Letter to Micheal Moore
Dear Mr. Moore,
As an avid fan of you earlier works (esp. Bowling for Columbine), as a Canadian-Bangladeshi and a former resident of the nation of Kuwait, I cannot begin to explain how eagerly I was awaiting your next timely venture in the form of the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. I watched it a few days ago and was so thouroughly enthralled with the material you presented and the manner of your presentation(shocking,witty,sad) that I didn't even realize it was more than 2 hours long. Which is why I was caught off gaurd with your brief shot of Hajj (Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca) in the section about the Saudi family.
I had not expected to see a religious angle to this movie- it was all about how the economic gains of Bush and his cronies as well as the Saudi families are driving the war on Iraq. Right? Surely, I had thought, Mr. Moore did not intend to brand the Muslims performing one of the obligatory once-in-a-life-time act of faith, as a 'terrorists' gathering. I am sure, Mr. Moore is aware that the Muslims (or/and anyone who has a beard and wears a turban- eg Sikhs) are the 'New Blacks' in America- i.e. the second-class citizen status, subjection to racial profiling- but he did not mention 'Jihad' or 'Muslims' in his documentary because he did not want to convolute the agenda of getting Bush out of the White House. Perfectly understandable.
But it hurt. It hurt to see the beautiful image of yearly gathering of millions of Muslims bowing in prayer, amongst talk of the corrupt Saudi Royal family. I grew in the Middle-East for the better part of 9 years of the 26 years of my life; you are indeed preaching to the choir when you talk about the Arabs being corrupted by their oil money and power as a Muslim religious head of the world- but a Pilgrimage to Mecca is above that. It is a personal journey of a Muslim to get closer to God by visiting the site of origin of his/her religion. After saving up all his life, paying off all loans, travelling thousands of miles- it is not politics of Middle East that the average muslim is thinking of on his Hajj in Saudi Arab. So why drag them in?
I must respectfully ask you to, if possible, scratch that 2 second glimse of Hajj from your film. It surely is not adding anything to your message about ending the rule of G. Bush in America. You do not explain the footage of the Hajj, you only show it and instantly you manage to startle Muslims (American or otherwise) and we are back to explaining our religion, for the hundredth time, to every non-Muslim on our way out of the theatre and beyond.