Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good Times 

The Goddess is in the 'mom' category and often auditions for commercials with eerily self-possessed kids from the Upper West Side and upscale suburbs. We've been collecting some of the striving names of these kids and among the best are Carter Abromovitz and Hunter Schoenweiss. They are amusing (to me, at least), but it has occurred to me that what this country really needs is a few more Brandon Al Khalifas and Forrest Bazayads. Bring on the Britneys and Tiffanys.

Which is why I don't want to be too rough on Melissa Yousif of West Bloomfield, Michigan, who wrote a letter to the New York Times today. She was, moreover, writing in support of a profile of Dr. Wafa Sultan from the front page of last Saturday's Times; "For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats". Dr. Wafa was the Syrian woman who made a sensation last month with an electrifying interview on Al Jazeera. In it, she said, memorably:
The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced
the world to respect them, with their knowledge,
not with their terror; with their work, not with
their crying and yelling. [...] We have not seen a
single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant.
We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church.
We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing
If Melissa is of Arab or Muslim background, it takes real courage for her to support Dr. Wafa in such a public forum.

I would like to take issue with one point she makes, though.
Dr. Sultan made an excellent point: both Jews
and Muslims have faced extreme hardships and
racism, for the Jews in the Holocaust and for
Muslims especially after Sept. 11, but what sets
them apart is how they have each reacted.
I think I did read of a Muslim getting beaten by some thugs somewhere in the midwest in a nakedly racist incident. On the whole, though, Americans can be proud of the restraint, understanding and tolerance they've shown the Muslim community. There are hard feelings, and, interestingly, more today than there were immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

But despite the slaughter of thousands of Americans, despite numerous other attacks and a constant barrage of racist, inflammatory, hateful rhetoric from the Muslim world, we're able to live side by side with them and, in the overwhelming majority of cases, judge them as individuals and give them the benefit of the doubt.

And it drives them nuts.

I embrace Melissa and any member of the Arab or Muslim community who is genuinely interested in stopping the violence and the hate, the scape-goating of the Jews and the subjugation of woman. However, to compare your situation after 9/11 to the murder of the Jews shows a shocking lack of historical perspective and it's also an insult to Americans.

Moving on, I am pleased to recommend unreservedly the entire Times Op-Ed page.

Jeffrey Goldberg tells the story of Purim and it's disturbing resonance in today's Iran.

In Africa's Brutal Lebensraum, Nicholas Kristof reports from Darfur. As is universal in Times' coverage he treats it as a racial war and stays far away from the religious aspect. It's a good column, though, and implicit in it is a challenge to the Administration to show the stindeens(tm) Clinton showed in taking on the Serbs.

Most gratifying of all, John Tierny writes in support of the New Hampshire activists attempting to seize Justice Souter's home in protest of the Kelo eminent-domain case and turn it into a park with a monument to the Constitution. Supreme Home Makeover is old fashioned liberalism right down to his hope that it doesn't actually happen, but merely sends a message.

Not a nit-wit on the page.
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