Opinion: "The Response to Racism is Humanity"

February 15, 2006

Source: The Daily Star


On February 15, 2006 The Daily Star ran an opinion piece by columnist Rami G. Khouri about the recent controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Khouri writes, "The appropriate antidote to Western Islamophobia and racism against Arabs and Muslims is not counter-racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. If some Iranians and Arabs want to fight back against the illegal and inhuman policies and assorted crimes of the state of Israel against Palestinians, I would suggest a better way would be to pick from the following options: start a worldwide drive to support Palestinian universities under Israeli occupation; promote a global support system for Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem; mobilize the lawyers and judges of the world to challenge Israeli practices in credible courts of law; build a thousand new nursery schools for Palestinian children; launch a high-profile campaign for the whole world to engage peacefully with the newly democratically elected Palestinian government to be formed soon; sponsor institutions that allow Christians, Muslims and Jews in Israel and Palestine to collectively discuss and manifest their shared moral and religious heritage, which affirms life and dignity, rather than death and insults; start a serious international academic program that would study the parallels between the Israeli colonization and control of the occupied territories with the parallel Apartheid system that ultimately collapsed in South Africa; demand diplomatic action to ensure free export lanes for Palestinian agricultural produce; match a well-off family in the world with a needy Palestinian family in occupied lands or in Palestinian refugee camps, to ensure that every Palestinian boy and girl has enough money to complete secondary education, and has a chance to go to college or post-secondary vocational school. We should respond to the inhumanity of the insulting cartoons and the ugly emotions behind them by affirming our commitment to life, truth, and positive human values."