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Bon Journal

Freedom of speech

The events of September 11th left many in the dark. I'm not talking just about blackouts in lower Manhattan, but about blackouts of consciousness. We've all seen or read what happened. But how many understand why? I asked my better educated friends to send me articles to help me come out of this blackout of shock and horror. The viewpoints are controversial, not least from my frequent visitors.

What does our future demand of leaders today?
speech by Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett Packard, Minnesota, Minneapolis, September 26, 2001
Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.
On terrorism
speech by the late Professor Eqbal Ahmad, a noted Pakistani-American Academic, University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998
You see, why I have recalled all these stories is to point out to you that the matter of terrorism is rather complicated. Terrorists change. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. This is a serious matter of the constantly changing world of images in which we have to keep our heads straight to know what is terrorism and what is not. But more importantly, to know what causes it, and how to stop it.
Lost in the rhetorical fog of war
article by Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK newspaper), 9 October 2001
In some cases, in America, the men giving us their advice on screen are the very same operatives who steered the CIA and the FBI into the greatest intelligence failure in modern history: the inability to uncover the plot, four years in the making, to destroy the lives of almost 6,000 people. President Bush says this is a war between good and evil. You are either with us or against us. But that's exactly what bin Laden says. Isn't it worth pointing this out and asking where it leads?
The Necessity of Skepticism: Backlash and Backtrack
article by Edward Said, a well-known Palestinian Christian academic, Counterpunch Online September 28, 2001
For the seven million Americans who are Muslims (only two million of them Arab) and have lived through the catastrophe and backlash of 11 September, it's been a harrowing, especially unpleasant time. In addition to the fact that there have been several Arab and Muslim innocent casualties of the atrocities, there is an almost palpable air of hatred directed at the group as a whole that has taken many forms. George W Bush immediately seemed to align America and God with each other, declaring war on the "folks" -- who are now, as he says, wanted dead or alive -- who perpetrated the horrible deeds.
The True, Peaceful Face Of Islam
article by Karen Armstrong, author of book "Islam: A Short History" published in 2000 by Modern Library, Time Magazine,
It would be as grave a mistake to see Osama bin Laden as an authentic representative of Islam as to consider James Kopp, the alleged killer of an abortion provider in Buffalo, N.Y., a typical Christian or Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 worshipers in the Hebron mosque in 1994 and died in the attack, a true martyr of Israel. The vast majority of Muslims, who are horrified by the atrocity of Sept. 11, must reclaim their faith from those who have so violently hijacked it.
Emails to analyticalQ
Email from London 25 October 2001
And merely questioning and debating does not make us a Taliban sympathiser. Its downright offensive for anyone to even suggest that.
Email from Maui 27 October 2001
If America is so inept, then why is everybody trying to immigrate into this country? All kinds of Muslims are on the green card waiting list. obviously America is doing something right.
Email from Malaysia 27 October 2001
Everyday, you hear the American press refer to "bin Ladin", but that's not how you address a Muslim, terrorist or otherwise. He's Osama, his father is Ladin, and no one calls a muslim by his father's name. His children will be "xxx bin Osama", and should be called "xxx" and not "bin Osama". There's also Laila Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali. By Muslim tradition, she should be called Laila Mohammad, not Laila Ali. Don't care about how Osama feels, but the rest of the Muslim community is subconciously offended by the US press refering to a Muslim by the father's name.

27 October 2001 Saturday

Useful Links
Counterpunch's Resources on 9/11 and the War on Afghanistan

New York Times coverage

Remembering the Victims at New York Times (newspaper)

America at War special reports at Washington Post

War Against Terror complete coverage by CNN

American Strikes Back complete coverage by ABC News

Special Reports complete coverage by The Guardian Newspaper

War on Terror complete coverage by BBC
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