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Die Welt, Germany

To be Ashamed of One's Identity is also Terrorism

 

"Ten years after the disaster of September 11th, we Arabs live in a world where we are increasingly subjected to the prejudices of the West and its hostility, fear and arrogance. Being an Arab today and living in an Arab country is like repeatedly running headlong into a wall made of steely political and social quandaries. You may pound and pound away, but to no avail."

 

By Joumana Haddad

 

Translated By Jonathan Lobsien

 

September 7, 2011

 

Germany - Die Welt - Original Article (German)

One of the two World Trade Tower Memorial pools, at the World Trade Center reconstruction site in New York, Sept. 10.

 

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: 9/11 - When the truth became a casualty of war, Sept. 10, 00:25:57RealVideo

My 19-year-old son, Mounir, has just returned home. He had been traveling through Europe with his friends. They had a great time, as he says. There's just one thing that irritated me while he was there: every time I called him, he would speak to me in either English or French. Not a word of Arabic. And why? As he explains it to me now, he had feared that the people he met would be less than welcoming if they knew him to be an Arab. He therefore posed as a Canadian.

 

Is this not terrorism? To be ashamed of one's own identity? To feel the need to disguise oneself due to prevailing prejudice? Ten years after the disaster of September 11th, we Arabs live in a world where we are increasingly subjected to the prejudices of the West and its hostility, fear and arrogance. Being an Arab today and living in an Arab country is like repeatedly running headlong into a wall made of steely political and social quandaries. You may pound and pound away, but to no avail.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

Of course, such misgivings are not entirely unwarranted. Arab terrorists do unfortunately exist. Wherever you go, from Yemen to Egypt, Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, one finds these religious forces and corrupt and/or convoluted political systems and patriarchal societies. And they are all excellent at challenging voices of tolerance and provoking extremist instincts. And yet it is no less scandalous, sad and unfair that there is no other image of Arabs within the Western perspective. I don't want to generalize. I know only too well that there are definitely Westerners out there who recognize the complex and heterogeneous nature of our Arab societies and cultures. The only problem is that he or she is the exception that proves the rule.

 

We are witness to perpetual misunderstanding and oversimplification invoked by fear and ignorance, as well as the media's fascination with sensational news. There's an old saying that says: "A falling tree makes more noise than a whole forest growing." Ten years after September 11th, I ask myself: when will people begin to hear the whispers of the growing trees?

 

Joumana Haddad is a Lebanese writer. She alternates writing on Thursdays with Sebastian Turner.

 

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:  

Huanqiu, China: Anniversary of 9-11 Shows Lack of American Solidarity    

RTBF, Belgium: September 11 and the Value of Having Defined Enemies    

Folha, Brazil: 'Two Septembers' that Changed the World  

Global Times, China: In Post-9/11 America, Anger Overwhelmed Self-Reflection    

Iraq of Tomorrow: After 9-11, Iraq was Punished for America's Mistakes    

Iraq of Tomorrow: 'Iraqis are Not a Herd of Beasts!'  

El Heraldo, Honduras: September 11 Response Brought 'Loss of U.S. Prestige'    

Haaretz, Israel: Why a Lethal Surprise Like Sept. 11 May Happen Again

Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: Arabs Have Paid the Highest Price for 9-11 Attack

Internet Broadcast: Bin Laden Urges 9-11 Families to Demand New Probe Into Attacks

Der Spiegel, Germany: Eight Years after 9-11: The Bloody Legacy of Cheney's Failures

Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong: How America Ended its Own Dominance

 

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Sept 10, 5:37pm]







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