This weekend’s Arab News had an article entitled “Journey Into America”, by Siraj Wahab. On a recent trip to the States, Siraj visited American University in Washington DC and was invited by Islamics Professor Akbar Ahmed to give a lecture to one of his classes on issues dominating the Middle East. Siraj’s following sentence caught my attention, “I talk about why it is important to talk to Hamas and how it should be seen as a national liberation movement just as the IRA is seen now.”
Siraj likely hasn’t seen the U2 concert video (although it’s probably available online somewhere) where Bono gave a few comments at an American concert in front of thousands of fans. He said, “You know, I have Irish people coming up to me all the time here in America saying to me, Hey Bono, what do you think of the IRA? What do you think of the Revolution? And I say to them, “Fuck your revolution. Where’s the honor in breaking into a house and killing a man in front of his wife and children? Where’s the honor in lining up people on the street and gunning them down? Where’s the honor in setting off a carbomb and killing everyone around?” U2 then launched into “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.
Seeing it on video is much more powerful than my description above, but I would ask Siraj, “Where’s the honor in strapping an explosives belt on a 62 year-old grandmother and sending her to blow herself up with as many Israeli soldiers as she can? Where’s the honor in teaching your children to hate? Where’s the honor in deliberately firing rockets into Israel from housing complexes so that when the Israelis retaliate and civilians are killed you can use it all as propaganda? Where’s the honor in that?”