You Worry Me
I received the following letter in a forwarded email. It is attributed to American Airlines Pilot, Captain John Maniscalco.
In researching its authenticity, I learned that there are two versions of the letter, and the one attributed to Capt. Maniscalco is more edgy than the one that follows, which is attributed to Kevin Daly, Beltsville, Maryland, and was printed in a Maryland newspaper under his name.
Despite not knowing who wrote it, it is an excellent letter.
To my Muslim neighbors:
I've been trying to say this since 9-11, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me.
I notice you because I can't help it anymore.
People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
On September 11, nineteen ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country.
They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that have destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But, I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.
How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim-Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter these same good neighbors and children?
The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.
I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love
Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the
I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless
The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.
The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the
If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your 'leaders' are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance?
It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion: A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again; a form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world, and whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.
I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American.
But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. So, until then … you worry me.