Letter to Ms Miller of New York Times
By Jackie, 14 September 2001
I am a forty-one year old woman who was born right here in the good old USofA of white, Lutheran parents. I also happen to be a practicing Muslim of the Islamic faith you seem to show extreme hatred and ignorance of. I have read your articles and seen you commenting on national television this past week and every time I see you, I hear something offensive and ignorant spilling out of your mouth and into the ears of millions of hurt, angry and mostly "clueless" Americans regarding my faith.

On PBS this Friday, the 15th, there you were using the word "Islamists". As a highly respected journalist for one of the most prestigious papers in the world, you of all people should not be using words that do not exist. "....the Islamists intended to ring in the new century..." Islamists, Ms. Miller? Who or what exactly is an "Islamist?" Is that sort of like a "Mohammedan?" or maybe this is just a good old fashioned throw back to the term "Barbarian." I saw you on ABC (I think) saying that Bin Laden "thanked Allah for the deaths in America" as if Allah and God are not the same. I do not for one minute believe this choice of words was accidental on your part. Allah was used to distinguish the "Muslim God" from the "true God" or "our" God, whoever "WE" are. One thing is for sure, "we" apparently does not include any American Muslims who happen to pray to Allah five times a day.

Ms. Miller, I'm sure I do not have to tell you that there are more than 7 million Muslims living in this country. I do not know of a single group, mosque or Islamic Center that has done anything but categorically denounced the atrocities that took place on Tuesday, the 11th of September. Many held prayer vigils along with millions of other worshipers this Friday, a national day of mourning. Passages from the Koran were read by a Muslim at the national prayer service in Washington, DC. This was arranged by the President to demonstrate to the world that the issue is not religious or ethnic in anyway, put a question of catching and punishing a small group of murderous animals who have snatched the flag of Islam and cloaked themselves in it, to the horror of all peace and freedom loving Muslims everywhere.

If you had bothered to read the Koran you would see that the killing of noncombatants in any war is forbidden. Extreme nationalism is forbidden. Bin Laden is the worst kind of nationalists and extremist. He violates Islam every time he opens his mouth. To call his group "Islamists" is as vile and insult to Muslims as it is to categorize all Christians as Klansmen, despite the fact that the Klan has been using as its symbol the Christian cross since its conception. Its vile and I do not believe that someone as well informed and intelligent as you did this by accident. For some reason unbeknownst to me, you have a real deep seated hatred for this religion and for those who choose to worship within its folds. Whatever. Its a free country and you have the right to hate and misunderstand any group you choose. What you don't have the right to do is to go in front of the Millions of mainstream Americans at such a sensitive time as this, pass yourself off as this objective "expert" on the Middle East and voice your OPINIONS and loosely veiled prejudices as carefully researched facts.

My children have to attend public school here, Mrs. Miller. My son has an Islamic name and My eleven year old daughter does not look exactly "white bread". My husband, (S-----, of Sri Lanken Decent) has to go to work every day. If you think these days of terror and uncertainty are hard on "average Americans" why don't you just triple that for all Muslim Americans and their children. We are not only having to deal with this tragedy on the same frightened and shocking level that everyone else is, we also have to deal with home grown terrorists threats from red blooded Americans cloaked in the "Red white and Blue" We must also deal with the shameful knowledge that these acts were committed by members of our own faith. Americans seem to feel we should be apologizing for these people. I wonder how many Baptists went around apologizing for the Federal Building bombing. Or how many Southerners feel that have to hide in their homes everytime the Klan raises its ugly head.

Now I will give you an insight into what it has been like to be Muslim in this country the past week; Try looking into the face of your frightened children and finding no words to explain why you are sobbing uncontrollably as the second tower crumbles to the ground right in front of your eyes; why people are giving them hostile stares; why their school is closed and police patrol their place of worship; why that man yelled something at Mommy today; why Momie and Daddy are scared. You need to think of these things the next time you take your big fat paint brush and paint all Muslims with the terrorist label and use your inflammatory made up words to carry your messages to the American people. Feel free to call me if you ever want to get really informed about Islam.

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