Article by Nonie Darwish

[Comments are welcome at our Dialogue Corner]

The True Freedom Fighters

As an Arab, I was extremely inspired by Middle East events since the Iraqi elections. The will of Iraq's people to stand up for freedom and democracy has inspired the rest of the Middle East. This was the first time I have seen a collective, strong voice by Muslims and Arabs saying to the world loud and clear: "We want to join the civilized world in democracy and freedom and we are committed to stand against terrorism." The courage of the Iraqis has inspired Lebanon, Egypt and more is yet to come. A new era in Arab political life is in the making.

I could not help but compare the honorable stand of the Iraqi people to the rarely mentioned, heroic struggle of Israelis against terrorism. Despite ongoing terrorism, they managed to grow, excel, maintain a democracy, continue normal life and maintain their moral standards. Despite their many losses and constant threats of terror, most Israelis share a deep desire to live in peace with all Arabs. Their courage and struggle to survive and thrive in a sea hostility, boycott and terror went unnoticed by the world. It is time for the world to say enough is enough to terrorism against Israel. Israel is part of the inspiration to the new yearning for peace and democracy in the region and the world needs to give Israelis credit for that. The UN must end its unremitting attacks against Israel, which is trying to survive in a region that has had no respect for individual rights and freedoms, and where some extreme elements prefer to kill their own citizens rather than grant them freedom of choice.

Unfortunately, many Westerners who think of themselves as "progressive", "liberal" or "humanitarian" shamelessly call terrorists "Freedom Fighters." Such people gratify themselves by believing they are championing the underdog when they excuse terrorism. Having accepted the arguments of the terrorists, they have lost the ability to recognize and celebrate true freedom fighting when it shows up, as it did in Iraq. Instead, they justify terrorists who are in fact the hidden hands of Arab dictators and extremists, who use the terrorists to influence compliance, obedience and maintain power. Terrorists want to keep the status quo in the Middle East, with the oppressive tyrannical regimes, such as the Taliban and the Mullahs of Iran. They want to keep Arab women in bondage and halt their struggle for democracy. Arab tyrants often use terrorism to blackmail the West and Israel for more concessions and financial aid.

We Arab-Americans, who want to promote freedom and democracy in our culture of origin, are extremely discouraged by terror apologists who claim that terrorists have a good cause.

To them I say, "No! We are the freedom fighters, they are the evil aggressors".

Terrorists do not have an honorable cause. They only help the old despots to suppress freedom in the Middle East. You have no idea how oppressive it is to live in such countries. Terrorists deliberately target uninvolved civilians, children, women and leaders who support peace, such as President Sadat of Egypt. Terrorists shamelessly recite the Quran, while mercilessly beheading the innocent. Terrorists take actions that hurt the reputation of Islam, a religion they claim to love. Terrorists have no intention to ever accord respect or equality to Christians, Kurds, Jews or other minorities. To them, peace negotiations are just a game to confuse the West and misrepresent their true intentions. When will Westerners understand their game?

The goal of Osama Bin Laden is to subdue the entire world, especially America. Terrorists pursue this goal blindly and will not allow anything to stand in their way, not even the risk to their own children. Like the Communists before them, terrorists believe that their ideal state is yet to be accomplished, and no Muslim constitution satisfies them. Even the Saudi regime that follows 'Sharia' Islamic law is not Muslim enough for them. Is it any wonder then why the Communists on US campuses are all pro-Arab? Years of indoctrination have turned many Arabs into robots of terror, enslaved to the mirage of the perfect Islamic State. The mere existence of the non-Muslim world disturbs their utopia. Speaking to the Western media, they often lie and blame the West for all their problems, and Western journalists too frequently fall into their trap.

True Western Liberals must start seeing the budding aspirations of the real Middle East freedom fighters, those who stand for democracy and freedom, tolerance of minorities, peace with Israel, and normal relations with the civilized world based on mutual respect. Many of them are jailed for their "crimes" in Syria, Iran, Bangladesh and other Muslim countries.

Today's true freedom fighters are the voters of Iraq, as well as the few of us who speak against the stoning of Muslim women, the torture of men, and the cruel and unusual punishments still going on in Muslim countries. We fight against poverty in the oil-rich, corrupt Arab states and against the indoctrination of Arab children with hatred, terror and vengeance. We hear with horror about a whole Coptic Christian Egyptian family that was slaughtered by terrorists in New Jersey, but we are not dissuaded and continue to speak out for peace and freedom. We are the freedom fighters.

The "progressive" Left in America is supporting the wrong side. Instead of supporting the oppressed underdog, they support the oppressors and their terrorist agents. I wish they would see the new reality in the Middle East. Their old causes stand in the way of progress and have become part of the problem, not the solution. Let the world support the true freedom fighters of the Middle East!

Nonie Darwish, 24/March/2005

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