A Tribute to Captain Kahn

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 I would like start my blog post here by offering a tribute to Captian Kahn. Captain Khan was an American.   By way of additional background on him, he was Muslim and of Pakistani origin.  He was serving in the U.S. army as an ordnance officer when he was killed in Iraq.Capt. Kahn's Tombstone.

During his funeral,  Captain Khan’s colleagues eulogized his exemplary services and praised him for the leadership he provided to his troops.  The Muslim chaplain who led the Nimaz-e-Janaza after the military honors, specifically highlighted the ethnically diverse group that had come to pay its respects to Captain Khan. He was one amongst the growing number of Pakistani Americans in the U.S. Army.

This man died protecting my nation, my family and myself.  He sacrificed himself to preserve our lives, liberties, and freedoms (including religious ones).  He and the 9000 American servicemen of Muslim faith deserve our respect and regard when discussing their faith, families, and participation in American institutions.  The extreme, toxic response to the Muslim world by certain members of the Rightosphere is disturbing.  Deeply disturbing.  And this vitriol against Muslims is corroding sound discussion. Embracing irrational fear of the entire Islamic population and making regular calls for bombing Mecca is not only insane but detrimental to my security.  Stop it.  Stop it now.

As a way of explaining how I have come to be this upset with the certain Rightosphere views, I would like to provide some details in my crazy adventures in the blogoshphere.  It first started when I was asked to provide some thoughtful analysis to serious questions posed during discussions with fellow members of the Rightosphere. I wanted opportunities to teach and learn about Islam, Muslims, and their interactions with wider world. I wanted to contact moderate, peace-loving Muslims who would engage America in productive, positive ways (as the faithful from other religions do).

For those of you who are not already acquainted with me, here is my background as it relates to the Muslim Community. As an avid, amateur Egyptologist with Egyptian friends I do speak a little Arabic, have read the Koran, and have been inside a few mosques (including ones in Istanbul and Cairo). I have read extensively on the history of Egypt (and the Levant in general). My readings have covered tomes discussing the positive and negative contributions of Muslims in history. I also was a semi-professional belly dancer (in my much-younger days), and performed in clubs that Muslims would patronize. Finally, I personally interact on a regular basis with three American practitioners of the faith. One of these Muslim faithful is the Iranian-American husband of my cousin.  Another is a dear friend and premier blogger, Ali Eteraz.  The third is the future mother-in-law of my 5-year-old son (my boy has a crush a delightful Persian beauty).

(Aside: Before I begin this post, I would also like to ask those who want to make one-sentence quips filled with anti-Muslim sentiment to do Smart, our other readers, and myself the courtesy of placing your comments elsewhere on the blogosphere.  You have plenty of other avenues to post your screed.  For example, be creative and generate your own blog site.  It is cheap and easy to do. While you don’t have to agree with my interpretations, I will be far more apt to consider your views if you are thoughtful, rational, and fully engaged in proper discourse.)

Here is the essence of my initial Islam discussion in the Rightosphere. Question to Isis  Ann Coulter  has made her feelings known on this topic. I’m sure everyone has heard what she said right after 9/11. “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”   I’m curious – what do you think of Ann’s statements and her position on Islam?

Isis response: I think it is essential when discussing Ann’ Coulter’s statement, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity,” that we do so in its full context. Here is that statement more fully explored:

This Is War September 12 , 2001 BARBARA OLSON kept her cool. In the hysteria and terror of hijackers herding passengers to the rear of the plane, she retrieved her cell phone and called her husband, Ted, the solicitor general of the United States. She informed him that he had better call the FBI — the plane had been hijacked. According to reports, Barbara was still on the phone with Ted when her plane plunged in a fiery explosion directly into the Pentagon. Barbara risked having her neck slit to warn the country of a terrorist attack. She was a patriot to the very end.…

The last time I saw Barbara in person was about three weeks ago. She generously praised one of my recent columns and told me I had really found my niche. Ted, she said, had taken to reading my columns aloud to her over breakfast. ….

We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.

Here is the way I read Ann’s Column : Note the date on this article – Sept.12, 2001. Ann had just lost a friend and colleague. I am sure Ann was tuned to the TV, radio and internet (as most of us were), garnering information about the 9/11 events (I know I was; I was constantly refreshing the “Drudge Report” while listening to my local talk radio stations). She was seeing our elite media attempting to take the typical, weak, liberal stance on these terror activities (e.g., we have to “understand” our enemies, and Islam is the “religion of peace”). She was understandably and reasonably concerned that the elite media would weaken our resolve to utterly destroy the terror groups responsible for this event. Note the statement previous to the one cited: “We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.” I believe it is these individuals to whom Ann is referring in the next statement – the Islamic extremists who what to destroy the USA. Ann Coulter was attempting to strengthen the resolve of the American public and get us on a “war footing”. Ann was also rightly pointing out that to get to the Islamo-fanatic terror leaders that innocent civilians would have to die, as happens during war. I read her article the day it was published. I agreed with her then, and I agree with her now. I think her statements are referring to Islamic fundamentalists, who have declared a global jihad on non-Muslims everywhere. I want them dead, or turned into peace-loving Christians, or “reformed”.

Where I have a dispute with many members of the Rightosphere is in our consideration of the non-terrorist Muslims. Many Conservatives state that all Islamic teachings are evil and can do nothing but generate continuing global hatred and hostilities. I believe that ignorant Islamo-extremists are a small portion of the global community, and that most Muslims prefer to live in peace with their neighbors – and they are more inclined to follow the gentler portions of their Koran. This statement is doubly true for American Muslims, who already enjoy the freedoms of our land and are routinely exposed to religious tolerance.   I think Ali Eteraz can probably better expand upon the views of Americans who follow Islam .

I would like to offer a little more background on me, Sept. 12, 2001. I was six-months pregnant, and routinely flying between client facilities in New Jersey and California during that time period (I was slated to stop such flying in October). Fortunately, I was home that week. When my husband and I were awakened at 6:20 am by his friend on Sept. 11, and told to turn on TV, we were in shock. When we learned what was happening, all I could think was “this might have been me”.

When I saw the reports of the Egyptians dancing on the streets of Cairo, I felt stabbed in the heart. I had been to Egypt. I loved Egypt. How could this be happening? I wept. Then, my Egyptian friends called. They wanted to make sure that I was OK, as well as my family. They said they were outraged at the idiots dancing on their streets, as it was the “ignorant crowd” (their words, not mine). They explicitly stated that they do not practice the version of Islam heralded by Osama Bin Laden’s group – and that their version of Islam bore to resemblance to the idiocy displayed by the Islamic fundamentalists. To be honest, I was still very sad. It took me six months before I could listen to my Arab music again (as I former belly dancer, I have an extensive collection). It took be about that long before I could fix my Middle Eastern cuisine, or go to the nearby Middle Eastern grocery. Therefore, I do understand the bad feelings related to Islam that are expressed in the Rightosphere. However, we must balance passion with reason. As has been noted in previous posts, Islam is officially recognized as a religion, and the First Amendment applies. Additionally, even if you deem it a cult, the USA also does not ban cults. While many view Christianity as the best faith, not everyone sees it that way. Deeming Islam a “death cult” only places Muslims in a defensive position – and closes their minds to other possibilities.

After my posts own posts showing the diversity of Islamic thought and belief went nowhere, I went in search of a Muslim Moderate.  That brought me into contact with my freind Ali.  His expereinces with the Rightosphere is chronicled here.  The two positives that came out of this experience is my new friendship with him and access to wonderful new resources.

Finally, and most importantly, basing policy on fear and ignorance is ultimately harmful to our national security.  The first time I began to truly understand that hysteria was being used to develop policy was and opinion was during the Dubai Ports Deal.  Smart and I argued for the deal, because it made good trade sense AND because Dubai was an ally in the Global War on Terror.  Needless to say, ours was not the most popular view. Treating allies, potential allies, and friends with such contempt endangers my family and me.  Several terror plots, including the recent British airport scare, were foiled because Muslims were turned in by fellow Muslims.  Why should Muslims bother if we treat them with such contempt?  Embracing blind Muslim-hating sentiment gives the Islamic-extremists in other countries reasons to force Muslim leaders to stop rendering aid and assistance to US Armed services.  Therefore, the troops protecting me have a harder time doing our job.  Your extremisms about extremism are detrimental to my family, my nation and me.  Stop it.  Stop it now. For those of you who state that all Muslims embrace evil, I urge you to go here and learn about other Americans of Muslim faith who have been laid to rest at  Arlington National Cemetery.  We need to remember that we all all Americans and respct our fellow citizens who are abiding by our laws protecting our freedoms.

by Isis

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8 Responses to “A Tribute to Captain Kahn”

  1. spottedeagleboy Says:

    I respect your opinion and agree that Muslim soldiers serving in our military are patriots. The conflict over the WOT

  2. spottedeagleboy Says:

    …(I hit ‘enter’ before I was finished with my comment)

    The conflict over the WOT promoted political expediency at the expense of the players on the battlefield. Muslim soldiers will not receive the same photo-documentary like that of the funeral for the Marine from the Pine Ridge, SD, Indian reserevation. The respect due to those soldiers of Muslim faith will not be allowed as it threatens the secular agenda of both poltical parties seeking to maintain power. It’s sad, and I find myself on the outside of the consevative debate on this. I’m okay with being in that position, as I refuse to compromise personal beliefs. I also refuse to belief that one blanket statement indicting an entire population is true and accurate. I also am very aware of those Muslims who actively scheme and plan terrorism againt the United States. Blog looks good.

    SEB

  3. josh43 Says:

    I share and understand your views. I have read some of Dean and Ali’s comments on taqiyya(sp?). Having said that, many of the terrorist acts have taken the west by surprise.

    What do you suggest in how we are to discern extremist Muslims from non-extremist Muslims? Obviously, this was a similar issue during WW2 with the Japanese.

    I don’t know the answer.

  4. Dean Esmay Says:

    Very well written. I’ll be happy to trade blogroll entries with you if you like.

  5. Dean Esmay Says:

    By the way, your headline has a typo: “Captian?” 😉

  6. Dean's World Says:

    Rightosphere Revolution of Conscience Continues

    I am proud of people who call themselves conservatives, or even, right-siders. I may lean center left, and I didn’t vote Bush, but I’ve never been stupid enough to think that the conservatives were all reprehensible degenerate mo…

  7. Dean's World Says:

    On The Nonexistent, Or At Least Completely Irrelevant, Non-Problem Of Islamophobia

    Quoted:

    This man died protecting my nation, my family and myself. He sacrificed himself to preserve our lives, liberties, and freedoms (including religious ones). He and the 9000 American servicemen of Muslim…

  8. Rotational molding technology Says:

    Rotational molding technology

    A Tribute to Captain Kahn | Smart and Final Isis

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