Should Americans be wary of the deal with Dubai Ports World?
Regarding Mansoor Ijaz's Feb 24 Opinion piece, "Why Dubai is good for US business": In cheerleading the admirably progressive attitudes of the United Arab Emirates, and advocating the deal to let Dubai Ports World manage already vulnerable American ports, Mr. Ijaz conveniently ignores the rise of Takfiri philosophy through Islam.
Takfiri demands that its adherents wage violent jihad against non-Muslims and any Muslims who oppose their methods. The more germane point is that Takfiri openly advocates the use of immigration and stealth lifestyles to further the cause. Takfiris can put aside the tenets of Islam and pursue Western lifestyles if it furthers jihad.
Takfiri philosophy is one reason we see clandestine funding of terrorism by "officially" friendly governments such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. I think it's also the reason so many neighbors of three Toledo, Ohio, Muslims were surprised that the trio were recently arrested for plotting a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq.
The rise of Takfiri terrorists is a sticky problem for truly moderate Muslims, but it is not a problem the West can solve. By "find[ing] ways to open" our society, as Ijaz suggests we should do, we are foolishly exposing ourselves to Takfiri strategy.
Until moderate Muslims are more willing to speak out against jihad, take their faith back from extremists, and crush the Takfiri movement, the West's broad suspicion of Muslims will be disturbingly well founded.
Regarding the Opinion piece by Mansoor Ijaz: The US is not being protectionist by insisting that security concerns be fully addressed. Congress should have been briefed before President Bush approved the sale of the operations of six major US ports to the UAE. Sen. Patty Murray (D), of Washington, rightly stated that her stand is "not about racism. It's about the security of our nation and Congress's right to have the oversight role to make sure we protect the citizens we represent." Until 9/11, the UAE recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Two 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens.
Legislators in Congress are reflecting the public's opposition to the deal. The UAE may now be a friendly country and our partner in the war on terrorism. But what would happen if the current regime were taken over by Islamic radicals who support terror?
If nothing else, the debate of port security has now finally begun. More needs to be done to enhance port security where only 5 percent of cargo is inspected.
Informative points were made by Mansoor Ijaz in his Opinion piece and in the Feb. 24 article, "Port flap serious test for Bush." But I take issue with the article's statement that "the American public ... opposes the president's position." No polls have been taken yet, to my knowledge, and I know I'm not alone in agreeing with President Bush.
I think outspoken opposing members of Congress want to protect themselves politically, just in case there should ever be a security breach at one of the six ports. And because there is ignorance of basic facts - for example, the Dubai shipping firm is not in charge of security - I assume that fear of Arabs in general drove many of the knee-jerk reactions against the port deal.
Ironically, the American Business Council of Dubai, for one, provides jobs for US citizens, without any hoopla at all. Could we be reacting to this situation more out of blind fear than by using our heads?
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.
Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.