Commentary

Response to Founder and Chairman of Original North Phoenix Tea Party

Mr. Harris,

I want to challenge your comment that Americans need to be concerned about the loyalty of Muslim Americans.  I want to do so through a story of my own experience.

Throughout 2008 and 2009, I was conducting research under Professor Akbar Ahmed of American University with the hope of better understanding American identity through the eyes of Muslims.  Resulting from this trip was the documentary, Journey into America, and the book, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.  A scene in both the documentary and the book may be of interest to you.

In the spring of 2009, Professor Ahmed was invited by Colonel Martinez of Washington’s Old Guard to speak to American soldiers, who were on the verge of being deployed to Afghanistan.  After his discussion, Professor Ahmed and myself were invited by Colonel Martinez to Arlington National Cemetery.

It was here – in this most hollowed ground of our country – where I paid my respect to the Muslim Americans that have died to protect our freedoms.

As Professor Ahmed writes, ‘Among those buried in section 60, reserved for American soldiers killed after 9/11, is Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq and awarded the Purple Heart.  And he is but one example of Muslim soldiers who have sacrificed their lives’.

Mr. Harris – it appears that you have overlooked this ultimate sacrifice in loyalty.  You would be wise to not degrade the Muslim American community with your insidious remarks.  You are putting yourself in danger of becoming anti-American in the eyes of your fellow citizens.

Sincerely,

Craig Considine, Needham, Massachusetts

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