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Sunera Thobani's speech.
by repost from indy newswire Saturday October 06, 2001 at 11:38 AM

"This is the speech that created a public furor in Canada, and caused such vitirol on Indymedia. Read it for yourself."

Read Prof. Sunera Thobani's speech for yourself (english)
by posted by tx

3:25pm Fri Oct 5 '01 (Modified on 9:00pm Fri Oct 5 '01)

This is the speech that created a public furor in Canada, and caused such vitirol on Indymedia. Read it for yourself.

From the Vancouver Sun, October 3, 2001

We, and this "we" is really problematic. If we in the West are all Americans now, what are Third World women and Aboriginal women to do? If Canadians are Americans now, what are women of colour to do in this country? And I'm open to suggestions for changing this title, but I thought I would stick with it as a working title for getting my ideas together for making this presentation this morning.
I'm very glad that the conference opened with Tina (Tina Beads, of the Vancouver Rape Relief Women's Shelter) and I'm very glad for the comments that she made, but I want to say also, just (to) add to Tina's words here, that living (in) a period of escalating global interaction now on every front, on every level. And we have to recognize that this level and this particular phase of globalization is rooted in all forms of globalization in the colonization of Aboriginal peoples and Third World people all over the world. This is the basis. And so globalization continues to remain rooted in that colonization, and I think, recognize that there will be no social justice, no anti-racism, no feminist emancipation, no liberation of any kind for anybody on this continent unless Aboriginal people demand for self-determination.

The second point I want to make is that the global order that we live in, there are profound injustices in this global order. Profound injustices. Third World women...I want to say for decades, but I'm going to say for centuries, have been making the point that there can be no women's emancipation, in fact no liberation of any kind for women, will be successful unless it seeks to transform the fundamental divide between the north and south, between Third World people and those in the West who are now calling themselves Americans.

That there will be no emancipation for women anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended.

Love thy neighbour. Love thy neighbour, we need to heed those words. Especially as all of us are being hoarded into the possibility of a massive war at the...of the United States. We need to hear those words even more clearly today. Today in the world the United States is the most dangerous and most powerful global force unleashing prolific levels of violence all over the world.

From Chile to El Salvador, to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood. We have seen, and all of us have seen, felt, the dramatic pain of watching those attacks and trying to grasp the fact of the number of people who died. We feel the pain of that every day we have bee watching it on television.

But do we feel any pain for the victims of U.S. aggression? 200,000 people killed only in the initial war on Iraq. That bombing of Iraq for 10 years now. Do we feel the pain of all the children in Iraq who are dying from the sanctions imposed by the United States? Do we feel that pain on an every-day level? Share it with our families and communities and talk about it on every platform that is available to us? Do we feel the pain of Palestinians who now for 50 years have been living in refugee camps?

U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood. And other countries
in the West, including shamefully, Canada, cannot line up fast enough behind it. All want to sign up now as Americans and I think it is the responsibility of the women's movement to stop that, to fight against it.

These policies are hell-bent on the West maintaining its control over the world's resources. At whatever cost to the people...Pursuing American corporate interest should not be Canada's national interest.

This new fight, this new war against terrorism, that is being launched is very old. And it is a very old fight of the West against the rest. Consider the language which is being used...

Calling the perpetrators evil-doers, irrational, calling them the forces of darkness, uncivilized, intent on destroying civilization, intent on destroying democracy...Every person of colour, and I would want to say every Aboriginal person, will recognize this language. The language of us letting civilization representing the forces of darkness, this language is rooted in the colonial legacy. It was used to justify our colonization by Europe...

We were colonized in the name of the West bringing civilization, democracy, bringing freedom to us. All of us recognize who is being talked about when that language is used. The terms crusade, infinite justice, cowboy imagery of dead or alive posters, we all know what they mean. The West, people in the West also recognize who this fight is against. Cries heard all over the Western world, we are all Americans now. People who are saying that recognize who the fight is against. People who are attacking Muslims, any person of colour who looks like they could be from the Middle East, without distinguishing, recognizing who this fight is against. These are not just slips of the tongue that Bush quickly tries to reject. These are not slips of the tongue. They reveal a thinking, a mindset. And it is horrific to think that the fate of the world hangs on the plans of people like that. This will be a big mistake for us if we just accept that these are slips of mind, just slips of the tongue. They're not. They reveal the thinking, and the thinking is based on dominating the rest of the world in the name of bringing freedom and civilization to it.

If we look also at the people who are being targeted for attack. A Sikh man killed? Reports of a Cherokee woman in the United States having been killed? Pakistan is attacked. Hindu temples attacked. Muslim mosques attacked regardless of where the Muslims come from. These people also recognize who this fight is against. And it is due to the strength of anti-racist organizing that Bush has been forced to visit mosques, that our prime minister has been forced also to visit mosques and say, no there shouldn't be this kind of attack. We should recognize that it is the strength of anti-racist organizing is forcing them to make those remarks.

But even...but even as they visit mosques, and even as they make these conciliatory noises, they are talking out of both sides of the mouth because they are officially sanctioning racial profiling at the borders, in the United States, for entrance into training schools, for learning to become pilots, at every step of the way. On an airplane, who is suspicious, who is not?

Racial profiling is being officially sanctioned and officially introduced. In Canada we know that guidelines, the Globe and Mail leaked, the guidelines were given to immigration officers at the border, who to step up security watch is on.

So on the one hand, they say no, it's not all Muslims, on the other hand they say yes, we are going to use racial profiling because it is reasonable. So we have to see how they are perpetrating the racism against people of colour, at the same time that they claim to be speaking out against it. And these are the conditions, the conditions of racial profiling. These are the conditions within which children are being bullied and targeted in schools, women are being chased in parking lots and shopping malls, we are being scrutinized as we even come to conferences like that, extra scrutiny, you can feel the coldness when you enter the airport. I was quite amazed. I have been travelling in this country for 10 years, and I have never had the experience that I had flying down here for this conference. All of us feel it. So this racial profiling has to be stopped.

Events of the last two weeks also show that the American people that Bush is trying to invoke, whoever they are these American people, just like we contest notions of who the Canadian people are, we have to recognize that there are other voices in the United States as well, contesting that. But the people, the American nation that Bush is invoking, is a people which is bloodthirsty, vengeful, and calling for blood. They don't care whose blood it is, they want blood. And that has to be confronted. We cannot keep calling this an understandable response. We cannot say yes, we understand that this is how people would respond because of the attacks. We have to stop condoning it and creating a climate of acceptability for this kind of response. We have to call it for what it is: Bloodthirsty vengeance.
And people in the United State, we have seen peace marches all over this weekend, they also are contesting this. But Bush is (the) definition of the American nation and the American people need to be challenged here. How can he keep calling them a democracy? How can we keep saying that his response is understandable after Bush of all people, who stole the election, how can we ever accept that this is democracy?

Canada's approach has been mixed, it has said yes, we will support the United States but with caution. It will be a cautionary support. We want to know what the actions will be before we sign on and we want to know this has been Canada's approach. And I have to say we have to go much further. Canada has to say we reject U.S. policy in the Middle East. We do not support it.

And it's really interesting to hear all this talk about Afghani women. Those of us who have been colonized know what this saving means. For a long time now, Afghani women, and the struggles they were engaged in, were known here in the West. Afghani women became almost the poster child for women's oppression in the Third World. And, rightfully so, many of us were in solidarity. Afghani women of that time were fighting against and struggling against the Taliban. They were condemning their particular interpretation of Islam. Afghani women, Afghanistan women's organizations were on the front line of this. But what (did) they become in the West? In the West they became nothing but poor victims of this bad, bad religion, and of (these) backward, backward men. The same old colonial construction. They were in the frontline, we did not take the lead from them then, where we could see them more as victims, only worthy of our pity and today, even in the United States, people are ready to bomb those women, seeing them as nothing more than collateral damage. You see how quickly the world can change. And I say that we take the lead from Afghani women. They fought back against the Taliban, and when they were fighting back they said that it is the United States putting this regime in power. That's what they were saying. They were saying, look at U.S. foreign policy!

They were trying to draw out attention to who was responsible for this state of affairs, to who was actually supporting regimes as women all over the Middle East had been doing. Sorry, just two more minutes and I'll be done. So I say we take the lead from them and even if there is no American bombing of Afghanistan, which is what all of us should be working right now to do, is to stop any move to bomb Afghanistan, even if there is no bombing of Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people have already been displaced, fleeing the threat of war--you see the power of America here, right? One word in Washington and millions of people are forced to flee their houses, their communities, right? So, even if there is no bombing, we have to bear in mind how many women's lives have already been disrupted, destroyed, and will take generations for them to put back together again.

Inevitably, and very depressing in Canada is of course, turning to the enemy within--immigrants and refugees, right? Scapegoating of refugees, tighter immigration laws, all the right-wing forces in this community, in this country, calling for that kind of approach. This is depressing for women of colour, immigrant and refugee women, anything happens, even if George Bush was to get a cold, we know somehow it'll be the fault of immigrants and refugees in Canada, and our quote-unquote lax border policies. So I'm not going to say much about it, but I just want to expose you to how, this...continues to be resurrected anytime over anything in the world.

In terms of any kind of military action, Angela Davis (an American activist) asked in the '70s, she said, "do you think the men who are going to fight in Vietnam, who are going to kill Vietnamese women and children, who are raping Vietnamese women, do you think they will come home and there will be no effect of all of this? One women in the United States?" she was asking this in the 70s.

That question is relevant today. All these fighters that are going to be sent there, we think there will be no effect? For our women, when they come back here? So I think that that is something that we need to think about, as we talk about the responses, as we talk this kind of jingoistic military-ism. And recognize that, as the most heinous form of patriarchal, racist violence that we're seeing on the globe today. The women's movement, we have to stand up to this. There is no option. There's no option for us, we have to fight back against this militarization, we have to break the support that is being built in our countries for this kind of attack. We have to recognize that the fight is for control of the vast oil and gas resources in central Asia, for which Afghanistan is a key, strategic point!

There's nothing new about this, this is more of the same that we have been now fighting for so many decades. And we want to recognize, we have to recognize that the calls that are coming from progressive groups in the Third World, and in their supporters, in their allies, in the rest of the world, the three key demands they are asking for: End the bombing of Iraq, lift the sanctions on Iraq, who in this room will not support that demand? Resolve the Palestinian question, that's the second one. And remove the American military bases, anywhere in the Middle East. Who will not demand, support these demands?

We have to recognize that these demands are rooted in anti-imperialist struggle and that we have to support these demands. We need to end the racist colonization of Aboriginal peoples in this country, certainly, but we need to make common calls with women across the world who are fighting to do this. Only then can we talk about anti-racist, feminist politics, only then can we talk about international solidarity in women's movements across the world. And in closing, just one word--the lesson we have learned, and the lesson that our politicians should have learned, is that you cannot slaughter people into submission, for 500 years they have tried that strategy, the West for 500 years has believed that it can slaughter people into submission and it has not been able to do so, and it will not able to do so this time either.

Thank you very much.

Prof. Sunera Thobani

Transcript provided by the Cable Public Affairs Channel.

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Clear, honest, truthful
by Fern Narod Monday October 08, 2001 at 12:16 PM
fernn@bestweb.net

It takes a woman to tell the truth if any truth is to get out from America's corporate media. This speech is clear ,honest, concise, and a relief to hear. No wonder many are attacking her. It (the speech) doesn't support the lies and policies of governments.

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"Prof. Thobani" SPAKE
by Michael Whittington Monday October 15, 2001 at 07:15 AM
michael@whittington.com

A bunch of ridiculous crud that should be flushed
down the nearest toilet.... preferably chopped up
first.... so that the larger chunks of crap will go
down the drain easier.........

She has a penchant for attacking the US, which
has supported the rights of any individual.... to
live in a free society.....

It seems ridiculous to me that she should be
proclaiming her garbage from a country that
is even more lax than the U.S. in it's tolerance
for "immigration". Maybe she would like it
better back "home" where she came from....

Else, she can keep her mouth shut, and
appreciate the fact that she can spout off her
nonsense and not have to worry about getting
her head chopped off......

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Absurd Logic
by sandro Monday October 15, 2001 at 05:02 PM

I stopped readin 2/3rds in. I wish I could sit here and dissect such rubbish. Boy, talk about not teaching others to take responsibility for their own actions. I most certainly am for free speech and all other "freedoms" (incidentally protected and preserved by the existence of the United States), however, I am shocked and simply disturbed by this "thinker" and her comments. She blatantly shows her inability to understand geo-politics and our role in it. As a history major, it stuns me to here someone not even bother to present the ACTUAL facts of American foreign diplomacy (more importantly, history), which by itself, has not been the crux of the problems found in any volatile region. Indeed, the cycle of destruction goes back further. Centuries, in fact. To sum up all the worlds problems by blaming a progressive and humane society like the U.S. is bizarre and without any historical merit. I always snicker to myself when people justify and protect societies that would rape and murder dissenters such as herself. Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing such musings. The United States is unfairly characterized as some kind of satanic regime with ulteriour motives with an appetite for destruction. Folks, get real. It's the other way around. Thank God they are MY neighbours and not Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or any other country.

Sandro
Montreal

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Beautiful banter
by Kat Monday October 15, 2001 at 09:59 PM

I think this kind of speach should be broadcast on every radio station, television and in every newspaper. It is eloquent and informed and it speaks from the heart. I wish every one in the whole of North America could appreciate the wisdom of Prof. Sunera Thobani's words. I feel very enraged every time I hear about more bombing going on in Afganistan. My only question is: how do we stop this madness?

-Kat
Victoria

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if only people would listen..
by michelle Wednesday October 17, 2001 at 11:43 AM

I cannot believe the persecution Thobani is undergoing. Her lecture is truthful, so tuthful it hurts. I can imagine that americans would be startled at such prose after waht happened to them, but they should be startled awake to their situation, not startled into anger.

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Garbage!
by Kim Fields Wednesday October 17, 2001 at 03:23 PM
kimmif2000@yahoo.com

I could not even read all of this garbage! Why is Professor Thobani living in, and reaping the rewards of a society she so obviously despises? Because she has the freedom to speak her mind, even using a conference on violence against women to voice her hatred for a society that has given her that freedom. I see the pain and suffering that goes on in other parts of the world, and feel fortunate, and proud that I am American. I am also a woman, and for a moment, the professor's words made me ashamed of that fact.

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Not a clue
by Richard L. Davis Wednesday October 17, 2001 at 05:49 PM
rldavis@post.harvard.edu

I'd like help from Prof. Thobani. Could she list a third world countries where women have more rights and privilages than those in North America. Can she make a list of third world countries where there is a demoncratic process that is more open to all its citizens in North America. And which third world country has a feminist movement. In which of her Third World countries could she have made such a speech. Feminism is a movement of the West and this poor woman does not have a clue.

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The more she speaks the more we see
by Donald W. Cofell Thursday October 18, 2001 at 02:08 PM
cofell.ca@sympatico.ca

What a quandary Prof. Thobani is in. Contrary to her dictum she does not love the neighbors in the USA. She is forced to live within a society she despises. She has to; because the society and system she spews her venom at is the only type that offers her the freedom, protection, and equal rights to do so.

In the USA and Canada the leaders of the country live in homes the citizens own, and they have the freedom to choose who lives there. If Bush, as she says, "stole the election," at least Americans will have the opportunity to ask him to move out. Is that the case in Iraq? If the sanctions are lifted will Saddam move out of his palace(palaces)?

I have nothing against feminism I applaud it.I am proud of the accomplishments of the three generations of distaff members in our family .I do not condone bigotry, hatred, or racism. Thobini displays all of these traits, she is trying to use the thin veil of feminism to cover her hate for things white, that's what "Western" appears to mean to her.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,"it means just whatI choose it to mean-neither more nor less."
"The question is ," said Alice,"whether you can make words means so many different things." Lewis Carroll

It is important to let Thobani speak, the more she does the more she reveals her true self.

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Truth
by sandro Thursday October 18, 2001 at 04:52 PM

Truth:

-Cycle of destruction in this region has been present for centuries. Well before any form of "invasion" by the West. We do not have blood on our hands. They are doing just fine on their own.
-Saudi Arabia invited the United States to extract and protect new found oil on its soil to protect them from the thugs around them. Thus, debunks Bin Laden's claim that America "occupies" his land. Yet, he claims that he will never forget the Spanish expulsion of the Moors from a land that did not belong to Islam in the first place.
-Iraq is lead by a maniac who kills opposition at will. Trade embargoes on that country is strictly economic. Billions of dollars is sent in humanatarian aid to his country (and others in the region) which he prevents from getting to his citizens. It is in fact the shameless use of propaganda that has kept this region backwards in its advancement of human rights and poverty levels. No doubt we use propaganda. But there is a difference here. WE ARE FREE TO CHOOSE AND MAKE UP OUR OWN MINDS. Our governments do not control our though process.
-Afghanistan spends the most dollars as a percentage of GDP on the military budget (save Eritrea) than any other country in the world. In fact, most of these countries in the region do this. It would seem that if they are starving they would allocate some of this cash to its citizens. The United States spends much less of its GDP on the military. In fact, they have been cutting.
-No doubt, the onus is on us, the civilzed West, to straighten this region out and instill stability in the region. However, this can't be done until Islam and the Arab world begin to look into the mirror and critically ask themselves what they want for themselves looking forward. 80 years of American presence in the region pales in comparison to the utter destruction this region has inflicted on itself. They have no one else to blame but themselves for this.
-As for the plight of women. There is no region in the world (perhaps Scandinavia)where the advancement of women and other minorities has been greater. From Carly Fiorina to Janet Reno to Oprah Winfrey.
-The path to a just society is not complete. But we are in a better position to accomplish that goal than any other society in the world. Thus, rendering the diatribes of this woman irrelevant. Perhaps she should indeed attempt to advance herself in, say, Iraq? Have fun and good luck.

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Great speech, suspicious trolls.
by Robillard Monday October 22, 2001 at 09:36 PM

It's a great speech, no doubt about it. But why would so many people comment on it on the *working area* of the print site? A site that is not even used to post news but just to post items that could be used in a print. How did all of you people unrelated to the print team find this site?

And for the detractors (sandro, etc.) read Sunera Thobani's response to her critic if you want to see the facts about US foreign policy. It's there in simple words for you to digest.

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Facts or fiction
by Nadeem Monday October 22, 2001 at 10:26 PM
nadeemnadvi@hotmail.com

I read the speech from Mr Thobani,
that was'nt a fiction, so I will request the canadian population to sit back and think about what he is trying to say instead of criticising him.
Thanks Mr Thobani
Nadeem

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Sunera
by Rick Hesch Tuesday October 23, 2001 at 08:37 AM
rhesch@shaw.ca

Sunera for Prime Minister!

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Appalling hypocrisy
by Chris Tuesday October 23, 2001 at 09:12 AM

Thobani uses the freedom inherent in the Western tradition to savagely criticize that very tradition. She says she wants to free women from oppression, yet she supports the very regimes that oppress them. She takes the money, the ease, freedom and all the good things that the West provides, then spits in her host's face. What appalling hypocrisy! Shame on you, Sunera Thobani.

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Prof. Thobani Spoke for All Peace Loving Canadians
by Meer Sahib Tuesday October 23, 2001 at 11:26 AM

If our neighbour happened to be a terrorist and was attacked in retaliation by his victims, should we sympathize with him and condone his continued terror on innocent people? This is the question all Canadians have to answer in our relations with the US. True, USA is our major trading partner, we look alike and so on, but we are a peace loving nation, and therefore, we should keep a clear distance from America's atrocities around the world.

Only those who have little knowledge of history and America's involvement in toppling other governments, bombing and distroying human lives wantonly, will find Prof.Thobani's speech unacceptable. As a Canadian, I am proud to see this brave woman speak out. It is a great shame that some say her speach is hatemongering! To see what is hate mongering and bigotry,one should read the National Post controlled by zionists.

By the way, here is an interesting article by a well respected Canadian journalist, Eric Margolis.


October 21, 2001
The use of media as a weapon
By ERIC MARGOLIS
Contributing Foreign Editor

In war, said Napoleon, the moral element and public relations are half the battle. And that was before radio and television. For the first time, a Mideastern antagonist of the United States - Osama bin Laden - has not only mastered public relations, but is using the media as a potent weapon against the world's mightiest military and media power.

Washington had planned to repeat in Afghanistan the success it enjoyed during the 1991 Gulf war against Iraq, when the Pentagon monopolized, filtered, and shaped all news coming from the theatre of operations. To this day, the number of Iraqis killed by U.S. bombing remains secret.

However, researchers have just learned through the Freedom of Information Act that the U.S. government expressly destroyed Iraq's sewage and water treatment facilities, knowing full well the result would be widespread disease and epidemics. In short, biological warfare. The U.S. refuses to allow Iraq to import chlorine to purify water.

According to the UN, 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, have died from disease and malnutrition caused by U.S. sanctions. Thousands more Iraqis have died from cancers linked to U.S. depleted uranium munitions. When asked about this huge toll, then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright memorably replied, "the price is worth it." Is the anthrax terror now afflicting America payback?

In Afghanistan, the Taliban stole a march on the U.S. by giving Al-Jazeera, the Arab world's only uncensored TV station, exclusive coverage. Bin Laden uses Al-Jazeera and Pakistani media to promote his anti-U.S. cause and challenge America's control of information. As a result, the White House is trying to silence him by the disgraceful recourse of censoring/pressuring America's media. Almost as shameful, much of the U.S. media has co-operated, reducing its role from useful critics to public relations hacks.

While much of bin Laden's hate-filled statements are being kept out of the U.S. media, the Pakistani paper Uumat published a lengthy interview with him that reveals much about the motivation of America's arch-enemy. The interview disproves the idea being promoted in the U.S. media that bin Laden's actions are driven by some sort of Islamic totalitarianism and have nothing to do with Israel.

Bin Laden denies his al-Qaida organization was responsible for the suicide attacks against the U.S. But he applauds them. He suggests the attacks were made by Americans from either intelligence agencies or "a hidden government." According to him, "we are against the system which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedoms."

Bin Laden insists that Israel's repression of Palestinians is the principal reason for his war against America. He argues U.S. foreign policy is totally controlled by the pro-Israel lobby, whose first priority, he says, is Israel, not America. He claims, implausibly, that he is not really fighting Americans, only Israel and its allies. (Then again, Bush is just as implausibly telling Afghans he's not fighting them, just "terrorists".)

Bin Laden's second reason for fighting America is the punishment the U.S. has inflicted on Iraq at, he alleges, Israel's behest: he claims the U.S. killed one million Iraqis. U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, Islam's holy land, come third on bin Laden's hate list.

Such claims would normally be ignored, but thanks to the publicity bin Laden has received, he has unfortunately become a cult figure across much of the Islamic world, perceived as a Muslim David defying the American Goliath; or an Arab Che Guevara, determined to uproot America's omnipresent influence from the Mideast. When bin Laden is eventually killed, he will become a figure of veneration and martyrdom.

Arabs already call bin Laden "the Second Saladin," after the great general who crushed the Christian crusaders. Bin Laden enjoys a unique asset no other leader of the Muslim world today possesses: respect. He has cleverly crafted for himself the image of an "Ansar", the desert warrior of Islam's early era: courageous, austere, honourable, driven by faith.

Small bands of such warriors and explorers helped spread Islam from Morocco to China. In Islamic culture, as in Japan, a noble warrior who battles impossible odds, knowing he will die, is held in highest esteem. Martyrdom for Islam is also venerated by Muslims. Bin Laden has captured both themes in a remarkable display of medieval thinking turbocharged by 21st century public relations.

Westerners see him as a loathsome, murderous fanatic. But to many people in Asia and Africa, including non-Muslims, bin Laden is a defiant, heroic figure who gives a measure of self-respect to those who have little; a mujahid, or holy warrior battling the successor to the British Empire, the American Raj; and an avenger come to smite the United States for all the real and imagined wrongs it has done around the world.

Bin Laden, has proclaimed a jihad, or holy war, against the West, though he has absolutely no authority to issue religious edicts (fatwas). This has endangered millions of Muslims living in the West, and provided justification for another jihad - George Bush's "crusade against terrorism" which will inevitably hurt Muslims.

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open discourse
by Merran Proctor Saturday October 27, 2001 at 04:02 PM

I hope many of us will speak out in defence of our right to have full discussion of important public issues. Merran Proctor

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this is amusing
by Serge Saturday October 27, 2001 at 06:48 PM

I find it very amusing how every single person who has commented on Thobani's speech so far has supported her --whether by saying so, or by proving her point in other ways (such as brandishing the exact kind of thinking that she tries to address). Another interesting point is that the bulk of Thobani's critics across the Web have wondered why she despises a society that offers so much than the rest of the world. I'll re-read the speech a few more times, but I doubt if I'll find any such statement (ie. the fact that so many have jumped to the same conclusion, with no basis in fact, just proves Thobani right). The point of imperialism is in making life better for some by way of making it far worse for a far greater number of others. That America offers a lot to its citizens does not contradict the idea that America is imperialistic. The two may very well be related.

I support Thobani. That's why I'm looking forward to a comment that actually contradicts her ideas. That does not mean the strutting of generalizations and prejudices that we've seen so far. If you want to make my day, I recommend that you actually READ a copy of the speech, and not just scan it and hop on a bandwagon.

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American Support For the Cause
by Angelita Fiure Sunday November 04, 2001 at 12:08 PM
angelfire68@hotmail.com

Hello,
I am an american citizen, a student in the state of Wisconsin, and I couldn't agree with the professor more. I am ashamed of my countries actions, the horrible progaganda promoting lies and intolerance, of the two-faced, two-tonged people running my government. I am ashamed to even admit I am a citizen of this country. This was not always so. Before September 11th, I'm sorry to say, I was quite ignorant of all the wrong doings of my countrie. They raise you on nationalism here, they keep you ignorant, they pound it into you, from the youngest age, that america is the best country in the world and you should be proud to live in such a great place, and greatful. They never tell you the bed things this country has done, and they sugar-coat the good things, in an attempt to blind you to the underlying porblems. I have to say, finding out the truth was like finding out my parents had lied about Santa Clause. I lost all faith in anything this county has to say, I now question every move it makes, I distrust all politions, there is nothing this country could do to gain back my trust. They lied to me for too many years, and that, in my eyes, is the worse offense of them all. I feel horrible for the friends, familys, and victims involved in septemer 11th's tragety. I myself have friends who are still missing, and I know they must be dead. But I want to extend a hand of friendship outward, to stop the usa's blood thirst for oil and other middle-eastern products. I would love to see the woman of afgaistan free to live how they care to, for all woman to be free, for all peoples, no matter their race, culture, sexuality, male, female, age, intelligence, parents,country, etc to be free to be themselves in whichever way makes them happy and doesn't bring harm to others. but enough of my ranting. I'd like to thank the proffessor for beig brave enough to stand up and say what she had to say, I would like to invite her to come down to the states and speak here, I believe people need to hear this more then the propaganda.

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BUNK
by E J Russell Tuesday November 06, 2001 at 11:36 AM
lord_jugulum@hotmail.com

what a load of crap.

the sanctions on iraq are UN sanctions not US ones. Also, they provide for the sale of oil for food, so the arguement that the US is somehow starving Iraqi children is hogwash.

why shouldnt you be proud to live in a free republic? its worth fighting for. maybe if you saw the alternatives you would understand.

in reponse to others, what middle eastern foreign policy does the US have that is so bad??? name ONE.

what is the US supposed to do about sept 11??? not attack the taliban?? there is a HUGE difference between targeting civilians in peacetime and targeting military targets when they know you're coming.

live free or die.

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freedom?
by Ian Bennett Wednesday December 05, 2001 at 09:23 PM

I think it's hilarious that so many people reacting to Thobani are saying that she hates the country that is providing her with the freedom to say what she wants, and that she should be happy with the freedoms that she has here. C'mon, what is the point of having freedom of speech if you can't use it? Is she simply supposed to open up her lawn chair, sit on her front lawn, and feel good about herself? She's pissed off because if she was in Afghanistan and got hit by a bomb, she would be considered collateral damage by the government that represents her (i.e. Canada). Let's not forget that governments in North America are supposed to be elected REPRESENTATIVES. If she feels that her government isn't representing her as she would like, more power to her. It's funny when people say she should be proud to have the freedom that she has, and then condemn her for using it. I also find it funny that people are using the same freedom telling her that "Guess, what? You're wrong." This just creates the notion that you can have freedom, as long as it's a certain kind of freedom. Let's get smart, folks: freedom means freedom, no question.

To the idiot who said that that Middle Eastern governments (namely Afghanistan) spend more of their budget on military than the US, this is because the US has a hell of a lot more money than other countries. They don't need to spend the same percentage as Afghanistan because what they do spend far outspends anything the Afghanis could come up with. Bush got a 40 billion dollar allowance by the US congress to search out and destroy terrorism. There is no way in hell that Afghanistan could come up with that kind of petty cash for one war. I'd be willing to bet that if the US hypothetically only had as much money as Afghanistan, what they would allot to their military budget would be similar to what Middle estern military budgets look like now. But that's just speculation, of course.

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reading it three years later . . .
by L Saturday May 29, 2004 at 05:04 PM

Well, almost three years later. Truer, and more prescient even than the day she first said it. We love you Sunera Thobani. You show us how to love ourselves by demanding that our rights be respected, even if we are female, or brown, carrying the wrong citizenship . . . if we don't love ourselves and advocate for ourselves, no one will ever give us our rights. They have to be articulated and then taken.

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MR?
by confused Sunday March 13, 2005 at 05:08 AM

are you sure you read it carefully?

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Couldn't have said it better myself
by SR Monday April 18, 2005 at 08:51 PM

yo you guys are all messed in the head.I agree to every thing she said..It's all true, hate it love it no one gives what y'all think and if you're gonna whine about something like this than seriously get a life..Don't get me wrong i'm not stupid. i know everybodies entitled to their own beliefs and once again like mentioned in others comments ,"freedom of Speech". If you all think that this woman's speech was dumb, put a lid init

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Couldn't have said it better myself
by SR Monday April 18, 2005 at 08:51 PM

yo you guys are all messed in the head.I agree to every thing she said..It's all true, hate it love it no one gives what y'all think and if you're gonna whine about something like this than seriously get a life..Don't get me wrong i'm not stupid. i know everybodies entitled to their own beliefs and once again like mentioned in others comments ,"freedom of Speech". If you all think that this woman's speech was dumb, put a lid init

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Finally an intelligent person
by Rupert Sunday July 10, 2005 at 09:15 AM
knowledgemilk@hotmail.com

Mr Thobani is right. The white man should be stopped. Everything he stands for is deplorable and his history is one or excess and destruction. The white man has never done anything good in his existence. They do everything wrong in the world and try to make it look like its someone elses fault or that they're trying to help when really all they're doing is stealing and making people suffer: like stealing oil and land. They hold women down all over the world and talk of 'freedom'. They hold the blacks down too!!!! giving them bad conditions and making them stupid by giving them poor education. This has to stop.
We should stop buying Nike shoes and drinking Coke--see how they like it!!!!!!!!!
Education is the key. You have to know the facts.
peace out

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Mr
by William H. Langeman Tuesday November 15, 2005 at 12:28 PM
obercat@hotmail.com 5049052905

The usual intellectually incoherent, factually erroneous blather from an academic non-entity in a nation of pallid, permanently adolescent mediocrites.

The fact is the U.S. won the Cold War thereby allowing the planet to prosper in an environment of increasing openess and democracy ever since.

The critics are simply angry that their pet faith, Marxism, was exposed for the failure and fraud it is or unable or unwilling to deal with the truth... that America is superior and that the U.S. system is going to become the planetary standard.

Thobani is not only a fool but a cretin. She is a loud fat liar and and intellectual bottom feeder who appeals to others of her ilk. But, in the end it will make no difference at all.

In the meantime, Americans should remember the old saying we have, "Never try and teach pigs to sing. You'll waste your time and aggravate the pigs."

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Ridiculous
by William H. Langeman Tuesday November 15, 2005 at 12:31 PM
obercat@hotmail.com 5049052905

The usual intellectually incoherent, factually erroneous blather from an academic non-entity in a nation of pallid, permanently adolescent mediocrites.

The fact is the U.S. won the Cold War thereby allowing the planet to prosper in an environment of increasing openess and democracy ever since.

The critics are simply angry that their pet faith, Marxism, was exposed for the failure and fraud it is or unable or unwilling to deal with the truth... that America is superior and that the U.S. system is going to become the planetary standard.

Thobani is not only a fool but a cretin. She is a loud fat liar and and intellectual bottom feeder who appeals to others of her ilk. But, in the end it will make no difference at all.

In the meantime, Americans should remember the old saying we have, "Never try and teach pigs to sing. You'll waste your time and aggravate the pigs."

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