Trusting Our Government..
Sometime in early 2002 I attended a fundraising dinner for my children’s Islamic School. My portion of volunteering services for the event had ended prior to the dinner so I sat back with the other guests for what was bound to be a spectacular event. Not only did we have Akbar Ahmed as the keynote speaker but the FBI wanted to use this event to issue a “Community Leadership Award” to one of our community members.
Special Agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office Thomas Kneir got up to the podium and proceeded to speak. Actually, speaking isn’t an appropriate term .. lecturing and I would have to say fear mongering ensued. He went on about Muslims better not be giving any donations to any organizations where the proceeds will be leaving the country and that “we know where your money goes” so on and so forth. There he stood before an audience of moderate, progressive and liberal Muslims and began pointing his finger, I must add rather nervously, and with his shaky but stern voice he pointed at us the audience and said “We are watching you!”
At that point I had walked out of the room out of disgust and wouldn’t walk back in until after the award winner started his acceptance speach. It was quite obvious that our brother who recieved the award was insulted by this mockery and proceeded with his own lecture and a return of “we are watching you”.
That night we were not only robbed of our dignity but the keynote speech seemed to go on to address the same issue. Even Mr. Akbar Ahmed was displaying his disgust.
The media we had invited wrote nothing of the keynote address or of the FBI special agent Mr. Kneir’s disgusting fear mongering tactics and provocation but wrote about the disgust that our community members were displaying towards the FBI. The booing that came from the audience was written about but we never saw anything about “We are watching you” and the finger pointing from Mr. Kneir that they were booing about.
9/11 brought with it not only death and war but it brought about infringements of our freedom as Americans and we just let them go without even a fight. It wasn’t Osama that took away our freedoms it was our government and us because we let it go. How ironic.