Making Americans Safer
The frankly idiotic US battles fought near Shiite shrines in Najaf and Karbala have created a new, seething rage toward the US in many Shiite Muslim communities throughout the world. The riots in Karachi on Tuesday, protesting a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Pakistan’s major port, involved setting fire to American fast food outlets. This sort of attack had previously been common among radical Sunnis, but it is ominous that now the Shiite mobs are asking for very extra crispy KFC. Now I find that in my old stomping grounds of Lucknow, India, where the Shiite community had been so kind to me in the early 1980s, Americans are now unwelcome. Why, if the Bush administration has any more successes in the War on Terror, I just don’t know how we’ll be able to survive them.
TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2004
THE TIMES OF INDIA CITY SUPPLEMENTS: LUCKNOW TIMES
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, JUNE 02, 2004 02:16:26 AM
‘ “Americans should not venture anywhere near imambaras, mazaars or other places of religious importance. For if they do, the responsibility of their security would lie with the tourism department or themselves…” Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad who issued this veiled threat before a 20,000 strong crowd in Lucknow says Americans or Britons are not welcome in holy Muslim shrines. “With anti-US sentiments running so high, anything can happen to the tourists. What if some individual decides to settle scores on his own? We can’t do anything about that,” Maulana Jawwad told Lucknow Times. “By closing our doors on US and UK nationals we are sending out a very strong message. We want these tourists to tell everybody back home that they were unwelcome in India because of their leaders who are killing innocent Muslims and and destroying our shrines,” Jawwad reasons. “In fact, most of our imambaras are replicas of shrines in Iraq . How can the Americans bomb the original sites and visit their replicas! Where is the logic in that? The bottomline is that Americans should stay away from the imambaras and similar places, because we would be very uncomfortable with their presence,” he adds. ‘