Critical Commentary

Posted on October 29, 2012 by

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This last Saturday, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, told Muslims to kidnap “citizens of countries that have attacked Muslims.” This list of countries that have attacked Muslims would include America of course, but it begs the question: can there be peace?

Al-Zawahiri’s plan is to fight fire with fire and kidnap Americans because we currently are holding Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman as prisoner for being behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Now holding Abdel-Rahman prisoner, one can argue, makes sense because he was behind an attack against Americans, but with all of the hate shown toward Muslims in America, it is hard to believe that we as Americans can “be the bigger person” and stop hate-crimes against Muslims.

As we saw this summer, an extremist went on a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple. Now I understand that Sikhs are different from Muslims, but the xenophobia Americans show must stop. For some reason, Americans still fear people who are different from us (I understand that this doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are enough people who feel this way to make it an issue). America is in fact a country made up of many different people. We are the Great Melting Pot, yet some people want to make America more exclusive.

The movie “Innocence of Muslims” that came out earlier this year only added fuel to the fire when Muslims got word of it. Here in America we do have the freedom of speech, but sometimes one must ask if it is in the best interest. This is the same with the posters that went up in the New York subways. Israel is an ally, but it isn’t necessary to call Muslims savages.

It is unfortunate that some people give Americans a bad name. As I said earlier, I don’t believe that ALL people feel this way, but there is obviously a reason that people are upset with us. Likewise, not ALL Muslims hate Americans. Ayman al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda are different. They very well may always be opposed to Americans because of their beliefs regardless of how we act as a country. But as of right now, I don’t believe this country is making the progress that is necessary to quell the anger.

Going along with al-Zawahiri’s command to kidnap Americans, he also urged Egyptians to enforce Sharia Law. Sharia Law has been in the news as of late for controversial issues. For example, earlier this year a couple was stoned to death because they had a child out of wedlock. Americans and probably most except the most extreme Muslims believe that Sharia Law is an unfair standard in the modern world we live in today. This is perhaps another reason why al-Zawahiri is anti-American. We are a modern culture and most people (not all) have become more tolerant.

So can there be peace? I hope so, but I feel that it probably won’t happen in the near future. For just as Americans can be seen as an extreme Muslim-hating country, Al-Qaeda is against our modern culture compared with their traditional views. Americans as a whole aren’t against Muslims, but we are against terrorism. We currently are holding an Al-Qaeda member, not because he is Muslim, but because he organized a terrorist attack. Whether or not al-Zawahiri knows or understands this doesn’t matter to him. The fact remains that he has called for the kidnapping of Americans until Abdel-Rahman is returned which puts Americans in Egypt in danger and is not a step in the right direction.

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Posted in: Islam