I want to challenge Original North Phoenix Tea Party founder Wes Harris’ assertion in the article “Tea Party leader says all Muslims a ‘threat’ to U.S.; seeks recall of McCain” from the July 27 issue of the Arizona Capitol Times that Americans need to be concerned about the loyalty of Muslim Americans. Here is a story from my own experience.
Throughout 2008 and 2009, I was conducting research under Professor Akbar Ahmed of American University with the hope of better understanding American identity through the eyes of Muslims. Resulting from this trip was the documentary, “Journey Into America,” and the book, “Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam.” A scene in both the documentary and the book may be of interest.
In the spring of 2009, Professor Ahmed was invited by a Col. Martinez of Washington’s Old Guard to speak to American soldiers, who were on the verge of being deployed to Afghanistan. After his discussion, Ahmed and I were invited by Martinez to Arlington National Cemetery.
It was here — in this most hallowed ground of our country — where I paid my respect to the Muslim Americans who died to protect our freedoms.
In the book, Ahmed writes: “Among those buried in section 60, reserved for American soldiers killed after 9/11, is Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq and awarded the Purple Heart. And he is but one example of Muslim soldiers who have sacrificed their lives.”
It appears that Harris has overlooked this ultimate sacrifice in loyalty. Harris would be wise to not degrade the Muslim American community with insidious remarks. He is putting himself in danger of becoming anti-American in the eyes of his fellow citizens.
— Craig Considine, Needham, Mass.