You may think this odd, considering what I've been saying about Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and a few other Middle Eastern countries over the last few weeks ... but I have a few Arab friends and acquaintances.
I see Abdul everyday, and he looks at me now with a little apprehension. It's going to get worse, because the federal government is now going to start questioning about 5,000 people who are here on visas — men between 16 and 33 who are from certain Middle Eastern countries.
The Feds won't say which, but we can all figure it out. So the FBI and other federal agents are going around college campuses and ethnic enclaves around the country asking questions. They don't ask about religion, but they do ask about violence and terrorism and they will offer government reward money for information.
People are worried about this mass questioning. Arab and Muslim citizens are worried, figuring they are next. A student adviser in Nebraska said the Arab students are feeling singled out.
"They think it is a kind of discrimination …" he told the New York Times, "because they are not picked out randomly." He complained that Latinos and Indians were not being questioned.
Hello? The Latinos and East Indians did not hijack planes and run them into the World Trade Center.
Look. We don't want to bother the Arab and Muslim-Americans who live here, because they love the U.S. and treasure its values. We want the ones who don't. It's that simple. We want the people who want to bring us down. The Arab and Muslim-Americans who are Americans will stand with us as we look for traitors and terrorists. They should help us find them. The sooner we find them, the sooner the questioning can stop or slow to a crawl.
It's not such a bad thing to be asked a few questions. People who have answers that might help should welcome the opportunity to give those answers. If there's another Mohamed Atta here, it's in every American's interest to find him. Only a fellow terrorist would want to keep him hidden.
When we see Arab and Muslim-Americans celebrating because Arab and Muslim lands have been liberated from terrorists who skin people alive and make women and children live in the seventh century, then we know we're getting somewhere.
That's happening in the Afghan exile community in Fremont, Calif. and we should start seeing it happen in other American cities.
That's My Word.
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