t exist. The 9/11 animals engaged in myriad “un-islamic” activities. And that was before they indiscriminately murdered women, children, and people of all faiths. Maybe this blog has railed against terrorism and arab oppression. I don’t know. But the reaction to this woman is decidedly negative. It just seems to me that muslims have a million serious issues, and this chick showing her legs isn’t really one of them.

  • mikec, thanks again for the comment. What happened on 9/11 was of course very un-islamicdespite what the media, politicians or even alqueda was convinced many people of. you’ll find the majority of Muslims will denounce it simply based on the fact that it is against their religion in the same way they denounce what happened on 11/9 in my hometown Amman. And you are right there are much larger problems on our side of the world to deal with, which I continously blog about. As for this chick, I really don’t care about her showing her legs or anything, that didn’t concern me as you can read from my post. I was simply pointing out the bit of verbal gaff in that quote which didn’t make sense to me.

    thanks

  • its interesting to read posts n comments here. n thanks to God still exist non-fundamentalist Muslims. n thank God im living in Malaysia. o yea.. Nas, ive inserted some of your lines into my 360.yahoo blog. just so my friends would read some of them too (i think they’re lazy enough to read the whole blog..)

  • I think she’s looks great and she is boldly rebelling against her extremist culture. I feel somewhat afraid for her and her family because I think she’s in consistent danger. There is no way out and she is the perfect person to be made of an example. Iรƒยข??m sure somebody in the media found her before she found them and she decided to capitalize on it. I donรƒยข??t blame anyone for wanting to make better for themselves. For her to became a huge star would be a momentous moment for women of her culture and could bring forth an uproar in the Muslim community. She could spread a message in her songs to somehow bring change, then again, she could be another Britney Spears.

  • mikec, it is your mind set, lacking in researeched background and relying on stereotypes that frequently makes me ashamed to call myself american. I love my freedoms as an american woman, but when traveling abroad i was never more proud then when i was mistaken for a european or a local rather than associated with the rudeness that typically is associated with americans.. that being sadi, please let me adress some of you points specifically.

    My understanding is that while in some families, women are held in low regard and abused like slave or chattel (that happens in the us too) IN many cases the arabic women is protected by the laws that keep her covered and respectible and in the background- doesnt mean she is not a very sexual woman doesnt work on love and respect- it just means that it is reserved only for her husband. And is given the freedom to take care of her family not spread herself extremely thin trying to be strong in the workforce and tender and caring at home. Do i think that musilm societies are ideal? no.. but why paint all muslims the same when in all likelyhood you havent even done any research on the variations within muslim culutres varying between nations.

    On another point.. You say that americans dont bomb non christians…. well guess what there are hate crimes directed at all races and nationalities. and some people are just ignorant enough to let a neighbors house burn down- just because they dont care for their religion.

    ANd finally, i agree, if she really didnt want to be associated with her uncle, then she wouldnt be in the news throwing the name around and saying she doesnt associate herself with him. If she truely wanted to disassociate herself -she would simply use her law degree and then she would truely be like any other new yorker- and we wouldnt know who she was.

  • Here’s some perspective – My dad was born in Egypt, my mother in Germany. I was born in St Louis and grew up in Alabama. Dad’s not a muslim, although he grew up as one before immigrating in 1967(mom’s Lutheren). I talked to him about growing up in Egypt. as it turns out, he dated, went to concerts, and did a lot of things I did and all Americans do. He told me stories about girls he dated and how some were ok, some were psycho (one claimed she was pregnant with his child), some gold-diggers (he was pre-med at the time). OK, he didn’t use those words, but those were the ones that came to mind when I was listening to him.
    So what he did was against muslim law. All his friends did the same thing. The way I understand it now is a muslim getting caught dating is like Baptist getting caught drunk by his pastor, or a preacher coming home to find his daughter getting nailed on the couchby her boyfriend. The vast majority of moslem families would get pissed and probably have some sort of ‘punishment’ that doesn’t include being dis-owned, stoned, or ex-communicated (or the equivilant of) from their mosque or whatever.
    My point is that the dating issue is irrelevant because people don’t follow the Koran to the letter just like people don’t follow the Bible to the letter. Everyone has their own interpretation of the religious document they follow.

    Dude, I think everyone should ease up on this girl and give her a shot. I wonder how many of you have wierd uncles or relatives? How would you feel if your uncle was a pedophile and everyone knew and saw you as one? Or a murdererer, such as in her case? After hearing her out, If you truly hold an ounce of hatred towards her JUST for being related to Osama then your just as f-ed up as Osama himself, who hates all of us JUST for being an American.

    Personally, I think this girl is hot. Who ever doens’t think that she’s even mildly attractive is gay.

  • Southern Hippie, lol thank you for your comments. That is an interesting story you tell. Well your father’s life is a fairly accurate depiction of what certain segments of muslim societies go through. However it is of course not the norm. Many muslims do date and do participate in many of the things your father talked about, and like you said most Muslims dont follow the Quran to the word…but that is exactly what i was pointing out in my post! because while a Muslim may not follow the quran 100% a fundamentalist or extremist on the other hand will do so for sure!

  • there is evidently a media war going on out there against arabs (and muslims in general). it is always very striking how muslims don’t seem to realise that if they want to gain any footing in this asymetric media war it would be through learning how not to be the all-too-easy bait for western, and more agressively, american media. this whole story seems to be less about this girl and more about arabs and muslims (in most cases they are lumped up in a single entity in the minds of the average westerner). it is because the media now, more than ever, knows exactly how to manipulate muslims, and sadly, once again it succeds. it paints a picture of what a muslim women (and by extension ALL muslim women) would really do given a chance outside the strict opressive norms of the arab-muslem world, thus confirming all the prejudices that one of the above comments so brutally displays. (another comment above about a momentus moment for arab women is obviously by someone who is not aware that there are dozens of arab pop singers who have been strutting there stuff for decades) in any case, the story, anticipates the consequent uproar which only goes out to confirm the stereotypes, and that is all the others need to justify their hatred and denigration. societies often need an ‘enemy’ to unify it (especially in times of crises). americans, it would seem, more so than others. an enemy to demonize in order to uphold all the positive values that they attach to their own identity…anyone with any knowledge of the arab (let alone the muslim) world would agree that it is an immensely varied world, and covers a very wide spectrum of values and practices. Therefore, both those who view it as strict or not-so strict are in a way correct as they refer to different strata in that non-homogenous world. this, by the way, is not completely untrue about the US, even though very often individual americans claim a certain homogeniety and universality to what they believe… I believe it is time we fought back and we cannot do that by holding on stubbornly to values already branded as medieval by the other (anyone remembers the salman rushdie affair?) it is time we fought back with restraint, wisdom and humor. costantly disecting the issues of honor, values (religious and cultural), etc won’t get our message through, because to begin with they are the very issues that in you in there eyes are the justification for our condemnation. I am obviously not suggesting anyone changes who they are, or what they believe. (in fact, i think that it is some of these values that the american society in all its selfish pretences so sorely lacks) but it is the focus and the tactics against this mediatic war that needs to shift and it is for us to achieve because they are more than happy with the status quo.. the US has already done enough damage to the arab (and muslim) world (both actual physical and psychological) as to necessitate that we pause and reflect before we let them add more ammunition against us, againt our image and identity
    may wisdom guide you brothers and sisters

  • Southern Hippie, Mikec……..really good points. I was born in Iraq, but left when I was a baby and was raised here in the States. I’m a Catholic and in the last few years is when I really started meeting Muslims through school, work, etc….. Based on my personal experiences there are many Muslims that do date and have sex (outside of marriage), drink, and do drugs like many people all over the country. There are also however those that some of you may deem as “fundamentalist”, who I will deem as fundamentalist who seem to have a hate towards any person who is not Muslim. This is what bothers me. I respect that every person has their own religion, and as it was mentioned earlier, not every person follows their Holy Book down to the letter. However, it seems that these types of Muslims look down on anyone who isn’t like them, which shouldn’t be the case…no one perosn or religion is better than the rest. Another comment I’d like to address is one made by Raissa: “IN many cases the arabic women is protected by the laws that keep her covered and respectible and in the background”. Why would you make such a comment? Do you think that the other billion women in the world who are not covered ( some of which are Muslim) are not respectable? I understand what you are saying because I was raised in family environment where good valuse and morals are very high, as many people living in America are, BUT you’re comment sounds like it would fall in the fundamentalist category I was describing earlier……where this category of Muslims has a sort of hatred and a condescending attitude towards people who don’t follow their ways, especially non-Muslims. A woman is not deemed “respectable” based on whether or not their skin shows or the hair on their head…….she is respectable based on how she carries herself in manners, morals, and values. There have been many times where I’ll be at the mall shopping and I see Muslim girls where a chiffon veil on their head, where you can clearly see their hair and even it’s color, skin tight jeans, and very tight sweaters( with no bras…you get the picture), toe rings and enough makeup to last them a week……..do you deem that as respectable???

  • it seems like it IS a big problem when we pointed out on Moslem.. there is no difference among varies of religion. there are good moslem n bad moslem, good christian n bad christian.. islam taught not to commit adultery, not to get drunk with alcohol n lots more (i believe other religion do taught these too). there are good moslem, who play by the rule leaving bad things behind and there are also bad or maybe not-so-good moslem who doesnt play by the rule. the same thing applies to other religions too.
    lets look upon the point that ‘moslem usually look down to other people who does not look like them’ , Nas explained that earlier (difference between a fundamentalist @ ordinary moslem). Every religious extremist actually look down at others. Thats in religion perspective, lets look in regional perspective? The Americans or the Europeans, do look down at other nations (usually developing n poor nations). So there is no need to point who’s right or wrong.
    Something my teacher said to me many times when I was in high school.. “the Arabs are sometimes stupid.. They do not know what to do with their oil, their wealth.. n they are puppets of the Western.. Its not the religion that bound their thinking.. but the inherited stupidity..” Think about it..

  • Thanks, Nas. You’re probably right about my father being the exception rather than the rule.

    Enkidu, you bring up interesting points and I respect your point of view. I think I speak for most Americans by saying I don’t believe our media is always accurate. In fact, inaccuracies are apparent quite often. An experience I had that taught me to take media reports with ‘a grain of salt’ was when I bought my first shares of stock based on a favorable report by a CNBC commentator back in 1992. The host trumped up a stock, recommended it as a ‘buy’ and listed his reasons. So I bought. Needless to say I bought the stock and it plummeted 99% in the following months. Later it was discovered that the host was using his position for personal gain and was subsequentially fired or transferred out.

    I listened blindly without doing any research on my own. As much information as there was about that particular company, the industry, the market for that particular product, etc. I relied solely on what I heard on the ‘news’ to make my decision. You know what, my friend, I cannot blame the media one iota for the decision I made.

    You’re obviously very intelligent, so I ‘m trying to figure out why you see western media as such a bad thing. You, I and everyone else knows the media is a business and part of that business is gaining as many viewers as possible (to sell ads, appease investors, etc). It’s not nor has it ever been 100% factually accurate or non-partisan. Since we know this, is it really accurate to blame the media for the way people think? Why not blame the people who allow themselves to be influenced by the media? But I digress, is it fair to blame the vast majority of arab muslims you speak of who have not learned what I and others have about western media? In all fairness, probably not.

    We call our society free, but obviosly we have laws that prevent people from doing whatever they want. Our county was found on the principal that is stated in the first amendment of our constitution. The reason we call ourselves free is because we, unlike any civilization in the world, our law is based on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If people really want to know what American’s are all about, all they have to do is read our constitution. It’s not long or confusing. I really can’t understand why all country’s don’t copy it verbatem and establish it as their basic rule of law.

    I can go on about how the balance of powers protect our society from being overly controlled by one entity, but all this information is readily available and I’m sure you know all the details.

    All Americans know that our society or government is not perfect – far from it. We do , however, believe that it’s superior to all other past or present governments based on the overall opportunity, safety, health and standard of living of our citizens compared with anywhere else in the world.

    I think Wafah’s mom is right in believing that Americans are caring and compassionate. I know Muslims and Middle Easterners are extremely kind, compassionate, and hospitable. If you recognize that a society based on laws that afford an equal opportunity for everyone and learn to separate theology from government, there would be no wars -only peace and lively debates.

    Unfortunately the only Americans most of the world is exposed to is the media’s version, which portrays us as shallow, vain, elitists all trying to keep up with the Jones’s. We’re all individuals with a broad spectrum of ideals and beliefs. If

    .

  • I think this woman is ugly and not model material at all, ive actually heard about this woman before, and read that she was a spoiled wanna be socialite trying to horn her way into high society. In essense she has no more to offer us, than Paris Hilton! Both of these women are reportedly snobby, difficult, and trashy. If this woman considers new york her home, then whats with the french accent? Also if her mom loves america so much, then how come she lives in switzerland? The only decent picture of this girl is the one with her holding the guitar, otherwise she looks like utter hell in the rest, I mean come on nobody on the show “americas next top model”, gets away with looking like hell in photos, so whoes this moronic photographer who okayed these pics for publication?!?!?!?! LOL

  • hippie, the media has always been in part propaganda. western, more aggressivly american, media has turned shamelessly, glaringly so since the polarization of civilizations that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has crystalized. it is always quite disturbing to hear the critiques denigrating regime-owned agencies and their propaganda in western media, but if you listen to western media itself you can easily discern the same mechanism at work, ‘dressed’ up differently to appear ‘independent’ (and actually not always so)… all that biased coverage glaring at you aim at very specific ends. you have to be really disconncted not to notice! so the pressing questions become who really owns this ‘free’ media? and what are their allegiances political, financial? Agendas? how are they controlled, infiltrated to influence people’s perceptions and opinions? the run-up to the iraq invasion would be the clearest recent example in how american media ( was) manipulated to affect and mold people’s perception of the reality on the ground and how consequently it has influenced their position, their decisions.. i mean i am not saying anything original here, It’s pretty evident that the media is a powerful propaganda tool (wherther it is called free or regime-owned)..
    the other point is that there is a serious problem with this view of US society (although ‘not perfect’ as you say, ‘far from it’ viewed from the outside) is superior to all others past and present (though you did not quite phrase it that way that is the sense of it). It is a dangerous notion, for you as much as for other nations. of course, again this is nothing new, we hear it in every commentary made on the media, from every politician, every military, from every average american you happen to meet, finally (so i am afraid it is not entirely an impression that the media has created that duped us). This element of superiority (obviously backed by the unquestionable military might) renders the needs and aspirations of other nations as inconsequential. worse it dehuminizes them. it is no wonder that your military kills them by the thousands without you even flinching (so much for human compassion). (once again it is inconsistent to argue with so much passion over a woman’s head scarf and yet fall silent when these very women whose rights you claim you care so much about get annhilated by your bombs)… But its a matter of principle (and interests, of course) the supeior free nation is more than willing to trample over who ever it may deem as a threat to its interests (and principles, of course)(rightly or wrongly, and even a minute threat, iraq the perfect example)…. historically, the rise of any form of fundamentalism has always been a ‘reaction’ to humiliation, and inequity, to the feeling of impotence and loss of hope. so if all this talk about peace and prosperity is not mere utopic, or worse empty, self-congratulatory talk, then the US (government and citizens) need to seriously address how their touted quest to achieve all the beautiful values enshrined in your constitution have had a devastating effect on many nations….Of course none of this is new, all super powers in the past have usurped the rights and the resouces of smaller nations, but remember that eventually brought about their demise… a starting point would be to perhaps extend the care and compassion you mention you have for your fellow citizens to all the others toiling away in hunger far away so you can have the thousands of choices of cans and cereal boxes, and other essential or not-so-essential gadgets littering every mega-supermarket across the land of the free, or perhaps extend some compassion to those who happen to possess reserves of natural resourses so that they also can profit and improve their lot in this ephemeral world and not to trample over them just so you would pay a one wretched buck less at the gas pump. to perhaps accept that it is not ‘prohibited’ to another nation to have aspirations and dreams unlike yours, values and customs different from your own (maybe, even at odds with yours) that they are not retrograde, but different. which brings us back to bin laden’s niece. you may or may have not seen the videos or the publicity shots of many arab pop stars, or film stars for that matter, let me tell you that the shots of the niece with the infamous name are not more racey than many of the others (in fact there is an air of melancholy about her gaze that is at odds with the set-up), so as they have seen all this before i would conclude that what offended most of the commentetors is the statement behind these photos and their appearance in a western publication. (you can’t blame them to distrust the intentions in light of what i mentioned above) so what they read is probably something like: ‘ah ha! look whom we have dug up for you. bin laden’s niece, no other. and we got her in her lingerie, at that’ it is like the war trophies of old times. when they used to strip and humiliate (rape even) wives and daughters in order to humiliate their enemies. i don’t think it’s a question of an arab girl showing legs as somone said in one comment (there is nothing unusual about that unless you have never you only have never walked the street in beirut, cairo (or even baghdad before the invasion) which most probably he has not) ..and as i said above it all depends where you are in the arab world and also on the social class, on the family background, ethnic, religious history. perhaps what bothers us most is this sudden surge of a superficial, hyper-interest in our world by your media and the consequent ‘shallowness’ of the coverage of a world they (and you) know very little about, and stripped of the adverse propaganda element, not very interested in after all.

  • Did it ever occur to anyone that since she does not speak Arabic, is probably NOT muslim, and completely American, maybe it just didn’t occur to her to make that distinction about fundamentalists dating? Perhaps she is just as uninformed as the majority of Americans about cultures and ideologies of the world because she watches the same news that Southern Hippie saw? Our media is a business and as such, does not properly suit the role it was thrown into– to properly inform the public about local, national, and internaional political and economic events.
    It probably just slipped out due to pure habit, and by that I mean her entire mentality. She’s a part of western culture so when speaking about dating an Islamist fundamentalist, while in her familiar cultural sphere, it would never occur to her that dating and fundamentalism are actually polar terms.
    As for her physical appearance, she is decent looking but I have certainly seen hotter women on the subway, on NJRail, and in my husband’s family’s circle of friends, (they’re Moroccan). Make up and good lighting can do a lot for just about anybody.
    I, as an American learning Arabic, Middle Eastern history, and the reasons for the recent Islamic resurgence, and married to a Moroccan, did not pick up the dating fundamentalist contradiction. Am I stupid or just stuck in my familiar cultural sphere as I read GQ?
    You guys are way too harsh on someone you don’t know at all. Why not bash someone who deserves it, like Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. They should’ve named their baby turdface. LOLOLOL

  • Enkidu, where are you from? Just interested. The media is only one source of information. Honestly, I don’t even like the media. a lot of what is reported seems to be biased and geared towards influencing a viewers opinion. I believe that most Alabamians don’t like how we’re portrayed by the media. We’re always portrayed as dumb and poor rednecks, especially if a natural disaster like a tornado hits a small town. It seems as though they look for the one uneducated, tooth-less guy who’s trailer was destroyed by the tornado and interview him on national television. That type of person always seems to say the same thing; “I wuz sittin on the couch watchin’ TV and all of a sudden it sounded like a freight train headin straight towards my trailer. Next thing I knew was I was laying on the dirt on one side of the road, my couch was on the other side and my cold beer landed right in the middle of it. Didn’t spill a drop..”

    You see, the media often uses stereotypes. There protrayal of middle easterners is no less insulting than their portrayal of in Alabama resident as a back woods redneck. Honestly the portrayal may even hurt our economy by discouraging people and businesses from moving here. My attitude of the news media is that I can change the channel or turn off the tv if I don’t like what I’m watching.

    If it’s true that most non-Americans form an impression about our country based on what they see in the media, shouldn’t they be just as guilty of stereotyping as the medial? My point is that its important to put “media influence’ in perspective. Is the media guilty of stereotyping? Sure. Can you get information form sources other than the media? You bet, at least in the West!. Our society allows us the freedom of speech that can be used to say almost anything..unless it is a lie and intended to damage an individual or companies reputation. Laws governing slander and libel protect individuals and companies from harm caused by untrue, damaging statements.

    The bottom line regarding the media is that if you dont like the news, tunr off your tv, put down your newspaper, or Google another subject. These actions shouldn’t be interperated as burying your head in the sand like an ostrich. If your that much into politics, get involved in the political process. There are a miriad of non-violent ways to get things done. Rally grass-root support, write your congressman or state representative, go on strike, picket, protest, gather support and run for office, etc.. There are ways you can actually utilize the media for your benefit, also. You can pass out fliers, start a news letter, contact local media for an interview, write to the editor of a local or national news publication. I can go on, but hopefully I made my point.

    You talk about Americans having access to thousands of choices of food, ect whiel people in other parts of the world are starving. My answer to that is that as Americans we are aware of our surroundings and we care. You should know we’re the largest supplier of free food and medicine to non-developed countries in the world. I
    m sure you know that and the reason I mention it is to provide an example of good things Americans , or Government and American companies do. Sure we can probably do more, but please give us some credit for what’s been done and is continuing to be done.

    Regarding our interest in the Middle east, people don’t change over night. Look at the Arab-Jew conflict; you guys have been fighing that senseless war for eons. over what, Land? God gave everyone life and you all are sacraficing it regularly for dirt. Sorry, it’s holy dirt, right? We are showing interest. We are all gradually learning about your culture. With all the sports statisticss to remember, work and family life pardon us if we’re not experts on life in the middle east. The fact is that the “evil’ media has created a curiosity and interest in your culture and country. Many Americans were far more “stereotypical’ in their view of the middle east before the war. We as a country are taking ‘baby steps’ with regards to learning about the middle east. Most can now separate a “terrorist” from a Muslim. Did you know that I, being of Egyptian decent, was mocked by my peers after the first war in 1990. I even served in the United States Marine Reserves! Sure it hurt, but at the end of the day I knew people didn’t understand anything about my heratage other than what they saw in movies or in the news. Those who chose to understand and befriend me eventually helped their friends see me as someone more like them than what their perception of me was. I still come across people who view me as a ‘terrorist’. I soetimes joke that I’m “sleeper cell # 39”. It doesn’t bother me. I have more important things to think about and do thn worry about how someone’s perception of me.

    I want to briefly comment on a few more things. The reason our society is so succssfull is because we have opportunities protected by our government and constitution. We’ve learned how to negotiate and trade with other countries. The more democratic the world becomes the better it is for us. For everyone. Your high level politicians and government reaps most of the benefits of trade. It doesn’t trickle down to the common man. How come you have the richest and poorest people in the world living within a stones throw of eachother. The answer is because your laws are unequal. Your country uses religion to suppress you. While you are doing your best to survive and get ahead for the benefit of you and your family, your princes and polititians are in Monaco spending money on women, booze and gambling. Talk about humiliation. I would despise my leaders for such double standards.

    You blame the west for all the problems in the world, or at least in the middle east. It seems to me that if you swallowed your pride, accepted a change in government and used all your energy to help create the most equitable government and society you could, you would become the Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or John Adams future generations would thank Allah for.

  • All of this political ranting is rather pointless and annoying to someone who actually lost someone on Sept. 11. I hear a lot of rationalizing of the US’s prejudices. What the hell did any American citizen ever do to an Arab or Muslim person anyway? We buy their oil, they buy our real estate. I think the US is the one getting screwed. And so what if Muslims condemn Sept. 11 because it is against their beliefs, how about killing innocent people? Apparently there are times when that’s okay. Okay then. Americans should never be sorry for supporting Isreal. We should just bomb the entire Middle East and call it all Isreal. Normally such a thing would be against my “beliefs” but in this case I’ll make an exception.

    Also I think “butt ugly” is kind of the same thing as “mildly attractive”. I didn’t say I wouldn’t do her–but that would depend on how she smells.

  • Dude, you lost someone on Sept. 11th, I am truely sorry for you and for every American who lost a loved one on that day, but I feel a 100 times more sorry for the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who lost not only one but dozens of their families and friends after Septemeber 11th, and not because of what 19 American hijackers decided to do, but because of what your “democratically elected” government decided to do.

    “We buy their oil, they buy our real estate”, learn your country’s politics man. Oh I forgot, it’s all annoying to you. Well tough deal! Don’t whine if you don’t wanna understand.

  • I agree with Hamzeh, but really, we need to stop the politics ’cause we’re supposed to be trying to figure out if Wafah is a ditzy socialite or a respectable law graduate who decided that modeling is far more enjoyable than lawyering. Our material to work with is limited, “I wouldn’t date an islamic fundamentalist,” but let us work cooperatively and with haste, and soon enough, we will be able to see if we like her as much as we like Britney Spears.
    Oh a different note, people with Duke Brady’s views and the like should research the writings of Professor Edward Saed (Said?). We, as Americans need to stop worrying about how big our Hummer rims should be and instead pick up a book. I BLAME BRITNEY SPEARS! LOLOL

  • Oh, a few more things:
    Southern Hippie, you da man! You must read The Economist and if you don’t, then you must be studying or have studied political science in college. If not, then I applaud you for being an informed citizen! Oh, and semper fi!

  • In conservative countries, people are dieing to be able to have the basic rights that every human on earth should have regardless of race, nationality or religeon. Like this following report that i am going to talk about Ahmed was sentenced to a year in prison, paying a 2000 KD fine (7000$) and he had to sign a paper in which he promises no to return back to crime again!!

    And his crime?

    Ahmed learnt that the government wanted to increase the hours of teaching Quran and Islamic religion in schools and that would be on the expense of the music class. So Ahmed “committed his crime” and wrote the following on Assiyasah (The Politics) newspaper:

    Is there no end for this backwardness?

    I don’t want my son to receive lessons from some ignorant people who teach him to disrespect women, non Muslims and many others and I don’t want those culturally retarded uneducated people who choose the curriculums to fill my son’s head with myths about Satan.

    And frankly speaking, I don’t want my son to learn *”Tajweed” because I don’t want him to become a cleric or a Quran reader, reading the verses over dark graves. I also want to protect him from the possibility of joining terrorism whether
    practically or mentally.

    Bottom line is, I want my son to have a future that makes me proud of him, his knowledge, mentality and work and I don’t want to have him raised and taught in a way that makes me ashamed of his doings in the future. Is there no end for this backwardness?

    Neither freedom of opinion nor any other intellectual freedom has ever constituted a dimension of Arab society and culture. Censorship of publications and artistic productions and laws restricting freedom of opinion are tangible proof that these societies are narrow-minded or lack the desire — not merely the capacity — to accept the opinions of others. Arab peoples believe, as the Islamists would have it, that the crisis of their societies resides in alienation from religion, and are hence haunted by the spectre of religious sanctions and prohibitions.

    Some may ask whether I believe that freedom of opinion should be entirely unrestricted. To this, my answer is an unequivocal yes. If this freedom is not absolute, it cannot exist. The only punishment facing a writer who allegedly defames religion should come from society, through the boycott of his works or through direct debate, in order to prove the fallacy of his ideas and to grant him the opportunity to retract them voluntarily. Rabble-rousing, death threats, book burning and the promulgation of laws targeting particular bodies of opinion can mean only one thing. They tell us that the Arab nation is incapable of rational debate, and is therefore a nation disposed to terrorism.

  • Hamzeh puts “democratically elected” in quotes. This is a kind of joke since our government went to war to defend Kuwait and Suadi Arabia which are as close to fascist dictatorships as exist today. I am familiar with Edward Said. He taught at Columbia, a school I once attended but did not take his classes.

    “Neither freedom of opinion nor any other intellectual freedom has ever constituted a dimension of Arab society and culture.” Thank you, Anarchist for this perspective becuase it is true and no believer in any religion wants to hear the truth.

    This is America, thank god. I can express myself like a genius or a jackass. Whatever. Whenever I choose and wherever. I don’t have to wear a beard and my girlfriend doesn’t have to cover her Victoria’s Secret thong and Ipex bra beneath a burkah. Ignorance is the true crime, death is only the consequence, along with more ignorance. When American soldiers die to defend Arab kings and backward ass clerics, I never hear a single Muslim give thanks to those American men and women who chose to do so, who had the freedom to choose to do so. There’s a word for that–ingrates. I’d like to see a single Arab lift a finger to help an American. I won’t hold my breath because it won’t happen.

    Bin Laden’s neice knows exactly what she is doing whoring herself gor the West because it is a stick in the eye to the Fundamentalist, the same Fundamentalist who secretly practice rampent homosexuality and shoot up Afghany heroin. There are no saints in this world, admittedly, but as Said showed, Arabs who live in glass houses are the first ones to throw stones. Sadly its their women that are hit most, and then anyone with a mind to think for themselves.

    Of course if Wafah went back to Saudi Arabia according to Sharia law she would be gang raped. I call that porn. What do you call it?

  • Duke Brady says “Ignorance is the true crime”, I say ignorance is bless, and God sure blessed Americans like Duke Brady.

  • “Neither freedom of opinion nor any other intellectual freedom has ever constituted a dimension of Arab society and culture.”

    Anarchist: Have you ever read about the ‘Abbasid Empire? Ever heard of Al-Farabi? Did you ever read about the beginnings of Islam, what it stood for and why it became so popular in the world? Please, go read some history and then rant. Check out works written by Ira Lapidus.

  • hippie, you said it yourself the media is aimed at the impressionable, the undecided, the uninformed and therefore in a democratic society like yours where they have an equal say in the oucome of the process as the informed and the educated, it has an immense influence and any one who claims that it is negligible and by changing the channel that its influence would just go away is simply fooling themselves.

    As for US humanitarian aid, it has always been politically motivated, extremely selective and tainted with hypocrisy. I would rather hear these facts stated than the nauseatingly false compassion that belches our of american mouths, both official and non-official. But i will refrain from making any specific conclusions regarding your personal reasons, as I
    don’t know you personally, you maybe simply a naive idealist who buys into the myth of a compassionate ‘good’ America
    that owes its success purely to its perfect unparalleled system, unparalleled anywhere else on this earth- no even more than that unmatched throughout history, and unlikely to improve upon- by the way even the romans believed that in their own time- yeah the nation with the perfect system and therefore justifiably the ethical leader of the world who will be responsible in eradicating everything negative in the world at the same time as prospering beyond the imaginable, you are already painting the US as some sort of a paradise of equity in contrast to the richer getting ever richer and the poorer getting poorer elsewhere which is a debatable assertion- go ask some of the black and latino populations in the US). Or you may not be so naive after all but its your national pride that blinds you from perceiving what appears to be factual to an imposing majority of the inhabitants of this planet regarding almighty free America.

    There is a terrible shallowness in the reduction of the palestine-Israel conflict to dirt. It is not a conflict about dirt, sir, it is a conflict about a nation being treated like dirt! it is a conflict about a nation deprived of its most basic rights, the very same
    rights that you are constantly boasting about as the source of pride and success of your nation. It should not be so difficult for you to understand their necessity for other nations now should it?
    A little bit of historical research would open your eyes to the origins of this conflict. It is a conflict that was imposed on the region by the super power of the time, the UK- comparable to the conflict that the US, the current super power of today has imposed on Iraq with equal colonialistic intentions. In sharp contrast to americans,most informed and educated Brits today (in hindsight) accept the historical resposibility to that and admit to the role that their nation’s former colonization is in fact a determinant factor in the current instability in the region. The majority of the french too with regards to north africa, and in fact large parts of africa (of course Le Pen and the extreme right are exceptions, as they very much share the american views about how retrograde the middle east is). So no sir, it is not a question of a victimization obsession that we arabs suffer from it is historical fact that the arbitrary division and colonization of the middle east during the first half of the 20th century by the ‘West’ has had a devastating effect on the region. And it continues through ‘our’ selfish corrupt leaders whom you say you would despise, well got news for you, they are despised! And if it wasn’t for the support that they received and continue to receive from the ethical beacon of freedom America, they would not be at the head of our states, with complete disegard to all your humanitarian values, unless of course, they manifest the slightest ‘disbediance’ to almighty US, then these values suddenly become paramount and these rulers turn from friends, allies into evil dictators. The examples are too numerous and obvious to list. Sir it is not our pride that is blinding us, it is not our pride that stands in the way of change, it is your insatiable greed for the wealth that nature has endowed our nations that drives you to meddle constantly into our affairs, to prevent the natural evolution of our societies towards self-realization and the prosperity that we deserve.

    Societies, civilizations change, evolve, progress, regress they always have done, always will do. And they follow specific paths guided by their histories needs riches, how arrogant of you to assume that only way possible is your way?
    How dare you impose upon the rest of us your will in order to serve your wretched interests? But, of course, you can. Because you are the superpower of the day (but only of the day, a look back to history is usually very instructive). Empires always end up losing themselves in their own megalomania, and as some observer recently stated in an article- mighty America is bogged down in tiny helpless iraq- should give you reason to pause and THINK
    May wisdom guide us all

  • Endiku, The division and subsequent ‘colonization’ of the middle east and north africa happened as a result of the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire. There were religious ‘fundamentalists’ then and, as I understand, dating back to the 12th century, if not earlier. These fundamentalists have always has it in for ‘infidels’. That’s still going on today. Fundamentalists aren’t the reformers they claim to be. They are seeking power, control, and dominance. Nothing will stop them until all the ‘infidels’ are eliminated.
    I percieve that as being idealistic, to put it mildly. It’s unfathonable to rid the world of ‘infidels’. It’s not only idealistic, it’s irrational. In todays society it’s a lost cause that will eventually self destruct and dissappear, along with the beliefs it proportedly represents.
    The reason I believe fundamentalism will be defeated is that more people believe in living over dying. The US is fighting a war to promote peace and stability, as ironic as that sounds. After the war, we will back out of the middle east just like we did in all the other conflicts over the past century. If Iran, Syria, North Korea, or any other nation (with the exception of China) decides they want to impose their will on us or countries we support, we’ll go to war with them too. Ultimately we beieve that society should allow every human bieng the freedom to choose their own religion, vote for thei representatives fairly, have control of their destiny, and do what they want as long as it does not infringe upon rights of other citizens.
    You mention African Americans and Hispanics as examples of disadvantaged and oppressed. In the past 40 years our government has acknowledged race inequalities and have made substantial policy changes to protect their rights, give them as much power, and in some cases more than their white counterparts (ever hear about affirmative action?). Elected citizens who become a part of our government have the power to change things. It doesn’t happen overnight. Issues are debated, publicized through our ‘evil’ media, voted on, and either pass as laws or fail. If an unpopular bill gets passed into law, the official may lose the next exection and be replaced by someone else wh may eventually get that law repealled. Or not. That’s the way a democracy functions. It’s not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than any alternative, past or present.
    In the middle east, government controls the media. In the US, the media puts government in check. Our media harrasses each president, exposes hypocracies and uses free speech to let our citizens and the world know what our leader is all about. If it was the ‘propoganda machine’ you speak of which is manipulated by our government, wouldn’t our president’s approval rating be closer to 90% than 40%? I don’t get your arguement there. Also, you think our humanitarian aid is selective and tainted with hypocracy? Besides disagreeing with you, If you were right, who sets the rules on giving? Why should we give to a country with an archaic government who will only keep it amongst their political elite? Besides, there are too many non-political US organizations that distribute free food, clothing, etc all around the world for you to take ssue of our ‘distribution’ of free stuff to needy people. As rich as middle eastern countries are, how much does their government provide in welfare to any other country, much less their own citizens!
    America is about equality and opportunity for all. Where in our constitution does it say that citezens are promised “paradise”. Our system of law promise life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Were not even promised happiness!, although we can pursue it all we want.
    I’d like to say one moer thing regarding your response to my “holy dirt’ comment. It is a centuries old war that could easily be resolved if the Arab nations learned how to share like I did when I was 2 years old. Your comparison of the Palistinial issue and protection of ownership rights in the US is preposterous. How many women do you think would be allowed to own land if Jewish settlers packed up and lef? How many non-politically connected citizens would be able to own land, how many foriegners? Answers: None, not to many, and a few rich Europeans who greased the right hands.

    Look, life is hard enough as it is for all of us. If more people all over the world could set aside their religious beliefs to try to create a society of equality and justice for ALL, you and I would be talking World Cup soccer instead of politics.

    BTW- Thanks IntuitivelyBlue. and Duke, you know you’d hook up with Wafah if your friends wouldn’t find out.

  • Hippie,
    After 500 years of rule from a central government tucked away far away in Asia Minor, the ottomans were in a state of decline. They had been a constant threat to the west for centuries, their interests were at odds, The west capitalised upon that period of decline and attacked. It was the Arabs deluded by the promises of peace and prosperity and self determination (very similar to todays America’s empty promises) who aided the allies to give the final blow to the turks. And how did the west reward its faithful allies? Predictably, colonised the whole region, subdivided it as war trophies to be shared by the victors, killed, tortured and robbed the whole region for a few generations, and in an act of utter generosity and compassion ‘donated’ part of the region to another people. It took 50 years of struggle, thousands of lives to free these territories one by one, in the hope that finally we can stand on our own feet and build our future. How that ties to your own personal history of ‘fundamentalism’? Clearly any discussion of our rights or destiny is automatically, reflexively translated into ‘fundamentalism’ in your ‘brainwashed’ perceptions. Reading your messages one is immediately struck by the fact that you do not respond specifically to the issues I bring up, rather to a preconceived and highly prejudiced view of a world you obviously know very little about, and most probably only second-hand. For where did you read in my reflections that I was representing or defending a ‘fundamentalistic’ option that threatened your values and put you on the defensive justifying every atrocity that your free nation has been commiting? And why is fundamentalism the only possible alternative for us if we were to refuse abject slavery to America’s interests? How American รƒฦ’ร‚ย  la Hollywood!! If we’re not with you 500% then we have got to be against you! With such a selfish limited view of the world how can you preach that empty verbiage of unity and reconciliation. I would say that this discourse of infidels vs fundamantalists has been a ‘gift’ to America. For regardless of what it actually represents for us and how accurate it represents us it serves your purposes rather nicely. It justifies your prejudiced distrust of other nations, your condescendence to their values that you know very little of aside from the fact that they are different from yours, your lack of respect to their very humanity. It justifies action against nations you have always suspected to be resistant to your unquestionable domination and therefore, unquestionably, A THREAT. As I said earlier, fundamentalism is a REACTION to a feeling of impotence and loss of hope, of disappontment and humiliation (you can research on the history of fundamentalism there are dozens of books out there, some even by american scholars, in case you do not trust arab scholars). It is an extreme reaction. Who called them reformers? I called upon you not to meddle into our affairs so we can find our own future. Only we can determine what is our own good, it is we who must profit from our wealth before you and the corrupt puppet governments that you support simply because they profess their unquestionable allegiance to you, therefore I called upon what you claim you believe- that every human being have control over their destiny, and what is your response to that? A sermon about the evils of fundamentalism!

  • Hippie, part 2
    Fundamentalism will NOT be defeated because people believe in living over dying. There will always be those who would rather die than live without hope, without a future (things that you take for granted but are denied to probably millions on this planet) without dignity (something your greedy materialistic minds have completely forgotten). People can kill themselves for far less than that (study suicide in the developed countries if you want!) . You may say that suicide is a personal issue whereas those ‘barbarians’ kill innocents. But where were you when they suffered? you the almighty superpower? who would have listened if they did not resort to extreme tactics? It is your indifference that is responsible? yours and the arab governments, your servants! You have denigrated those who die in palestine, let me ask you what are your men and women dying for in Iraq (and killing thousands of innocents with them) -And don’t give me the official lies about freedom and compassion-They are dying for power and oil. Dying for the BUCK! how very more commendable that is a reason than the basic human rights of the palestinians. ..And by the way, I did not compare the ownership rights of the palestinians to those in the US. I referred to the HUMAN RIGHTS of equality and freedom and self-determination that the palestinians are denied in their own homeland. Once again your misinterpretation exposes your own materialistic mind set, at the same time as it betrays a ‘fundamental’ lack of understanding of that conflict, and the habitual feeling of superiority- for how can these ‘fundamentalist barbarians’ be demanding what is enshrined in your own constitution that you remind us of ad nauseam! You know it is this attitude that is preposterous.
    You are dead wrong when you assert that the war between the arabs and the jews is centuries old. Christian Europeans have always been the authors of the persecution of the jews (as they historically accused them to be the murderers of the Lord as you should know). Islam has always viewed itself as a continuation of the other two main monotheistic religions, and therefore preached tolerence towards them. Historically, the arab world has been a haven for jews fleeing the European christian persecution (the concentration in north africa is an example of that jewish exodus out of Europe). The palestine-Israel conflict is the last relic of that ugly dark colonial age that devastated the region.
    Once again you are dead wrong concerning the supposed prohibition of women ownership. It is obvious that your knowledge of the legal systems in our world is non-existant, or you are simply basing your conclusions on some ‘fundamentalist’ pronunciation that you heard on CNN. And what about the prohibition of ownership to non-politically connected people? The only places I know of where there are ownership restrictions are in in the lands of your favourite allies (Kuwait, for example) where in their paranoid reasoning, foreigners cannot appropriate the land of their ancestors. In older societies very often land is passed on from generation to generation regardless of gender or the ever-changing political winds. Surely there have been some atrocities regarding land appropriation based on ethnic conflicts (the Kurds for example) but that, sadly, existed, and still exists around the world and I believe we cannot correct those wrongs by the use of cluster bombs. Clearly your knowledge comes from very biased sources with very specific agendas and they know how to manipulate you because they know that that is what you want to believe- so much for your multi-sourced, verified free information networks (remember how your brilliant government and media took Ahmed Chalabi’s lies for absolute truths?), so much for your universal values that you are happy to apply only where it serves your interests.
    Sir, let’s state the obvious- America is about unchallanged world domination, (hey you even wanna take your wars up to space, remember), domination, and the necessary disproportionate supply of resources necessary for this domination (disproportionate with regard to how much it consumes, destroys and pollutes relative to its size and population).America is not about equality, for applying this lofty principle in one neighbourhood and depriving another is hypocrisy. America is not about life. For to respect life is to respect human life everywhere. America is about vengence, it is ready to burn a whole city down for the charred remains of 4 of its mercenaries. America is about justice (only when it suites her selfish interests). America is not about the pursuit of happiness. It is about the pursuit of the BUCK! and money can’t buy happiness (a clichรƒฦ’ร‚ยฉ, I know, but oh how true!) America is a fortress of indifference. It continues to crush the hopes of millions to feed its own megalomania. Only when you decide to drag your junk-food bloated backsides out of your starred and striped bubble will equality justice and reconciliation become reality and not mere slogans.

  • Turks slaughtered the Armenians in the 1890’s. The region was subdivided because that’s what happened to countries on the wrong side of war back then.Anyway, we can look back and reflect on mistakes and poor judgment calls on former leaders, but inless something is learned it is piontless. And we have learned.. we learned that is vital that stability exists throughout the world.
    Today, things are much different. Contrary to your perception, humanity has benifited exponentially in the past century due to western expansionism. The fact that you know there are environmental issues is a testament to the benefit of satelite imagry and software designed to study the climate and changes that have occured. Vaccines can cure many diseases that used to kill, and people of the world are, for the first time in history, soon to be protected by a pandemic that can threaten the lives of half the population of the WORLD. Surely you know the reason for this level of progress is the direct result of the pursuit of the ALMIGHTY BUCK! Endiku, we’re you born in a hospital that had all the conveniencs and equiptment to save your life if something went wrong. We’ll guess what? If it weren’t for the ALMIGHTY BUCK, that technology would have never existed. I guess it’s also true that war brought about many new inventions and things we still use today (i.e. satellite, internet, etc). Your quick to attack the west yet you utilize all the comforts and conveniences invented in the good ole US of A
    .
    Say your right about our government seeking world dominance. If we achieved that proported objective and all countries adopted a constitution.. or let’s say world governments were more like the EU. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing. War would be a distant memory and our fights would be in the political arena. People would have the freedom chose their religious faith. Materialism, much to your disgust, would be prevalent because thats what drives a market economy and generates business, which creates employment. Fortunately you, I and others who don’t subscribe to such shallowness can continue reap it’s benefits while while openly criticizing itover morning coffee.
    I agree that the US’s allies in the Middle East run their countries vastly differently than we run ours. It’s true we probably backed Saddam in the 80’s. we screwed up a lot in regards to policies and issues regarding the ME. I think that’s wrong. The obvious reason is that we rely on oil to sustain our economy and it’s what has been most important to us, but that’s a result of war and business deals with governments and kingdoms that took place a long time ago. It would be categorically innaccurate, however, to say that middle easterners did not benefit from the trade, however unequally. There’s clean running water, electricity, vehicles, improved school systems, jobs, etc. If it wasn’t for selling oil, in what state would the middle east be in today? You’d be fighting famine instead of Israel. Defending a box of humanitarian aid dropped by a C-130 for your family instead of defending palestine. You’d be begging for the ALMIGHTY BUCK from an American tourist instead of complaining about our media and materialism.

    So much for thought and wisdom.

  • Hippie, Turks slaughtered the Armenians, Germans slaughtered the Jews, the Japaneses slaughter the Chinese , the Communist Chinese starved millions to death, Israelis slaughted the Palestinians, The Americans slaughtered the Vietnamese, the Serbs slaughtered the Muslim Bosnians, the Hutus slaughtered the Tutsi, the Americans (once again) slaughtered the Iraqis, and on, and on. People have reflected and still reflecting upon all these past and present atrocities and what did they learn??
    Who can argue againt the benefits of stability in the world? The question is HOW?
    World stability is not an order that can be imposed by force. Force only generates resistance and repeats the same cycles of atrocities that we are trying to eliminate from the world. We should rather try discussion and cooperation so that all parties can perceive and agree upon a common good, so that they can perceive the benefits that they will all reap, and not only the disproportionate benefits that only ONE will reap while the others starve. You speak about looking back and learning, then why does it seem so hard for you to see parallels between Empire America, and former empires, lets say Rome in its heyday? They also preached ‘civilizing’ the barbaric world, and instead of reaching out they carried on with their wars that eventually brought their fall.

    America lies about its professed goals of world stability (especially in places that control the natural resources it DESPERATELY needs to continue its ‘progress’). For any stability out of reach to american hegemony it views as a destabilizing factor to its interests. A stable unified (unified in its interests, that is) middle east (as it was once), for example, would be a wealthy and powerful one (not a starving, ‘begging’ one as your limited american imagination would lead you to believe) and therefore it is viewed by america as a major threat simply because it would mean that america will no longer control its life-supporting fuel, and would have to make a FAIR trade. Obviously that would be best for everyone, for it means that different nations would have a chance to be more independent of external interference, improve their living conditions, and rise above the pursuit of bare necessities to pursue endeavors that would contribute to the advancement of technology, and overall human progress (History proves that different people have come up with alternative inventions of comparable ingenuity in response to similar needs and problems.)
    But that would mean that America can no longer claim and impose its absolute authority- no technological superiority, and not enough resources to satiate its appallingly abusive consumerism. This is what TERRIFIES America. (America already cannot conceal its paranoia regarding fast-advancing nations like China, and is using all its power to make allies with its regional neighbours, India, for ex). But also, there is a historical issue. America once ‘SAVED’ the civilized world, i.e. Europe, and thus has become the undisputed master of the civilized world, and is foundering in its despair to keep up that illusion even though the reality of the world has changed since. It has no longer its tight grip on th UN that will permit her to push on, the only way she imagines possible is by continuing to build and advance her dreaded military monster and by destabilizing those regions whom she peceives as a potential threat. But in her rashness, lack of wisdom, in her ignorance of the world outside, she more often than not creates REAL enemies. You surely must be aware of the role that america played in creating Al Qaeda in Afganistan, and you mention Americas role in empowering Saddam Hussein?(by the way it is not a matter of probability, it is a fact!)
    But let’s not turn amnesic regarding her destabilizing campaigns in Central & south America?
    How did any of that contribute to overall World stability? And in the end, and that is what really matters after all, who paid, and is paying the heaviest price for America’s paranoia?? Surely not you, basking in ‘the comforts and conveniences of the west’ thoughtlessly glorifying mighty America….These comforts, by the way, are the continuation, and the accumulation of millenia of human ingenuity. Once humans come up with something new it is bound to become part of the collective human experience. But it is in your interest to believe that you are the SOLE owner of technology, that it would’nt have happened without you. For without you, without your ignorant, but oh so, generous tourists (I suppose your military is another form of those) people everywhere would be starving- (Is there a limit to American arrogance!!!) But you, yourself, state the essence of the problem when you say ‘however unequally’! Is it not this ‘unequality’ that feeds the wrath against America? I am baffled that you are assuming that we would not want to sell OUR oil! The problem is not (to-sell or not- to-sell) it is the nature of the imposed transactions by mighty America that are not advantageous to us (and it must be mentioned that your greed is not restricted to oil- look at your escalating problems with your neighbors, Canada, for example, regarding, timber, electricity, etc)… No one can make such a stupid assertion that trade is a ‘bad’ thing. Trade has been the essence of exchange for millenia. But for an exchange to be truly effective it has to be fair, otherwise it will only generate resentment, anger and violence.
    It is hard to understand why you imagine that others would|should accept America’s morsels when what they have to offer her in return is the very essence of her existance as she stands today (it doesn’t have to be that way, but perhaps America is not ingenious enough, too lazy, too dependent to look into alternatives- Oh yes, I know, you have been blabbing about that since the 70’s, but what did you do about it? Unfortunately for you your dependence on our oil has not progressed at the same rate as the sophistication of your bombs)
    Today, especially today we are no longer dependent upon your greedy market, there are other insatiable flourishing markets elsewhere (China, for example) and we have every right to be concerned about our own future, and not yours, to get involved into more profitable transactions that would bring us power and benefits, that would allow us to take our future from underneath your boots and into our own hands. That is what TERRIFIES America! Competition! Opportunity and competition are catch-words when confined to the borders of the land of the free, but it is willing to resort to any tactic, ethical or not to crush external competitors.
    When the day comes when you can no longer ‘vampirize’ on our blood there will still be clean water running, and perhaps even reaching more people, more kilowatts, more projects programmes that serve our needs. Look what your vile policies reduced the once-strong and rich Iraq to, while the billions of oil revenus are flooding back into you corporate pockets. Either you are living on a different planet, or America is, in fact, a fortress of indifference!
    Then again what makes you think that the middle east would be reduced to famine without your generosity? For your knowledge there are vast stretches of agricultural land across the region, there are rivers running through them, this has been fertile ground for civilizations (and invention) for millenia (way before anything comparable was imaginable where you live now). It has flourished way before you mighty country even existed and will no doubt continue to do so long after you leave, and here you are speaking of our desperation, that we are at your mercy as we supply you with the very matter that runs your factories, your vehicles, your miserable lives!

    Just imagine if we were not forced to sacrifice so much (lives and resources) to appease to your unjustifiable, ever-growing material demands and to consecrate this wealth and energy to truly benefit the world- as you say, cure diseases, stop famine etc, imagine if you were to inject the billions from your ‘stabilizing’ wars into your own lives. Imagine if you were to lure other nations into partnerships instead of forced submission. Perhaps then ‘terrorism’ will become extinct!
    But America is Afraid, and so instead billions go into the arms industry and military facilites (oh, but that creates Jobs! What stupid logic!) and the surplus necessitates the creation of a MARKET. Just how hypocritical of the west to whine about the escalating arms race when it itself is its manufacturer and supplier? You sell your weapons to governments that you have installed and supported to fight your own foes. But what do WE gain in all this? Oh yes, your ‘however unequally’ morsels, of course. This is the source of the resentment that is sweeping across the planet against you, and not, as you arrogantly love to think, envy of your unique achievements that no other nation would have been capable of.. That surely resembles world domination more than anything else! Look at the plan for The Future Stablized Iraq that you have initially conceived- it was to be the new home to your mega military bases that would reconfigure your already extensive network of bases around the world! From Iraq you will efficiently fan out and control the whole region. You cannot be so naive (or uninformed) as to believe that the purpose for these bases is World stability?
    How can anyone deny that funds are necessary for research and progress, but how these funds are obtained is as crucial as the funds themselves! You speak like progress justifies murder! Well, fortunately, there are still humans on the face of this planet (and in very large numbers) who will vehemently disagree with you. The pursuit of the common good requires the mighty buck! True! But the pursuit of one’s own mighty buck with complete disregard to the COMMON good (i.e. the needs and interests of everyone else) can only be condemned as ugly and selfish (even when it sometimes indirectly results in a limited common good).
    The American insistence on its compassion and the ‘good’ it has done to the world, and I repeat, is propaganda. Just look closely at the paradoxes. What did you do with all your advanced progress to fight AIDS? Not a hell of a lot? Why? It is annhilating a continent named Africa, not a supplier of anything that vital for your mighty buck! (same applies to human rights abuses in Africa. Obviously, not an urgent issue for Justice-obsessed America. There is no Economic interest for America in an improvished region.(Darfur is a recent exception, you wonder why? Well, it turns out it is a region with important oil reserves.) As for the rest, America is oh so content to drop its parcels of humanitarian aid for another handome, self-aggrandizing, photo opportunity of its human compassion.

  • So, if I understand you correctly, one of the reasons for hostility against the United States has to do with the fact that we have influenced key middle eastern countries to sell us oil, and the governments that profit from the sale do not use those profits for the common good of its citizens. At the same time, the US, who profits from it’s use has ammased great wealth and, for the most part, uses it to further our greedy and self-serving needs. Further, greedy American businessmen scour the globe in search for saleable resources. When found, they use the assistance of our government to create political ties to the government, however corrupt, in order to aquire this resource for a fraction of its market value. When resources are depleted the companies close its doors, pack up and leave that country. All that’s left are a few rich and corrupt rulers who end up monopolizing government and creating misery for it’s people. Meanwhile America uses the media, our propoganda machine, to boast about our standard of living, abundance of possessions, financial success of our society and how we’ve spread charity and assist in creating democracies all over the world.

    What your saying, again if I hear you correctly, is that the lies the US is spreading through the media is that we use our power for benefit others around the world, while the truth is that we suck other countries resources dry, give them a ballot box and a list of unattainable requirements to be a part of the UN, get back on the world stage (media) and tell the world how we’re spreading freedom while secretly packing up and leaving that country to puppet leaders who can’t even define democracy, much less implement the system in their society.

    The result is the “greatest good for the greediest government’. John Stuart Mills would be rolling over in his grave if he heard that, right?

    So terrorism is the extreme response by groups representing the common man’s fight against US policies which have lead to the rise in power of corrupt local politicians and American influenced leaders, isn’t it? If it is, why call it a Gihad against infidels? Why not call it what it really is? Don’t you think if terrorists clarified their cause as “An uprising against American policies and corrupt US supported governments that suppres the rights of the common man” more people would understand what the resistance is all about? How about if terrorists issue a press release to Al Jazere and every other major media source in every language outlining their justification for ‘fighting back’? You’d think that there were enough anti-American and anti-war publications that the information would eventually make world news.

    There I go again, implicating fundamentalists as ‘terrorists’. I guess if they weren’t they’d be issuing a press release saying ‘we are not terrorists and we don’t resort to terrorist methods (i.e. killing all who oppose our ideals, be it americans, those who support american policies, or middle eastern citizens weconsider ‘traitors’ for supporting US efforts). We do, however, relate to some of the justifications terrorists use and thus we believe that we stand to benefit more if terrorist’s goals are achieved. Our parallel justifications for opposing the US are the following…{list common ground w/ terrorists}, however, our movement is not a Giehad” it’s for Justice for the common man.’

    Wow, all of a sudden there is clarity. There’s separation between fundamentalists and terrorists and an opportunity for dialogue and resolution with fundamentalists. The more people know the difference, the more they can learn and understand. If the US media has unfairly portray fundamentalists as terrorists, fundamentalists should use the world media to correct, clarify and get their message across in order to gain support for their cause. I would think if the tide turned against us, we, the US, would be forced to acknowledge what’s been going on that resulted in this rise against america and try to reconcile. You obviously know that the average citizen, including myself, has been baffled since 9/11 as to why there’s so much resistance and hatred towards us in the middle east. Common logic was telling us that “they must all be crazy” to “all be willing to blow themselves up because they hate the way we live..we’re only trying to help them” . Americans should all know that not every middle easterner is a terrorist. What we don’t know is who the enemy is. We have to visualize an enemy, so we call the enemy “al Queda”. We’ve painted such a haenous picture of our opposition i.e. “the enemy’ that we would not dare make consessions. Our policy has always been “we do not negotiate with terrorists”
    Little do we (the average US citizen) know that if we can separate terrorizm and fundamentalism, we could try to find common ground with fundamentalists (who are actually reformists). We would have to make concessions and do everything we could to bridge the gap of distrust before moving forward, but there would be a possibility for a win-win situation, wouldn’t there be?

    Hypothetically speaking, If you were a “reformist’, what would your terms for partnership be?

  • I think she’s very Pretty.. I did hear some negative things about her based on what the media says, such as stubborness and spoiled. I still think that we need to give her a chance. I don’t agree with the fact that she tries to pull away from her muslim roots and places inportance on other languages than her own. I still think she’s pretty and she just needs to moderate things and be herself. Music is universal and she should know than there will be Arab fans that she also needs to respect. but good luck to wafah. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Peace and Love

  • Poor Girl! Believe me that she looks rebellious.What she deals inside her is what makes her like this.Don’t blame it on religion for making her half naked there.It’s seems like you people fighting each other blaming every single thing.Truth is the girl is just LOST.Her ‘aqidah’ or faith in religion is weak maybe even zero.Everything started from family.If you have a happy and guided family then you grew up a wholesome person.If it’s not then there must be a problem starting from there (family).Refer to confucius.

    She is a pretty girl covered or not.Don’t say bad things about her just because she is not covered.Thanks that she not an atheist….yet.At least if she still believe that she has a religion,that muslims should guide her actually not condemning her or supporting her as well of doing such thing.Even a decent christian,buddhist,hindu,jews,etc american woman would not give such a pose.They have dignity.That what it is.Every religion in this world wants to give us the best.But we ourselves who ruined it.Because of our lust,anger,greeds etc 7 deadly sins.What makes her to that pose-lust (the pose itself connotes lust),anger (grudge to her family,life,relatives ,greeds (to have more money,popularity,glamour).She is young and fragile.Pray to Allah,pray to God that she one day will have the very best understanding of her religion.Don’t support her for showing that legs because actually you are denying her dignity.Don’t condemn her for showing that legs because that might angered her and she’ll be worse.But guide her,pray for her.If in our hands we could not help her than submit it to Allah.

    Don’t let her be the ‘Berlin’ wall between Christians and Muslims
    or other religions.Don’t let her personal grudge that makes her like that become the reasons for us to blame the fundamentalist,extrenist whatsoever.Bombing is bombing.The Irish suffers it too.And it’s not between Muslims.The African suffers it too once maybe uubtil now and it’s not between Muslims.African American too one time ago.Racism.It’s not between Muslims.The slave owner are they not Christians and why are they denying human rights.Apartheid (is that In Christianity).No.Why don’t they make it a big deal like the muslims bombing.What i am trying to say here is that it’s not the religion,its the people and their own personal grudge plus 7 dealy sins.The world is out.Christians have extremist,muslims too.Know why? That it has the biggets worshipper.Connected between each other actually.This extremist just can’t bare to see this new generation trying to modify the words of gods just to fulfiill their lustrous needs.Words of gods is not like the secular law.Law that can be mend and modify when a group of people believe it should be altered.They are trying to be God.Words of God is definite and true to the end.

    So get to know our strength “aqidah'(faith).

Your Two Piasters: