Dear Mr. bin Laden,
I read your letter of November 2002 to the American People, along with your recent letter calling for jihad [shortly before June 24, 2004], and several interviews you have given over the years. Here is my reply:
You are correct in many of your criticisms about America, as any open-minded person who does their homework knows. At the same time, you show no more respect for life than does George Bush or Arial Sharon.
You have brought many valid complaints, wherein you claim to speak on behalf of the Muslim people, and it is evident to me that you have not been taken seriously, but rather ignored or treated with contempt. America has indeed disrespected Muslims time and again, and Americans in general seem oblivious to this fact, even after September 11, and even after your November letter, which I regret to say was not widely published here.
America 's active role in the death of no less than 500,000 Iraqi children, and in sabotaging the water system of Iraq, knowing it was the young and innocent who would die, is as appalling to me as it has been to you. Even now, under the malicious John Ashcroft, our government is sueing Voices in the Wilderness, a small group of Americans who tried to help Iraqi children. It is not hard for me to understand how a pediatrician such as Mr. Al-Zawahiri, who dedicated his life to helping children, would come to the conclusion that violence against America is the only answer.
I believe I understand your frustration, your pride, your sense of oneness with your people, and your dedication to what you believe is correct. But I cannot agree with you that more bloodshed is the answer.
I have done some reading of the Koran to learn more about your religion. It did not take long to come upon certain passages (might I attribute this to Allah?), which read as follows:
[2.8] And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers. [2.9] They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive. [2.10] There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied. [2.11] And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers. [2.12] Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.
From your letter it would appear that you are calling yourself a peace-maker, and thereby lying to Allah and deceiving yourself, just as George Bush does every time he calls himself a Christian.
Like George Bush, you have been blessed with riches beyond most people's imagination, and yet you have used those riches to bring misery and heartache to human beings on this tiny planet. So I have much difficulty understanding why you advocate the destruction of life, and then pretend to be speaking for Allah Himself, when there is so much important work that needs to be done.
I also do not comprehend your claim that George Bush, perhaps the biggest liar in American history, was chosen by the people of America. He was appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court, after the people of America voted for Mr. Gore. Surely you are aware of this and falsely make this claim; or, if you weren 't aware of it, you have no business holding yourself up as a leader of the Muslim people.
Nonetheless, your words have called attention to the atrocities committed by America, the recent ones especially, which include aiding oppressive dictators, providing arms to those who serve capitalist interests, most notably Israel, and our bombing of civilians in places too numerous to mention. I do not fault your list when you mention our intrusions into Somalia, Palestine, Chechnya, Kasmir, Saudi Arabia, and now, of course, Iraq. If anything, you have left out many dark crimes we are guilty of, most of which can readily be found on the internet.
And thus I join you in condemning our atrocities, along with the American government 's patterns of deceit and corruption. I am ashamed to see what America has become, particularly under the Bush Administration.
Surely you are aware of the millions of Americans who protested the war in Iraq, and you must know it is not we who are your enemies. At the same time, those of us who clamor for peace on earth --the same peace spoken of in the Koran and other holy works --do not condone violence, whether it is George Bush 's, Ariel Sharon 's or yours. Countless numbers of us have written letters to the editor, encouraging peace in every way we can, but often those letters don't get published. We can and do vote for advocates of peace, even though all too many Americans are kept in the dark by an oppressive media, or are misled by the media, and thus continue to support Mr. Bush and his deranged colleagues.
I am a sixth grade teacher in a school which has students from all over the world --Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Tonga, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, the Congo, Cambodia, China, Bosnia, Vietnam, and many other countries --students from different cultures, religions, languages, and backgrounds. (Many of these students are here because we forced them to be, with our insane foreign policies).