Vail Valley Voices: Proud to be American
Vail, CO, Colorado
As an American Muslim, I am deeply heartbroken over the shooting that took place at Fort Hood. I condemn the attack, and I am proud of all of the American Muslim organizations that have condemned this tragic shooting. I am also deeply proud of the 15,000 to 20,000 American Muslims who are serving in our armed services.
My heart particularly breaks over the fact that this shooting was done against our American brothers and sisters who were preparing to deploy with our armed services.
I have been to the Muslim world since the war on terror started and seen the contributions of our armed forces firsthand. I am convinced that America is not fighting the Muslim world but rather liberating it.
Many Muslims around the world are held hostage to irrational dictators or terrible tribal customs that are the root causes of civil war, strife and poverty within the Muslim world. Any notion that the world’s Muslims welcome such strife is completely wrong.
Polling from the group Terror Free Tomorrow confirms that the Muslim World is against al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden.
After all, the mass majority of al-Qaida’s victims are Muslims, as al-Qaida suicide missions most frequently take place in Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Iraq.
And yes, American actions are not always executed perfectly. Yet I forever remain touched, as a Muslim, that our America is steadfast in its nobility to take on this fight against al-Qaida, not just for the sake of protecting American freedoms but also for the sake of liberating Muslims across the world.
Lastly, I do not fear an American backlash against Muslims. Nor do I fear any regressions in American relationships with Muslim communities.
Zogby International and Cornell University did extensive studies on Muslims in America in the 2000s. Both studies concluded that as a demographic, American Muslims boast tremendously high levels of education and wealth. More importantly, these positive trends are rising, proving that America is, indeed, a country where Muslims will find their best opportunities, not backlashes.
In closing, I speak for the American Muslim population when I say that we do not consider ourselves Saudi Arabians, Pakistanis, Iranians or Egyptians – we are Americans! And we are proud to be American.
Please let it be known that American Muslims stand with everyone in condemning the tragic shooting at Fort Hood and that we will be working to make sure that similar attacks never happen again.
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