The following conversation took place in Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2002. It includes myself (IS), my dad's friend (DF), and his son (FS).
DF: They found out that the guy is a Muslim, and automatically he's a...
FS: A terrorist.
DF: Yeah, a terrorist.
IS: He fired shots at LAX. What do you think you'd call him?
DF: There are other crimes that occur. Those criminals aren't called terrorists. Only Muslims are terrorists in the West.
IS: Well, on 9/11, all the terrorists were Muslim.
DF: How do you know that?
IS: How do I know what?
FS: How do you know that the people who carried out the attacks on 9/11 were Muslim?
IS: The passengers on the planes made calls on their cell phones. They told their loved ones about the hijacking. That's how the people on the fourth plane knew that their plane will be crashed and they tried unsuccessfully to stop that. Plus, the airlines have the names of these hijackers on file. So, not much doubt that they were Muslim.
DF: What does that have to do with the war in Afghanistan?
IS: I don't understand the question?
DF: Why attack Afghanistan? Why go after Osama?
IS: Because he planned/financed the 9/11 attacks.
FS: Where is the proof that Osama did that?
DF: So, a guy in a place like Afghanistan is responsible for 9/11. Why couldn't the U.S., the superpower that it is, stop the attacks?
IS: How do you stop a hijacking? The police can't help you in the air. Osama was, on tape, gloating about the success of his attacks. Isn't that proof enough?
FS: The U.S. can make a tape like that with actors. They have the technology to do so.
DF: The real reason the Americans went to war in Afghanistan was to destroy the Islamic state. The Americans can't stand the fact that a pure Islamic state was formed in Afghanistan under the Taliban. They, the Taliban, have suffered setbacks but one day they will rise again and there will be Islamic law over Afghanistan. One day, they will return.
DF: So, do you think the U.S. will go to war with Iraq?
DF: It's all about the OILLL. What do you think?
IS: I don't think it's about the oil. Saddam's time is up.
DF: Man, you support the Americans on everything. You're practically an American.
One small detail about my dad's friend. He applied for U.S. citizenship for himself and his family in the 90s. Most of his family has green cards. FS goes to college in the U.S. These people want a good life for themselves and their family while simultaneously trashing the country that provided them that. The level of perverseness, hypocrisy, and ingratitude in that conversation was nauseating. Sadly, this kind of illogic is mainstream in the Muslim world.
August 15, 2004.