Islam is not 
the enemy

Last modified: Monday, February 24, 2014
To the editor:

Being an Muslim and an American, I am left in a bizarre juxtaposition. On one hand, if I speak out against the unholy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am labeled as a terrorist. On the other hand, if I try to support the wars, I cannot let certain truths remain unspoken.

I will follow the command given to us in the Honorable Qur’an, speak the truth even if it is against your own souls. “When they first put the electricity on me, I gasped; my body went rigid and the bag came off my head,” Israa Salah, a detained Iraqi woman, told Human Rights Watch in her gut-wrenching testimony. Israa, not her real name, was arrested by U.S. and Iraqi forces in 2010. She was tortured to the point of confessing to terrorist charges she did not commit. According to HRW’s “No One is Safe” — a 105-page report released on Feb. 6 — there are thousands of Iraqi women in jail being subjected to similar practices by Iraqi security forces , held with no charges, beaten, and raped. Imagine with me please; your mothers, sisters, wives and daughters being detained while a foreign-led regime has occupied U.S. soil.

They are subjecting our women to such sadism. When our sons, brothers, husbands and fathers fight for their protection, would we label them as terrorist or martyrs? Do we have the audacity to claim to play the victim? Did the U.S. just create another ‘terrorist’ or liberate Iraq? I am confused. Under false pretenses of “liberating women from Islam,” WMDs and other machination, we label Muslims and Islam with defamatory labels. When will the world wake up and realize, Islam is not your enemy nor the Muslims? These so called “confessions” are broadcast across 300 million homes in America and the ramifications are severe.

We are Frankenstein and this is our monster we have created. We cannot shroud ourselves with ignorance. We need to modify our manifesto because the reality is, we no longer “hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal...”

Imran Shahzad