Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Anger And Bigotry Toward Muslims Is Damaging To America’s Position In The World Says Author Frances Fuller, In Response To Washington Post Article

Fuller spent many years in the Middle East. She puts a face on the Middle East many Americans have not yet seen. Her award-winning memoir, 'In Borrowed Houses', gives readers a penetrating glimpse of the Middle East from the inside

A recent op-ed piece in the Washington Post by David Patreous put forth the idea that discrimination against Muslims plays directly into the hands of terrorists. Frances Fuller, author of 'In Borrowed Houses' has an unusual background that allows for unique insights into the mindset of the Middle East and America's position on the world stage. She spent thirty years in the Middle East, twenty four of those years as a Christian publisher in Lebanon. Fuller agrees with Patreous. She recently posted an article that sheds light on this highly contested approach.

"I am grateful to David Petreous for saying what I have been thinking," Fuller stated. "Expressions of anger and bigotry toward Muslims is damaging to America’s position in the world.

In the op-ed in the Washington Post on May 13, Petreous said:

'The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion. When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda.'

He warns us, 'As policy, these concepts are totally counterproductive. Rather than making our country safer, they will compound the already grave terrorist danger to our citizens. As ideas, they are toxic and, indeed, non-biodegradable — a kind of poison that, once released into our body politic, is not easily expunged.'

While Petreous is thinking of politicians, I would like to wave this caution flag at all of us.  We need to be accountable for our attitudes and judgments.  Fear is contagious and anger is destructive. Before we spread them, we need to verify that they are not based on falsehood. The first victim of a careless opinion is our own country, its values and ideals, its very success as a pluralist democracy. 

A politician need only speak once, and we help to spread that comment to the ends of the world, which has big ears and knows that somehow its fate is hinged to what Americans think. 

ISIS hears and uses our words against us, turning them into a recruiting tool. (“See, we told you they hate us.”) In cities under attack by ISIS, vulnerable Muslim families hear and wonder what they have done. Fleeing refugees hear and despair. Even American citizens who are Muslims may feel like outcasts. And, as Petreous points out, all of us become less safe."

Frances Fuller puts a face on the Middle East many Americans have not yet seen. Her award-winning memoir, 'In Borrowed Houses', gives readers a penetrating glimpse of the Middle East from the inside.

Told in short episodes, Fuller’s book reveals the alienation, confusion and courage of civilians in the Lebanese civil war, introducing to the reader a variety of real people with whom the author interacts: editors, salesmen, neighbors, refugees, soldiers, missionaries, lawyers, shepherds, artists, students. With these people she works, studies, plays games, prays, laughs and cries, all to the accompaniment of gunfire. Together these small stories tell what war is like for civilians caught on a battlefield, and they create the impression of the Lebanese as a fun-loving, witty, patient and resilient people. Fuller's stories compose not a political history, but a historical document of a time and a place.

Critics have praised ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called 'In Borrowed Houses' “ . . a well written book full of compassion . . . a captivating story . . . ”. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching . . .”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, “ . . . western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”

Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at frances0516@att.net. The full text of her latest article is available at her website. Fuller's book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. A free ebook sample from 'In Borrowed Houses' is available at http://www.payhip.com/francesfuller. Frances Fuller also blogs on other issues relating to the Middle East on her website at http://www.inborrowedhouseslebanon.com.

About Frances Fuller:

Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.


Frances Fuller