Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank you, Mehdi.

Areeba Kamal writes this pouty "don't blame Muslims" piece in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. A Muslim commenter named Mehdi provides her with these wise observations and partial corrections:

I would highly advise you not to display Pakistani flag in your dorm room. I do understand your sense of patriotism, I used to do that with Bangkadeshi flag, once I came to US as a college freshman. Please try to reign in your slip of tongue for inshallah, mashallah as these words have no prevalence in Western discourse. If Americans look at us Muslims with suspicion, then it is our fault. I have been living in US for 18 years and never for a minute felt discriminated because of my faith.

Please don’t be so quick to jump to conclusion about who the perpetrator is. Investigation is underway, if the bombing is associated with Islamic extremists, I hope they get punished.

In Pakistan, blaming the US for everything is a Pakistani national past time. Society in general in Pakistan lacks the concept of introspection.

Yes, many of my friends asked me why I speak so fluent English at the par with native speaker, I had to explain to them that my parents sent me to British private school and they could afford it. Not everybody is poor and illiterate, we do have cities with skyscrapers and 10 million plus population. You just have to answer their curiosities. Anyway a good read. Please do a follow-up once the investigation is complete. Your thoughts would be much appreciated around that time.

The emphases are mine. I can say a hearty amen to these, or aameen if you like. "If Americans look at us Muslims with suspicion, then it is our fault." Well said, Mr. Mehdi. Isn't it ironic that a Muslim admitting this actually makes you look at him with less suspicion? This seems like a great example of "The Truth will set you free."

I also loved his statement "You just have to answer their curiosities." Don't take such offense to Americans not knowing facts about your own country. There are plenty of Americans that barely know about their own country and I'm sure that's true in Pakistan as well.

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