Writing Is Not Terrorism, Mr. President – The Los Angeles Review of Books

Wikipedia/Antonio Litterio

Wikipedia/Antonio Litterio

To ease your mind, Mr. President, let me relate some personal details. I don’t know how to shoot a gun and, unlike 43 percent of American households (Gallup estimates), my house does not contain a firearm of any sort, and never did. Moreover, I am repulsed by the act of killing — not just humans, but also animals. I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons related to the cruel treatment of our fellow planet inhabitants, and you can find glimpses of this stance throughout my fiction.

Other personal details to share: I’ve never bombarded cities crowded with innocent civilians with annihilating nuclear weapons (Hiroshima, 1945). I’ve never mobilized armies to invade other countries (Vietnam 1965), raising havoc and leaving behind chaos and a civil war (Iraq, 2003). I’ve never operated prisons where massive violations of human rights would occur (Abu Ghraib, 2003) or caused innocents to die under the label of “collateral damage” (Amiriyah shelter, 1991) or supervised secret renditions and torture and held people prisoners outside judicial custody (Guantanamo, 2002). I’ve never bombarded hospitals killing patients and medical professionals (Kunduz, 2015). I’ve never shot unarmed people because of their color and race (Ferguson, 2014). I’ve never supported coups against democratically-elected governments (Chile, 1973) nor have supported and maintained close economic and military ties with an oppressive regime (Saudi Arabia), concluded nuclear deals with another (Iran), or sponsored colonial-settler state terrorism (Israel).

-Hisham Bustani

Source: Writing Is Not Terrorism, Mr. President – The Los Angeles Review of Books