EDITOR: My doctor remained silent for a long time. I can still see his hands in his white color coat pockets, shaking his head as if puzzled, and finally saying: “There may be something to what you say … indeed, there may be, although I am not in a position to judge your ‘theory’ off hand. But in any case, I am shocked by the amount of knowledge that you have. Who are you Richie? Could you not perhaps share your knowledge and experiences with Americans? Most of them don’t know. I am sure it would make fascinating reading.”
My chat with the doctor lasted one hour and 20 minutes.
As I previously mentioned, the traumatic experience of the Crusades gave Europe it’s cultural awarness and it’s unity, but this same experience was destined henceforth also to provide the false color in which Islam was to appear to western eyes. Not simply because the Crusades meant war and bloodshed. So many wars have been waged between nations and subsequently forgotten, and so many hatred which in their time seemed inercadicable have later turned into friendships.The damage caused by the Crusades was not restricted to clash of weapons. It was an intellectual damage, the poisoning of the Westerner mind agaist the Muslim world through a delibrate misrepresentaion of the teachings and ideal of Islam.
Today I ask my fellow Americans, “Why?” Why their openion about Islam based merely on the handful of cliches and distorted notions that had been handed down to them from previous generation?
Naturally, such a narrowed angle of vision is bound to produce a distorted perspective. Accustomed as he is to writings which depict the culture or discusses of his own civizelation in great details and in vivid color, with little more side glances here and there at the rest of the world, the average American easily succumbs to the illusion that the cultural experiences of the West are not merely suporior but out of all proportion to those of the rest of the world, and thus, that every intellectual concept, social institution or ethical valuation that disagreed to the Western “norm” belongs to a lower grade of existence; and to answer your question, doctor, I am a proud American, proud Muslim, and in my stolen moments,”a writer.”
El Dorado Hills