The terror act on WTC and the Washington was a big shock to the entire world, while no body was able yet to recognize the limit or the purpose of these attacks. The pain was deep in the hart and the mind of everybody, this pain was deeper, wider and double in the hart and the mind of every Muslim and Arab everywhere in the world, because they feel the pain and they been hit hard on their religion and their ethnic origin on the local and international level.
The non-Arabs non-Muslims in North America and all over the west, consider us as foreigners while we are citizen. We became suspects and many found that they have to raise the condemnation slogans very high so it could be seen all over the world, we been paying the price for a crime we did not commit, but our crime is our body color and our names. We been forced to go out to the media to explain and answer silly questions about our religion and our origin and to disassociate ourselves from terrorism and terrorist, as if every Canadian or American have to defend him/herself for every crime committed by any white citizen, just because they are Canadian or American.
Unfortunately, those harassment acts on Muslims and Arabs left a big sociological damage on every one of us, beginning with accusing us that we did not felt the pain and accusing us of being not concern of what is happening on this land. While for sure, we did felt the pain for many reasons, mainly because of the human aspect of this horrific attack, but the question remain, why they did not see the pain on our face? We have to answer this question openly!
All over the last sixty years, every Arab person felt the pain and the anger from what is going on the Palestinian land and the Palestinian people, we did lived our life with the pain running between a sad story and a murder case, losing a father, a mother, a child or may be all of them at one shot. We lived the pain of each single person they are expelling from her/his land, demolishing her/his home, confiscating her/his land, striping her/him from her/his identity, and denying them any future. We lived the death of hundred of thousand of Arabs, so the killing and the death become part of our daily life, our hart and mind become used to this atrocities, even we lived the invasion of cities and homes by tanks and planes, people have no way to learn or to work or even to dream of any future.
We remember all that while we witness the attack on September 11th, 2001 which could be seen as a regular attack, while it is not regular. When death becomes daily and our blood become cheap, there is no necessity to feel the pain and to see it on faces, because it becomes part of the faces. We did feel it all over the century and no body show up to remove our tears and help us recovering and we never try to revenge. While the victims of this horrific attack are ours, but who loss his father, his mother his son has no more tears to run for anyone!
In spite of all this, and because we are part of this society, we felt the pain, we cried and we refused the crime. We are taking the all issue on our shoulder from the beginning, we been attacked on our religion and the worst is the media campaign to characteristic assassinate every thing belong to us and we are belonging to, and that is what led to the physical attacks and all type of harassments. This represent the great fall of what so called the free media, we are living it, this fall that force us to be converted in to movable media outlet, every one of us in our schools, working place we have to prove that we are what we are really, not what the media outlets would like to present us.
It did reach our children, small kid would like to change his name from “Usama” to Michel because his schoolmate consider him terrorist because his name is as “Usama Bin Laden” and many others cases. It is important here to mention and to congratulate Mrs. Alexa McDonough, the leader of the Canadian New Democratic Party NDP on all her position regarding this issue, specially when she said that Osama and Mohamed are Canadian names they are not foreigners, and the people who pray at the mosques are Canadian not foreigners. We are part of this society and we will remain part of it. Nobody can marginize us or separate us form the society.
That is why we have to resist this campaign, we have no chance to loss the stereotyping campaign, we are citizen with the rights and obligations, my name, my religion, and my color, no one of these should change anything of the reality that we are all Canadian. We have to protest any harassment; we have to be active in our role in the society, many elections are coming we have to participate as more than usual, we have to show all the society that we are part of it. We are part of the of this society for the benefit of all the society, for our children, that is the only answer we have to this unfair media outlets campaign.
They can full some people some time but you cannot full all the people all the time.
Mr. Mohamed S. Kamel is a Freelance writer in Montréal, Canada.