Reprinted from: The Columbus Dispatch,Calgary Herald, Bergen Record, North County Times and San Diego Union Tribune

Note to the Taliban: Gone to Starbucks

October 19, 2001


Good morning, brothers of the Taliban, from Carmel Valley, San Diego.

I must decline your website’s offer of protection from the evils of sexual objectification proliferating around our community.

Thanks to you, I awoke to our daily dose of CNN Anthrax reports and MSNBC sensitivity sessions about Good Islam versus Bad Islam, as if anyone growing up in this diverse society wouldn’t know the difference between rabid control freaks and religious people who happen to
live down the block.

After applying my own antidote to your actions, a fresh yuppie Starbucks brew, my first offensive American act of the day, I discovered that the US Congress was hunkering down in the Capitol after an Anthrax letter ended up in the office of Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle.

Additionally, according to the morning reports in our local free press, my municipal government began frisking folks on their way to City Council meetings where nothing happens anyway (except for raising sewer fees 30% this week). I also read that the Mayor refused to meet with local Muslim leaders because he wasn’t going to treat them any differently than any other citizen unconnected to his campaign. That’s real democracy.

In spite of your best attempts at reigning terror on my country’s most ridiculed and important institutions, this morning I intend to write this column, drive my car to the Jewish Community Center gym, work out in a multicultural mélange of sweating half dressed men and women, then move my daughter off to college. It’s business as usual here. So stone me.

I then will return to that irreverant of all places, the Carmel Valley neighborhood shopping center, to recreate in the supermarket, where women patriotically shop ‘til they drop in their beach clothes or worse, in their three piece- work suits, unaware of the terrible things lascivious lusting men do to gals sans the head-to-toe Burkha as described and prescribed on taliban.com.

And that’s because you have made it clear that your Jihad is about the Stone Age versus the New Age, and it is aimed squarely at the life-style of me and my neighbors here in Carmel Valley, and the aspirations of women, everywhere.

While there are millions of American women who chose to live under Islamic law, many under the Burkha, they do so by choice, because this is America. And, before you guys showed up, few of us felt threatened by that choice.

After all, no follower of the Koran I know living in this country ever publicly expounded a need to return to the10th Century. Though, from what I see on the nightly news, you may be getting that wish.

Because of your succor for bin Laden and his lieutenants, most of us now have seen images of Afghan women stoned to death for showing their ankles or buying food from men, followed, harassed and beaten by male religious cops in jeeps if they dare venture onto the streets of Kabul.

And, we do understand that this struggle is not about liberating Beaver’s mother from her shirtmaker dresses or even about 72 cents on the dollar-this is about repelling a bunch of strange men who want women worldwide, from the suburbs of America to the café’s of Istanbul, to join the ranks of “the walking dead,” as Afghan women call themselves.

The Taliban website is now gone, and in its place is posted a characteristically oblique statement: “You step in the stream, but the water has moved on.” From the suburbs of America: if what you mean is that you guys have stepped in it this time, you said a mouthful, brother.

Finally, civic leadership being high on the list of female activities in these parts, I’m going to check in with our Carmel Valley Planning Board Chair, the mother of two young women who are military pilots by trade, I revel in the fact that right now, her daughters are coming to get you.

Reprinted from: The Columbus Dispatch,Calgary Herald, Bergen Record, North County Times and San Diego Union Tribune