[ From the Archives of 365 ]
“No human being has the moral right to gamble with the fate of other human beings.”
To get us going: An excerpt from my interview with The Colonel:
“The last lesson in military respect came as we concluded our evening. A man walked up, as he took pause from his laundry duties. “Are you a veteran?” he directed to The Colonel. “Vietnam” The Colonel replied.
The man went on to state his service, and even though he did not see the front line, he shared, “I was scared shitless.” The Lieutenant Colonel immediately reached out his hand, and over a firm handshake, said, “Welcome home!” They both welled up, but quickly hid their emotion.”
That man who walked up–we did speak for a short time; and although stating his fear of the front line, he was bravely engaged in another long and ongoing battle. One that forwarded a very timely and important message, a message that deserved focused time.
I meet with George at his home, wherefrom the moment I was greeted at the door, he opened his life in a most welcoming and engaging way. A generous host, he offered me tea as we sat for an hour of uninterrupted conversation. All I could do was take notes as he expressed more than I could write. His points were bold and clear and I knew there was no way I could accurately translate what he had to say. So I asked him if he would be willing to write a short paragraph or two for publication.
But before we get to that, I have a quick note to share: I have the greatest regard for all who voice their opinion and remind you that the messages forwarded through my stories are inspired by each individual I meet. I do have my opinions, however, to be true to all who have contributed to Sidewalk Ghosts, my aim is to remain neutral per the topics and viewpoints that are shared with me. To not endorse or debate any one singular political, religious, cultural, or spiritual agenda; but rather, to do my part in authoring content that facilitates empathetic discussion on many diverse perspectives.
“No human being has the moral right to gamble with the fate of other human beings.
“Despite the talks of gloomy future, and there are lots of depressing events to support that view, I believe our future is a lot brighter than supposed. I have been fortunate to be able to read between the lines as the events unfold right before our eyes. There is an incredible change coming, a change that is spearheaded by the youth of all Islamic nations. The smart young boys and girls with the use of cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, and often sacrificing their own lives in what they strongly believe.
“Although they cry for democracy and freedom, in reality, they are showing their contempt for their religion. Islam, a religion that has awakened the young Muslims to realities they never probed before and caused them to take a critical look at a religion that their spirit has never digested. They are asking for transparency, accountability in government, and an end to the oppressive Islamic leaders with their radical fundamental ideology, their cagy and perilous philosophy. The philosophy that has caused irreparable injury not just to the Muslims, but also to the universal rules and laws on which civilized and successful societies are based. The tradition, the religion, that in order for them to live a normal life among the people of the world, they must live outside of that tradition, and that absolute Arab Islam.
“Richard, I am an Iranian American, a U.S. veteran. I was born in Iran and grew up as a Shiite Muslim. As a Shiite, I have read most if not all Shiite doctrine page-by-page and have read Koran and done all my daily duty. I grew up with and understand the mentality of today’s Shiite elite.”
“I believe it is time for the world’s Muslims to do some soul searching and for Islam to look into the mirror. And I am holding up that mirror to Islam.”