This Friday, my husband and I went to Movies 8 to see the matinee of Fahrenheit 9/11. One of the main points that Michael Moore makes in the film is that the government and the media have encouraged an environment of fear in American society. They have capitalized on the horror that we all felt on 9-11 and have used orange alerts and suspected plots to keep us constantly on the edge. In this fearful atmosphere, it was easy for Mr. Bush to convince us to send our family and friends into Iraq.
After the movie, as my husband and I were leaving the theater, a woman appeared to motion towards my husband and warn her companions that they should be careful. It seemed that she thought my dark skinned, Arab featured husband, who is a hard working, dedicated father and an American citizen, posed a threat. He is used to this type of behavior, but I felt offended and filled with despair.
Before 9-11, many of us assumed that the rest of the world saw our country as the greatest place on earth. We thought that people only dreamed of coming here, because of the opportunities and freedoms that we enjoy. So many of us were shocked and horrified to learn that, for some reason, there are people in the world who hate us. We were told that they were jealous of our affluence, that because they couldn’t have what we have, they wanted us to suffer. The truth is that our prosperous lifestyle came about at the expense of others. 9-11 was our wake up call, and we didn’t listen. Instead, inspired by fear and the desire for revenge, we attacked and destroyed what good will remained.
The movie presented a clear and realistic look at how we were made to feel afraid, and I hope that those who watch the movie will look inside themselves, and realize that the only way to make things better is to learn tolerance and respect for those of other nations. We should try to understand what it is we have done to inspire such hatred towards us, and work to rectify it.
I hope that we can learn to see others as human beings – even a dark-skinned man with a sharp nose, or a woman wearing a headscarf. I beg of everyone, no matter what your politics or background may be, please try to see the humanity in all people. The vast majority of Muslim people oppose terrorism and pray for the day when the world can be at peace. Only when we learn tolerance and acceptance can we stop the cycle of violence and hate in the world.
Friday, July 02, 2004