Tightened U. S. immigration policies are not holding back "Arab progress"


The Editor

The San Francisco Chronicle,

San Francisco CA


To the Editor:


Your recent story headlined, "Terror policies hold back Arab development" (The Chronicle, October 20) was a fine bit of propaganda. Allegedly, because we had the unmitigated gall to tighten our borders to immigrants and foreign visitors after the horrific terror attacks of 9/11, some how, we are responsible for slowing down the progressive development of the Arab world! What a convoluted version of blaming the victim this is.

Actually, the Arab world is responsible for the Arab world being backward, underdeveloped, anti-intellectual and anti-progress. It is because both the leaders and the great masses of the people there prefer it that way.

Some thirteen hundred years ago, when Europe was languishing in so-called Dark Ages, the Arab world was the center of enlightenment in music, science, poetry, astronomy, mathematics and literature. Since then they have stagnated, for a variety of reasons, although most experts point to the rise and domination of fundamentalist Islam religion in the seventh century.

Just a few days ago, Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, a Muslim nation, accused the Jews of "ruling the world" and inventing such awful concepts such as democracy, socialism and human rights I think that we have found the root of the Arab problems here. Obviously, if you think that democracy, socialism and human rights are an anathema, then your country's social progress in the 21st century will be greatly retarded, to say the least.

Democracy and a respect for human rights in Arab countries will come by the common desire of the people for them. Democracy cannot be created in Iraq at gun-point à la Bush.



Yours truly,


James K. Sayre


20 October 2003