April 14, 2002
Emailed to: [email protected]
Re: "Apocalyptic creed" (April 2, 2002)
We would like to add our voice to the many Canadians who have expressed disappointment and condemnation over the above noted article. Defaming Muslims as it did demonstrates not journalistic integrity, but racism, intolerance, cowardice and, quite frankly, "yellow journalism."
An egregious example of the foregoing is the manner in which your editor responded to his own question as to why some Muslims cannot agree that killing innocent non-Muslims is unacceptable. Your editorial places the blame for this with Muslim civilization. You then proceed to use two quotations from Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order to "prove" the contention in the statement quoted.
Of course, choosing these quotations, to the exclusion of other Huntington conclusions, is disingenuous in the extreme. In point of fact, we submit the following quotations from the same author and work cast even more light on the subject:
1. At least Huntington regards Muslims as a civilization; that is more than he says about the Jews: "Most scholars of civilization hardly mention [Jewish civilization]." Huntington goes on to state unequivocally that "Judaism clearly is not a major civilization." (page 48)
2. As to conflicts between groups, to which the Arab-Israeli conflict applies: "…the sources of conflict between states and groups…are, in large measure, those which have always generated conflict between groups: control of people, territory, wealth, and resources, and relative power, that is the ability to impose one's own values, culture, and institutions on another group …" (page 129)
3. As to the reasons why Islam has been involved in its latest conflict: "…the Islamic Resurgence has given Muslims renewed confidence in the distinctive character and worth of their civilization and values compared to those of the West [and by extension, Isreal]…[The] West's simultaneous efforts to universalize its values and institutions, to maintain its military and economic superiority, and to intervene in conflicts in the Muslim world generate intense resentment among Muslims." (page 211)
4. As to the propensity of Muslims to resort to violence to settle disputes, your editor should have had the courage and integrity to point out that the highest incidence of violence propensity is not with Muslims, but with the Chinese, at 76.9%, compared to Muslims' 53.5%. ( page 258) Now, would you be prepared to quote Huntington to attack the Chinese community accordingly?
5. As to the Arab-Israeli conflict specifically, would you care to run these quotes in your paper: "The West's sponsorship, at the height of its power vis-à-vis Islam, of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East laid the basis for ongoing Arab-Israeli antagonism." (page 263) "Muslim groups such as Palestinians … are like 'Red Indians, depressed groups, shorn of dignity, trapped on reservations converted from their ancestral lands.'" (page 264)
In all fairness, your newspaper should publish these precise quotes, in order to level the playing field, and in order to remove the pall of demonization that your Asper-directed editorial has inflicted on our Muslim Canadian brothers.
Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.
Chair, Civil Liberties Committee
Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League
Canadian Arab Federation
1057 McNicoll Ave.
Toronto, ON M1W 3W6
Faxed to: (416) 493-9239
Canadian Society of Muslims
P.O. Box 143, Station P
Toronto, ON M5S 2S7
Canadian Arab Friendship Assoc.
18, 9228 - 144 Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5E 6A3