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OT: A Plea For Tolerance - please forward if you wish

From: Hewitt, Denise <Denise.Hewitt@idea.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 11:14:06 -0500
Message-ID: <9CAB32B1B967BA49B0B7675A02EBB9308B91C0@TX047MX2KPROD01.idea.com>
To: sigia-l@asis.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I apologize for  this being off topic to what we do - but my friend & I
wrote this because of all the recent incidents in Texas and elsewhere in the
aftermath of the WTC attack. And also because of incidents that have
happened to people I care about.  

Dear humans,

This is a plea. This is a cry for awareness. Please read this.

	"Even though people look different, I see the reflection of the same
God in all of them." (Sikh)

Kicking and screaming their way through the smoke and rubble of this all too
tragic event are angry and scared people - a dangerous combination.

"Cultivation of tolerance for other faiths will impart to us a truer
understanding of our own." (Gandhi)

We, the American people, have been faced with a devastating attack, one that
appears to be tied to a man named Osama bin Laden. He was granted sanctuary
in Afghanistan, a country currently run by the Taliban. The Taliban is a
very hard-lined council that has uses military power to keep the former
government away. The former government of Afghanistan has pledged the
entirety of its 15,000 troops to support the United States.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." (John Lubbock)

Life in Afghanistan is hard for its people. To give you a better idea of the
situation, this is a quote from a Tamim Ansary, a reporter in San Francisco
of Afghan descent.

		"But the Taliban and Bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're
not even the
		government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of
ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a
political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When
you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of
Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps."  

Also think of David Koresh - while he called himself a Christian, he was not
representative of Christians. While he called himself American, he was not
representative of Americans.

	"Unto friends And unto foes alike in tolerance;" (Bhagvad Gita,
Chapter XIV)

What we have here is a group of people who hold a country hostage and share
a common religion. That religion is a specific sect of Islam and with a
definitively hard interpretation of the Islamic laws that makes them stand
apart from the sect they are based off of.

	"You are all my witnesses." (Isaiah 43:10)

With all of this being said, we would like to move on to the scared
people... those we are trying to reach with this message.

	o	Please realize that killing a person in Arizona just for
wearing a turban or having a beard is wrong! 
			o	There are 500,000 Sikhs living in America -
some families have been here for more than 100 years. The Sikh people
originate from India, our ally. They are our friends, neighbors, and fellow
	o	Do you realize that burning down a store owned by a
Pakistani-American is wrong?
ml) Pakistan is willing to go to war with Afghanistan, a country up until
now they have considered an ally, and allow us to stage our military from
their country! In addition, many of the Pakistani people who live in the
United States came here as political refugees so that they could bring up
their children in a free country, a country where they would not fear.
	o	Do you not realize that a Sikh American is no more related
to the Taliban than you or me? (<http://www.sikh.net/AOA/sikh911.htm>)
	o	Do you not realize that making such generalizations and
acting out on your rage and your pain in such a manner makes you no better
than those who brought this rage and this pain to you?
	o	Please think before you act. Think of the many lives lost in
the World Trade Center. Think of the many people, families, children who
have lost loved ones. Think of that pain and sorrow. Then think of your
fellow neighbors, co-workers and friends. Would you wish to add to their

				"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
				where there is hatred, let me sow love;
				when there is injury, pardon;
				where there is doubt, faith;
				where there is despair, hope;
				where there is darkness, light;
				and where there is sadness, joy." (Prayer of
St. Francis)

If your need for revenge is too strong, then you must deal with it, because
that is all we can do right now. If your need for blood is too strong, then
try your hand at the armed forces. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to act
out on your feelings, with someone intelligent who is able to determine the
proper target for you.

What we really need is empathy. We need to realize that anyone living in
America (whether they own a gas station in Arizona, worship at a mosque in
Dallas, or believe that the universe is owned and operated by a supreme
alien being named Xalnak) has been touched by this attack. Have you been
touched by this attack? Do you now wonder what the next target will be? Will
you be in that building? Now try to imagine the same feelings, and add to
them the dirty looks and the open hatred that your FELLOW AMERICANS greet
you with on the streets, at work, and everywhere you go. Try to imagine what
it would be like if someone decided to focus the blame on you. Try to
imagine not only how you feel now, but if you also had to live in fear as

		"When they came for the socialists I did not speak out
because I was not a socialist. 
		When they came for the homosexuals I did not speak out
because I was not a homosexual.
		When they came for the Jews I did not speak out because I
was not a Jew.
		When they came for me there was no one left to speak out."

This is what scared fearful people are doing.  We are asking you to please
send this message to everyone, everywhere so that it will spread, and in the
hopes one frightened person will read this, and realize we are all
Americans, we are all children of God, we are all united together by what
has happened.

	"We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all
hang separately." (Benjamin Franklin)
And please, delete the headers to this message before forwarding. Nobody
likes to scroll through a list of 1000 email addresses to get to the
message. Except for spammers who want email addresses.

-=rev=- && -=| denise |=-
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2001 12:14:38 UTC

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