Japan and the Islamic Response

By Geoffrey Cook, TMO

San Leandro (Calif.)–March 15th–The horrific images of events in Nippon has grabbed our eyes away from the Middle East.  First, one of the mightiest earthquake recorded in historical times hit the Northeast of the Main  Island of that Northwestern Pacific archipelago, followed by a tsunami (also improperly known as a tidal wave) that devastated a much of  that Coastline of the most directly hit Prefectures (national sub-divisions of Japan — I would conceive of them more like counties rather than states provinces Center of the Japanese Sate — Tokyo was badly raddled, too.   We even had damage from the twenty four hours of tidal surges here on shores of the Eastern Pacific in North and South America.  Northern California, where I lived endured the loss of two harbors — a large inlet for largely pleasure craft in Santa Cruz, and a fishing harbor at Crescent City  near the Oregon border.  Four young men were swept into the sea at the mouth of the Klamath River on the littoral of Humboldt (named after the famous German naturalist of the Eighteenth through Nineteenth Century).  Now, we are in at a nuclear melt-down state in two of three reactors with the third solidly in meltdown.  The Japanese for the second time in their history are facing an atomic cataclysm of undo proportions.  Pray for the People of the Raising Sun!

We are all inter-related, and a failure of these plants could become an international disaster affecting us wherever we might be through the radiation flowing upon the air currents.  I have given my instructions to my wife to purchase potassium iodine tablets which are the best protection generally available, as far as I know, to protect one’s health in the short run, for the initial prediction is that the upper level currents are projected to go over the San Francisco Metropolitan vicinity.

What should the Muslim response be to a disaster in this non Islamic land?  (As in other disasters indigenous Muslims were affected.  I hope to be able to research an Islamic imprint upon those islands if at all.)   On a local TV news from Oakland (Calif.), a dinner of Farsi émigrés for the Persian New Year (which follows almost simultaneously with the Western shift into Spring) — this year March 20th, was covered.  The director of the regional Islamic Center there, noted the closeness of the Islamic and Japanese communities in the San Francisco Bay area, The Japanese community has been, and is very supportive of the Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area when others held the sons of Ishmael in suspect after 9-11.  Therefore, it was the duty of his (Islamic) community to offer succor as best they could to the Prophet‘s (s) friends in their most deepest need manifested last week on Friday the 10th.

I received a two press releases from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee  yesterday (the 14th) and an another the end of the week before on the subject on the duty to the friends:

“…a tragic earthquake, registering a magnitude of 8.9 (revised the day before [Monday] to a magnitude of 9.0), and a…tsunami (following) caused devastation in Japan on Friday, March 11th. The death toll is estimated to exceed 1,800 people [that has been ever climbing]…as over [at least] 9,000 people are [currently] still missing, and about 200,000 people are in temporary shelters…

“While the devastation is unimaginable, we urge you to help…please…designate a…[charitable] entity…of your own choosing” to do so.

The Arab-American Anti-discrimination Committee suggests mainline American relief organizations, but Islamic charities working within Japan should be considered, too.

At the same time let us not forget Libya presently in crisis, too.  The commanding officer of the (U.S.) DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) in testimony before the America Congress a fortnight ago deems that the rebels cannot win [as it is currently is on the battlefield) due to the superior fire power of the government who are taking back terrain from the Provisional Government as I compose these notes.

Although, simultaneously, Paris has diplomatically recognized Benghazi as the legitimate authority over all Libya.  The Arab League has nodded its approval for a no-fly zone over the sands of that nation.  NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) waffles waiting for a nod from the U.N. (United Nations’) Security Council to proceed.  (Time is of the essence, and I would recommend that NATO intervene immediately since the Arab League has approved to nullify Tripoli’s air force.  I would hope the U.N. would legalize it after the act. I do not advocate this politically, but on a humanitarian basis.)  To quote the second press release of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee on the 14th:

“On February 15, 2011, thousands of Libyans took to the streets across Libya demanding their basic and fundamental universal human rights. Over the past few weeks, the violence has escalated – resulting in innumerable deaths and the estimated displacement of 180,000 persons…

“[The] ADC is extremely concerned about the well being of the Libyan people, and all those who are refugees or displaced…”

As a former Chair for three years of a non-profit org that aided refugees who have come to America seeking asylum status, I can whole heartedly concur with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) that donations to the Red Crescent Society are necessary!  Humanitarian assistance caught between two or more warring factions must find assistance!

Finally, this week, the outrageous witch hunt of American Muslims by the (U.S.) House Committee on Homeland Security, Chaired by Representative Peter King, a Tea Party Right-wing Republican from New York (State), on “The Extent of Radicalization of the American Muslim Community and the Community’s Response” must be addressed by us all.

The ADC notes, “…By selectively targeting the community of the Muslim faith, the Committee will engender continual anti-Muslim bigotry;” i.e., Islamaphobia.

I would like to conclude with Sara Najjar-Wilson, the President of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, declaration, “…American Muslims are part of the beautiful American mosaic; their contributions, dedication and service to our country go back to the birth of our Nation!”


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