Last night I was on the phone with my dad who asked me “what is with all the violence going on over there? The U.S. Government isn’t responsible for that movie.” And what he said is the truth. Absolutely. As a Muslim I was appalled by this man’s purposely and grossly false portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, but I do not agree with the violence that has been the result. I also believe this was released purposely on the anniversary of 9/11 when emotions all over the world are highly sensitive and this man knew it. No matter what his intentions, I honestly believe this started out as a response to the movie, but has since snowballed into what is going on now. This movie was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to say.
As Americans we grow up believing that our country is the “center” of the world, the “super power”, and that we are more “moral” than third world countries. Unfortunately, that is more in line with thoughts of a megalomaniac. So please read the following with an open mind, not a closed one controlled by mainstream media and the government. Try to put yourself in their shoes for just a moment, and try to understand “why the Middle East hates the American government”.
Since the attack on 9/11, tragic as it was killing almost 3,000 people, it has been the catalyst and excuse the U.S., along with the U.N., has used to invade, attack and kill as many as 2 million people or more compared to the nearly 57,000 Americans, soldiers and civilians (including those in the Twin Towers) that have been killed since the same date all around the world. The statistics of this fluctuate depending on who does the surveys, but you can find the numbers on websites such as http://www.ask.com/wiki/War_on_Terror#Casualties.
In most of the countries in the Middle East, until now and even now, you can be arrested and imprisoned or killed for saying, posting or sharing online anything derogatory about the government in which you live. For people who live that way every day of their lives, how do you begin to explain to them what “freedom of speech is” and why the US who is so “powerful” can’t control its own people. How do you explain why the U.S. and the West is so hypocritical when it comes to this? For example, this week someone took nude photos of the new duchess, and it’s seen as an invasion of privacy and they may arrest those responsible. However, someone creates a movie that insults and ridicules a religion, and purposely shares this clip ALL OVER THE WORLD knowing it would creates chaos and they are not touched as it is “freedom of speech”. In France you can draw caricatures of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and it’s “freedom of expression” but if you openly deny that the holocaust happened, you are arrested. Do you see the double standard here? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial
If ANY other country sent drones into US airspace, like the U.S. sends into other countries, they would be shot down and war would ensue. But since we’re the “great USA” we can do whatever we want and expect there to be no retaliation. If someone cuts in front of us in line at Wal-Mart, you’d think it was WW3, but when we bomb, assassinate, invade and occupy another country for NO other reason than to attain the G.O.D. of the U.S. (gold, oil, and drugs) we expect these people to not only understand but to thank us for helping them? REALLY? Over 2 million people killed. That is the equivalent of the State of Rhode Island being complete decimated, or the combination of the population of Montana and South Dakota DEAD. How can anyone who feels any kind of humanity accept this blindly? That’s one reason why the Middle East and the Arabs are angry at the government of the U.S.
Many of you may hate me for this article; some may say I am a sympathizer since I’m Muslim. But above all, I am human. All anyone really wants here is the same as in the U.S. They want the right to live, and to be able to house, feed and clothe their family, and to give their children a good education and future. Right now many of these young people feel they have NO HOPE for a future. That is what these people are really fighting for. Wouldn’t you? Didn’t our ancestors who fought the English to become a “free country” have that same right? When you have nothing to lose, what won’t you do to try to regain even a shred of dignity and hope? Can you then try to understand instead of condemning them?
Robyn (Asmaa) Payne was born in Weaverville, California and was raised in Mountain Gate where her family still lives. She graduated from C.V.H.S. in 1988 and has lived all over the country since then but always ended up back in Redding. In October of 2011 she left Redding once again and now lives in Cairo, Egypt, with her Egyptian husband and stepson. She loves to write and is looking forward to sharing more of her new country and the people and places she loves here.