February 15, 2006
America, the Beacon to the WorldBy Amil Imani
The vast land of America was once inhabited by a relatively small number of indigenous people. These native 'Indians' had lived throughout the land for thousands of years, and they will always remain the true fathers of America. American Indians helped the Pilgrims survive the winter. Later, more European immigrants came, and American settlement finally outgrew the Indian fathers.
Then, on July 4, 1776, America declared its independence from England, the old white grandfather across the sea. The miracle of America happened, and its dynamic birth rapidly changed the entire world.
America developed into thirteen colonies, then into the strong 50 states that she is today. In a very short time, America grew from a log cabin to the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. The United States is a nonpareil icon, and the envy of the world.
In many surprising ways, America resembles the great, ancient Persian Empire. Like the Persians, who rarely regret the past, Americans always believe "the best days are ahead." Like the ancient Persian Empire once was, the United States is now the greatest country in the world.
Like the ancient Persians who were the first world managers and the most tolerant empire—builders, America, with its Constitution, is also the most tolerant and benevolent nation in the world. Ancient Persian kings released the Jews from Babylonian captivity, financed the reestablishment of their nation, and restored their national religion. (Zionists, they were!)
America has basically done the same. America is, in a strange sense, a reincarnation of Persia, an extension of the Achaemanid Empire. No wonder the immigrant Persians (Iranian—Americans) hold the United States very close to their heart and have blossomed here in their new home.
Unfortunately, tragedy reigns in the land of the old Persians. The remnants of great Persian Empire were swallowed up by the Muslim conquerors storming out of Arabia. A tyrannical version of Islam eviscerated the spiritual life of tolerant old Persia. It has taken decades for the Persians (modern Iranians) to recover their spirit. Zoroastrianism, the original Iranian religion, was not an effective barrier against the radical, murderous version of the religion from the Arabian Desert, and Zoroastrianism has not rebounded with the new Persian nationalism today.
The Persian renaissance lies in the spirit of the Iranians themselves. This spirit alone can overcome the Islamists who rule as tyrants.
Islam, as it is officially practiced in Iran today, is a stultifying, iron cowl. Today, after 1400 years, militant Islam is again the greatest threat to existence of the free world and Judeo—Crhistian civilization. Persians underestimated the power of militant aggressive Islam, something America must not do the second time.
It was apparent on September 11, 2001 that Americans had already underestimated the power of Islamicist madness. There must be no weakness in American resolve now.
That day also proved as never before that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Ordinary people became heroes in care and compassion. Heroes appear when circumstances call upon them. Heroes make sacrifices to achieve positive change.
We the people should join hands with heroes today and express our love for America. America is far more than a country. It is a place of greatness, where the souls of Indians still dwell side by side with modern heroes. Native Americans, a group with a proud military heritage of patriotic service, see that America is in grave danger, and all heroes, past and present, need to unite to preserve America.
America is the last haven of hope where humanity can flourish. The world owes a great deal to America for inspiration and practical accomplishment. A true American is generous. Americans have helped every other nation in the world. America's enemies decry her greatness, yet they want to be in America, and to be American.
A Pakistani newspaper allegedly offered of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So, an Australian dentist wrote the following: "Let everyone know what an American is so he'll know when he's found one. An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek or Persian."
An American is forever a Comanche, a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or any of the people known as Native Americans. An American might also be a Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or a Muslim who has learned to put his religion in its proper place.
So try to kill an American. Hitler tried. So did General Tojo, Stalin, and Mao Tse—Tung. Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, anywhere, is an "American." Americans have defined freedom.
Amil Imani is a poet, writer, literary translator, essayist, novelist, and a political activist who speaks out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran.