Emails to the MCB on issues and events since Sept 11
|Thursday 11 October 2001 |
|Laure Drouet |
I was reading your recent comments on Yahoo News today and decided to write
to you to share with you and your organisation my concerns and my thoughts
about the current international crisis.
I should start by introducing myself. I am French and have lived in the UK
for 10 years. I'm not religious myself and don't belong to any political
parties. The way I have found to express what I believe in life is to work
for a charity to help people who suffer in this world. Although I am not
Muslim, my best friend in London is Muslim and I have great respect for
Islam and other faiths. I have read the Koran, the Bible and other
religious scriptures in order to understand the human world and religion in general.
Like everyone else I'm very worried about what is happening since 11th
September. Today, Muslims and non-Muslims are united by the growing fear
that many lives including our own, that of our families and friends could
be lost over the current crisis.
I thoroughly condemn the acts of terrorism that took place on 11th
September, but like many people in the US, Europe and Muslim countries I
have strong doubts about Mr Bush and Mr Blair's intentions when they
war against international terrorism and start talking about extending the
conflict to Iraq, Syria etc... I don't agree with this at all. It is
outrageous that they should use this crisis to attack other countries. I
know that it is out of the good intention to free the Middle East of
terrorism, but this is certainly not the way to address this problem. The
kind of terrorism that is growing in Muslim countries should be tackled by
these countries themselves. I very much understand when Muslims raise their
voices against an extension of this conflict to other countries. Without
being pro Saddam Hussein I am completely against it myself.
Today, I feel like the hostage not only of terrorists who are ready to
pounce on us (Muslims or non-Muslims), but also of the US and UK
Governments who are completely overstepping the mark, misunderstanding the whole
problem they are faced with and not using enough patience and diplomatic means to
On the other hand, I know that just like me, many Muslims recognise that a
terrible tragedy is happening within Islam. Some Muslims who they thought
were their 'brothers' are interpreting the Koran to justify mass
destruction of the so-called 'unbelievers', but also of their own people who they
accuse of not practising Islam in the way they believe it should be practised.
This is dramatic for the Muslim world and I empathise with the pain and
confusion that it must cause members of your community. I personally believe that a
solution will only come from within Islam and could take quite some time.
Muslims need to be given time to understand and heal their anger and regain
strength and inspiration in making peace, not 'Jihad'. This inspiration to
make peace can be found in the Koran as much as the inspiration to make
It's for all Muslims to decide how you really want to take it from there.
Like many Muslims and non-Muslims, I am of the opinion that the US have
huge mistakes in their choice of policy in the Middle East. Don't forget
that it is being denounced over and over by many in our countries as well
Muslim countries. However, despite all the frustrations, pain and anger
it has caused, I cannot believe that it can justify that the Koran should
used to encourage Muslims to commit mass murder and genocide as proposed by
There must be other ways to solve these problems than calling for 'Jihad'.
And in any case what Bin Laden seems to forget is that the suffering of a
lot of Muslims in the world is certainly not caused by the US or the UK,
but by Muslims terrorising or taking advantage of other Muslims. We have all
witnessed the crimes of intolerant regimes in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the
slaughter of innocents in Algeria by the GIA, the huge clivage between the
very rich and the very poor in many Muslim countries.
Yes it is definitely time for self-criticism in the US and Europe, but it
is also time for self-criticism in the Muslim world.
Although I don't agree at all with military action in Afghanistan, because
I like you, I don't want more innocent people being killed, I'm also
what the solution is. Neither Muslims, nor anyone in the world, should
accept that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, the GIA in Algeria or the
Taliban Regime should continue to prosper. Despite the fact that they are
made up of Muslim people, it is obvious that what these groups want is to
impose terror in the Western as well as the Muslim World.
I know that all Muslims feel as one, but how can they let the Taliban
impose such a fascist and criminal regime on other Muslims or the GIA slaughter so
many other Muslims.
Europe and other countries in the world have had their days of terror and
fascism. For us in Europe it was embodied by Hitler. This evil power was
eventually destroyed and we created the European Union so noone like Hitler
could impose terror in our countries again. Similar efforts could be made
by Muslim countries to combat terrorism. For instance the OIC could take the
lead on this.
If Muslims don't want the US to sentence and punish their terrorists, than
they should stand up and say aloud that they will take it in their own
to rid their countries and their people of terrorism. It is urgent that
do so, when this kind of terrorism is now affecting not only their
but ours and defaming Islam and Muslims in the eyes of the rest of
Yes, it is time for the US and the UK to refrain themselves from the
temptation of intervening further and further in the Middle East in the
name of justice. But it is also time for Muslim countries to show the world that
they will do justice and will arrest and sentence their terrorists.
Afterall, the biggest offence caused by the 11th September is not to the US
but to Islam itself and whatever happens, these terrorists must be
We have seen a lot of fanatical Muslims in the streets these days
the world. Now, I hope that the many Muslims who want to make peace not
'Jihad' will stand up against this wave of hatred to do justice to Islam
find a way to restore communication and trust between the Muslim world, the
US and the rest of the world.
On Saturday 13th October, I will be joining the peace protests in London.
And like you, I hope that many Muslims will join the rally.
With best wishes to everyone in the world, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
|Thursday 11 October 2001 |
I heard one of your representatives (I think) speaking yesterday on the radio and calling for peace loving people of all religious groups to come together and march against the present conflict. Do you know of any multi cultural vigils or marches planned?
I really believe that people of tolerance and peace - from whatever background - should get together before this thing gets out of hand. Hatred and aggression breeds the same - the silent majority must be heard.
I hope you can help.
Carole Lacy (West Midlands)
|Thursday 11 October 2001 |
The events of September 11th were a terrible tragedy, and what also angers
me, is the way the Muslim community has been targeted in a backlash by some
sections of the community, albeit a minority. I am a Christian, but I feel
that we should all respect each others faiths. I certainly do not hold with
the view that Bin Laden and these terror networks represent Islam. The
Islamic faith promotes peace, indeed it is a crime against Islam to kill. I
really do feel that the only way the problems of this world can be overcome
is by talking and discussion, and building respect for each other,
regardless of faith, religion or creed. Obviously, we cannot and should not
try to open dialogue with the likes of Bin Laden and his creed. There have
been so many mistakes made in the past, and this has to be realised by all.
The Palestinian question is a case in point. I feel that we are all at
fault, and have to look at where we have gone wrong in the past, and how to
put things right for the future. The Muslim community stood alongside other
faiths in condemning the attacks in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh. I
too feel very angry and sickened by what has happened. I do not however,
hold with the view, that Bin Laden, and those like him act in the name of
Islam. I am concerned that the certain sections within the Islamic
believe the military action in Afghanistan is against Islam and the Afghan
people. It is not. I feel desperately sorry for the Afghan population.
of them have never known peace. I hope that, at the end of all of this,
they will be able to build a better and more prosperous Afghanistan. It is the
21st century, but I look at how little mankind has come since the middle
ages. All of the worlds problems can be overcome, by putting aside hate and
mistrust of each other.
|Thursday 11 October 2001|
|Al Brown |
Given Bin Ladens threats to further attacks on aircraft, do you not agree
an effort to eradicate fundamentalist muslims who ar essentially cowardly
sub-humans, the US and UK should be given your support in the use of
nuclear weapons to erase them from the earths surface.
I was dismayed and shocked to see you withdrew your support for the
When the body bags come home, and you still adopt this position the public
will be less than happy with you.........
|Thursday 11 October 2001 |
Thank you for taking the time to answer me. There is no need to respond to this mailing as I am sure you are terribly busy, but I want to respond by showing you things that would be hard to speak about if it were not for this machine that allows us to talk without risk.
(1) I have just got back from LA. (This is why I am writing so late/early -- jet lag) and enjoyed my visit, and was treated with nothing but warmth and kindness.... and yet, when I got on the plane and heard ENGLISH accents, it was SO wonderful. It was home, it was normal, it was what had surrounded me all my life. Do you see what I am saying? That simple feeling that what I am used to is what is right!! The right way to talk, to build houses. to broadcast on TV, to wear, Heavens above, even American bread is wrong!!! (It's nice, but it's not the rubbery rubbish we make into toast every morning!!)
So underneath the intelligent (accepting, tollerant) response to people who are different -- in looks, in colour, in outlook, -- is this sense that this isn't right, isn't what we know. Now that gut-response is wrong, is cruel and dangerous, but it is THERE and has to be reckoned with. The non-Muslim population has a lot of learning to do, and it is a slow process, because it is not a rational one. Primitive ideas have to fall away, so that the new can be accepted and I can see that that is hard for you to accept while you are on the receiving end of stupidity.
(2) Women: I have tried to understand the Muslim attitude to women, tried to move away from my anger at the Taliban fear of them, and can see in a way that for Muslims, both men and women, a woman walking with her hair uncovered would be similar to a non-Muslim woman walking topless. Even so, even so, I think you have a lot to learn. I was driving through my home town some months ago and saw a Muslim man walking ahead of his wife, who was carrying two heavily loaded shopping bags back home. I felt SO angry. He was stronger than her and was doing nothing to help."You lazy b******d!" I thought and would have screamed at him, but the traffic moved on and the little family was gone.
Look, it's getting on for 3.00 am, but my body thinks it's 8 hours earlier. My doberman thinks as I am still up we might as well go out for a walk, He is wrong and not for the first time I might add!!
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