Proud to Be an Arab

Proud to Be an Arab

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DEARBORN, Mich.--We are at one with the people of the Arab world who are now standing up for their individual and collective rights. The Tunisians, the Egyptians, the Palestinians, the Jordanians, the Yemenis, the Lebanese—all of them and the others in the Arab world fighting for democracy and human rights have our full support as they attempt to break out of the dictators' strongholds on them and govern themselves democratically.

There was a time when the Arab and Muslim regions of the world led the rest of civilization with outstanding achievements in science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, language and philosophy. Since the two world wars, in the face of imperialism and colonialism, the Arabs and Muslims have been lied to and oppressed by the West. A resurgence occurred under Gamal Abdul Nasser but declined after the Israeli victory in 1967 and its subsequent occupation of Arab land.

Apparently the U.S. thought this plundering of the Arab world could go on forever and in astounding shortsightedness tried to make that so. Decades of human rights violations, war crimes and abrogation of humanitarian law have finally fired up the collective Arab soul. The U.S. will pay dearly for its longstanding support of brutal, dictatorial regimes.

It's a good time to be an Arab. There is pride in our minds and hope in our hearts as we witness the rising up of the Arab spirit, the renaissance of resistance to the opponents of human rights and democracy for our people. Take their resources? Invade their countries? Commit genocide against the defenseless among them? No more, the people say, no more.

For the past 26 years, this newspaper has called on the leaders of our country to rectify our policy vis-a-vis the Arab world. For years we have warned that the best interests of this country were better served by dealing fairly and justly with people in the Middle East instead of siding completely with the Israelis and supporting their underhanded and illegal policies against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese. Now the people of the region are telling the world that same thing. No longer will they acquiesce to the dictators propped up by the United States to support Israel and foreign exploitation of natural resources.

We have had many chances to make it right, but we have stubbornly insisted that it was "our way or the highway." We have now a long, long road ahead of us.

Hail to Mohamed Bouazizi and the March of Freedom. May his spirit and his courage live on in all of us.