There is no doubt that the recent Islamic bomb plot conspiracy makes traveling for every Arab or Muslim like a trip to hell. Being an Arab in the Western world was already a problem, but things have now gotten even worse and more confusing. Now if you’re a Muslim on the road, you’re simply a mass of suspicion on two feet. In other words, every human being of Arab or Muslim descent who enters an airport is, in the eyes of safety personnel and electronic equipment, a disaster to yourself, to the other poor passengers and to the airline companies.
I once asked a respected American visitor to Doha who was participating in a seminar what he thought of the current situation between America and our Arab world. The man, who was a proud New Yorker, said mockingly, (a fellow journalist standing nearby thought I was conducting an important interview, and decided to treat it as his own) that it has become quite fashionable to say that America resembles a huge dog in a tiny house, and that whenever it wags its tail at a friend, it damages the tiny, narrow house.
America says that she wants us to catch up with the Globalization Train, but in practical terms, she is crushing us in such a way that it’s impossible for us even to stand up, let alone run to catch the Globalization Train. America tells us about the New Middle East, but in fact she is destroying both our new and our old. When we attempt to carry our past with us into the future, we find America killing everything we take pride in, be it our heritage or our values.
Now, obsessed with worry over its security, America has disgraced us with a description more suited to our dictators and their security services, who slaughter us without giving it a second thought in plots that we had no part in but for which we are blamed. President George Bush did a fine job describing the London plot and said that it is a sign that the West is in an open war against what he called Islamo-fascism (a loaded term).
So is this a war on travelers; and will there come a day when we will be refused by the airline companies due to this War on Terror?
If we’re not welcome to live in their countries or travel internationally, then what’s the use of seeking a Middle East that is Greater or Smaller?