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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Foolish to make enemies of allies

    Who is recruiting for the Fifth Column? We are.

    President Bush has repeatedly stated that, “”Either you are with us, or you are with the Terrorists”” (Sept. 20, 2001 version.) While simplistic (and thus ideally suited for goose-stepping polemics) and flawed (it assumes that our way is the only solution to terrorism), it does express a kernel of truth: If you are not actively opposed to (or at least condemning) terrorism, then you are abetting it. I would like to pose a parallel statement of great import that frequently goes unremarked. Pollsters, think-tanks, special-interest groups and concerned Muslims have lamented that an oppressive kind of conservatism is spreading amongst the Muslim community in Western countries – America included. Moderate and progressive voices are being shut out. Muslim youths, feeling shunned by the non-Muslim community and bombarded by messages from the media proclaiming that Muslims are nothing but barbaric killers, are increasingly embracing violent radicalism. They feel that they have nowhere else to go – that they are not welcome in the society in which they must live. This breeds contempt and pushes them into isolation – into the embracing arms of those who would say, “”Muslim solidarity!”” and then “”We don’t need them!”” and finally “”We should do away with them!”” The riots in France and the recently thwarted plots in Canada and the U.K. testify to this disturbing trend.

    In light of this saddening fact, we can deduce an oft-overlooked similitude to Bush’s declaration: “”If we are not with the Muslims, the Muslims will not be with us.”” If we continue to treat them as second-class citizens, constantly question their loyalty (e.g. ethnic profiling), assail them with humiliating and degrading accusations and distasteful rhetoric (e.g. Andrew Benson’s Aug. 21 letter), then we should not be surprised if we lose some of them to the terrorists. This doesn’t have to happen. If you get to know them, you will find that most Muslims, like most people of any faith or ideology, are fundamentally good people.

    Moreover, they are an integral part of American society. I, for one, owe my life to a particular Muslim doctor – a Pakistani immigrant. We must learn to be more discerning – judging the merits of individual people and doing away with the ‘all Xs are Ys’ mentality. Practicality – our national security – requires it.

    Justice – morality – demands it.

    Remember this next time you see that hard-working family man who delivers your mail; or the doctor who gently

    stitches closed the ugly gash you got failing a drunken hand-stand on a keg; the professor delivering your lecture; or the studious fellow quietly sitting next to you in that awful TRAD class: Only a fool makes an enemy out of an ally.

    Robert M. Phillips
    mathematics senior

    ASUA funding for Rock the Vote concert inappropriate

    Of all the items on which I could provide criticism to the ASUA budget, I find myself dismayed that our student government would choose to fund a concert held by the organization Rock the Vote. Contrary to what the organization would have the American public believe, Rock the Vote’s politics are heavily slanted to the left. Governmental interference in health care, protection of obscenity on public airwaves and increases to governmental unemployment insurance are three of their positions. Undoubtedly they have this right, but students ought to be troubled that their campus representatives would choose to put their money into politically biased propaganda in the name of increasing voter participation in a supposedly unbiased fashion. Moreover, Rock the Vote intolerably continues to attempt to scare young voters into believing that they may be drafted into the military, despite that said draft speculation was before the last election and came from Democrats in what was arguably a dishonest scheme to decrease support for military operations in the Middle East. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s online calendar currently schedules Rock the Vote’s concert on Oct. 6. In the interest of fairness, it behooves ASUA to cancel it in due time.

    Garrett O’Hara
    political science senior

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