following text is a slightly modified version of the essay broadcast at National
Public Radio on April 12, 2002)
place on earth has allowed a more dynamic and interactive global exchange of
views than cyberspace. Visitors from more
than 120 countries of all faiths and ideologies have been responding to the
escalating crises in the Holy Land.
the last two weeks there has been a dramatic surge in passionate discussions
taking place on the message board -
reflecting on the sufferings of the Palestinian people and demanding an end to
Israeli aggressions. Many - disappointed
in the role of the US government in this conflict lending it's blind support to
discussions flared up early this week after we posted a story about the death of
a 21-year old Palestinian-American who was gunned down by Israeli soldiers in
Ramallah last Friday. Suraida
Saleh, a Palestinian-American born in Washington DC was shot when she and
her husband and nine month old baby were driving to her father's house for
safety. The US State Department has yet
to respond to this incident.
is an understatement." Says Ibraheem of Atlanta. He continues, "The
ironic thing about the whole situation is that many Muslims believe that just
because they are American citizens they will be protected by the American
past few weeks have also been a time of introspection - Muslims are debating
what the larger Islamic community can do to stop the violence on both ends.
Nabila of Los Angeles writes, "While
I fully empathize with the suffering of Palestinians under the cruel Israeli
occupation and support the fight for an independent state for Palestinians, I
cannot see justification for the 'suicide' bombing and loss of innocent life.
few days ago, IslamiCity's discussion board had this comment from a non-Muslim.
the bombings and fighting stop on both sides, each group is getting what they
deserve." A Muslim sharply responded:
analyzing the situation in detail, to equally blame both sides is the easy way
out. If peace has to come to the Middle East, Israel has to bring it. How can
Palestine offer peace when its people are expelled from their homes and their
homes are demolished? How can Palestine offer peace if Israeli forces are
constantly engaged in humiliating the Palestinians? How can Palestine offer
peace when the innocent are being shot dead?
the midst of the chaos and charged emotions the desire for peace is expressed in
a poll at IslamiCity, which asks how the current crises may be best resolved.
the five options given for this question - Saudi Peace Plan, UN Resolutions, US
Mediation, Oslo Accords and more War & Conflict - The majority of the
people, 45%, selected the Saudi Peace Plan as the best option, 24% of the vote
is spread over the other peace initiatives and the remainder chose to predict
more War & Conflict.
and Muslims have lived side by side in peace for centuries so why is there so
much conflict between us now. After all there is so much in common between Islam
and Judaism and there is so much opportunity for peace.
Moses is among the most respected Prophets and is the most mentioned
prophets in the Quran.
in Ramallah, the family of Palestinian-American Suraida Saleh say they had to
temporarily bury her body in the parking lot of the local hospital since the
morgue was overflowing with bodies. Hardly any attention was given to this
incident by the US press and US Government.
We too believe that
justice will prevail and the truth will be self-evident that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We believe it
is the hope and aspiration of humanity that the guarantees provided by the
American constitution will be realized by all people struggling for freedom.
I rest my case to the Divine and ask Him, the Almighty, for a speedy and
miraculous intervention that will lead to just peace for all.