analyticalQ frequent visitor writes:

You mentioned about American objectivity, in general. My latest experience reinforced two perceptions about the American people in general. One, they are indeed poor in objectivity when it concerns their own kind. I was exchanging notes with my former mentor (we don't keep in touch much these years) an Irish descended American who now lives in Florida, about the deeds of magnanimity and selflessness in times of crisis. He related stories about emergency service people in NYC, and the thousands of volunteers who flocked there from elsewhere. But his response was somewhat sarcastic, when I mentioned about the umpteen Malaysian Chinese and Muslim doctors and nurses who volunteered to serve in the refugee camps in the Afghan border. I'm just wondering if USA is the only nation in mourning after Sept 11 ?

Two, the American people are generally very ignorant about other cultures. They perceive the rest of the world by their own standards. Everyday, you hear the American press refer to "bin Ladin", but that's not how you address a Muslim, terrorist or otherwise. He's Osama, his father is Ladin, and no one calls a Muslim by his father's name. His children will be "xxx bin Osama", and should be called "xxx" and not "bin Osama". There's also Laila Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali. By Muslim tradition, she should be called Laila Mohammad, not Laila Ali. Don't care about how Osama feels, but the rest of the Muslim community is subconciously offended by the US press refering to a Muslim by the father's name, and US can spend billions in PR, it will never clear away the perception that Americans in general really don't care about other cultures, when you see the obvious and repetitive blunders in CNN et al.

Well, Anne, our lives have changed irreversibly since Sept 11. When I caught a flight for the first time a few days after Sept 11, I was so paranoid about the plane exploding on take off, crashing on landing, is the dark muslim looking chap behind me a highjacker. Problem with being in Malaysia, or anywhere in SE Asia for that matter, every second person next to me is a Muslim no matter where I go except when in the company of my own relatives, and all of them are somewhat sympathetic towards the Afghan people. Lately, my thoughts and feelings have gone out to the Afghan people. Why should they suffer because of the insanity of one man ? Or the poor objectivity of a nation in mourning, definitely not the only nation in mourning now.

Back to 27 October 2001 Journal Entry