September 16, 2010

An open letter to George W. Bush

16 September 2010

George W. Bush
Office of George W. Bush
P.O. Box 259000
Dallas, TX 75225-9000


Dear George Bush:

Ramadan is over; Eid has brought countless numbers of American Muslims together this month, and I have been wondering why no one in the United States has heard your voice to calm the recent hysteria that so many politicians and even members of the clergy have been demonstrating toward American Muslims and toward their faith.

Yours was the voice of calm, respect, and Christian love in the days that followed those horrific attacks on September 11, 2001:

    The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam... 
    I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. 
    The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.  
I respectfully say to you, Friend, that your silence during this time of grave misperception, harmful stereotyping, and fear-based rhetoric is like the Santa Ana wind: it cannot be seen, but when there is fire, that which cannot be seen adds to the enormity of the destruction and ruin of American lives.

As a Quaker, I am reminded that my faith’s practice of silent, open worship cannot take the place of speaking out, of showing up, of offering myself as a grounded presence in times of wrongful action and hate-filled speech.

I pray that the Loving Presence stirs thy heart and lifts thy spirit so that thee may remember our Muslim brothers and sisters in this country and around the world; that thee may remind our wider American family that American Muslims are Americans; that Islam is a way to peace.

Thy shoulders may well carry a burden specific unto thee, thy voice a message to speak unto a nation that is in distress. Do not bury thy talent and believe it is being well-used.

2 comments:

RantWoman said...

Friend speaks my mind.

Ray The Celt said...

As a UK Quaker might I suggest that former Prime Minister Tony Blair be "c.c." to this letter