Leaving Islam



I Hate America... My Summer Home is in Miami! 

 By Esam Sohail, Kansas, USA

I hate ingratitude more in a man

Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,

Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption

Inhabits our frail blood.

-Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

That the illiterate masses and semi-literate mobs in many parts of developing world would be out on the streets on any occasion to lambaste the United States is a fact of life since the Second World War. Born of envy and fuelled by juvenile rage, such outbursts have been directed at every world power from Rome through the British Empire to our own Pax Americana. The multitude, angry at half a century of corrupt local governance, does not know any better than to channel its anger in the increasingly frequent anti-American rallies. There are those, however, who know better. Or at least should.

The English language publications in the developing countries with a relatively free press is a good barometer of the thinking of the social elite-big businessmen, academics, senior bureaucrats, military officers and, of course, journalists. Being a contributor to a few such periodicals myself, I cannot but help notice the genteel version of mass hysteria fanned in the pages of respected newspapers like Pakistan’s DAWN, the UAE’s Khaleej Times, Bangladesh’s New Nation, and Malaysia’s New Straits Times, to name a few. Just to be sure of my hypothesis, I have followed those four newspapers since the beginning of this year. I have yet to find a day when none of these publications, the mouthpieces of the elite of America’s regional allies, had a single opinion piece critical of the United States.

It is not the simple criticism of American policy that is bothersome. Were that the case, these foreign newspapers would be little different than so many East Coast newspapers whose editorial pages are the domain of the self-righteous liberal left. What makes the opinion columns of DAWN, New Straits Times, and New Nation a chilling read day after day is the scandalous dimensions of the critique glibly offered by these publications.

Jews control the American media and government. The Mossad engineered the 9/11 tragedy. Osama Bin Laden is a freedom fighter. George Bush hates Islam. America is a dictatorship. Dick Cheney and the oil barons conspired to grab Iraq’s petroleum. George Bush is similar to Hitler.

Take your pick. Those themes, garbed in the format of expert analysis or investigative journalism, are repeated ad nauseum in the pages of such ‘elite’ newspapers, never mind the popular vernacular press. The authors of these articles are staff editors, generals, parliamentarians, prominent politicians, and bureaucrats. In addition to their common disgust for America, they share one other mutual bond.

Almost all of them have benefited or continue to benefit from American generosity. It is impossible to find a senior military officer in Pakistan or a senior bureaucrat in Bangladesh who has not been trained in the United States at some point in his professional life. One will be hard-pressed to point out too many top-level editors in the English newspapers in the Gulf or in South East Asia who have not had some American training in their chosen professions. The parliaments and chambers of commerce in South and South East Asia are full of individuals whose children, nephews and nieces, and cousins have received an American university education. Many of that number have settled permanently in America to reap the benefits of this supposed Hitlerite dictatorship.

What the elite of Pakistan or Malaysia write in their newspapers is their business. It is America’s business, however, to make sure that those who provide such intellectual comfort to terrorism and serve as apologists for the underlying anti-Semitism are not subsidized by the United States, either financially or morally. Criticizing America is a right; conducting normal intercourse with America is not.

Take the typical example of Qazi Husain Ahmad or Sheikh Hasina Wajed. The former is the head of Pakistan’s virulently anti-American Jamaat-e-Islami party while the latter is a former leftist prime minister of Bangladesh. Both engage in specious anti-American rhetoric, both have children living happily in the United States, and both are regular visitors to these shores. The same is true of any number of Asian and Middle Eastern politicians, businessmen, and academics. They go to Disneyland, send their kids to Harvard, and talk sanctimoniously of an American-Jewish conspiracy on the pages of their newspapers, in their seminars, and in public rallies. Such then are the genteel godfathers of anti-Americanism and intellectual apologists of global terror and one finds them in places of prominence in countries who are ‘allies’ of the United States.

These denizens of America’s allies are not on the lists of individuals who are barred from entering the United States or doing business with the United States or benefiting from American aid and training programs. Combining both substantive and symbolic value, such lists maintained by different federal departments target individuals who are suspected of gross human rights violations, drug trade, or terrorism.

Seemingly another category needs to be added to these lists: individuals who provide moral support for the purveyors of anti-American hatred. That the mobs burning Old Glory on the streets of Kuala Lampur and Karachi are incited to frenzy by politicians who maintain a second home in Miami is quixotic, to say the least. It is also as outrageous as the act of burning the flag.

Those who cynically tap into the dark wells of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism should not be allowed to gleefully suckle on the resources of America. Free speech should be protected. Ingratitude should not. A clear message ought to be sent out to those who make a living by bashing America.





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