Open Letter to Muslims from American Airline Pilot

Open Letter to Muslims from American Airline Pilot


By Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot 

I’ve been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you didn’t. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don’t blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me.

I notice you because I can’t help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don’t fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.

On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children’s mothers.

The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed, as was most of the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don’t want to be worried. I don’t want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists.  But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.

How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE of the same good neighbors and children?

The events of September 11 changed the answer. It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.

I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ….. Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation; that He will protect it and let it prosper? Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America?? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it.

Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions YOU are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America. Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent, because I worry about who you regard as innocent…. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks, because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am interested only in action. What will you do for America – our great country – at this time of crisis, at this time of war?

I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting ‘Allah Bless America’. I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, NOW! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.

The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing ‘leaders’ like Khadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.

IF the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, pure, and  true, when your ‘leaders’ ARE teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world’s Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us — our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to DEMAND it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.

I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American…… But there can be no grey areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to  show ME, where YOU stand. Until then, “YOU WORRY ME!”


Please feel free to leave your comments below. We would encourage our American-Muslim Brothers and Sisters to share their comments so we may also understand their view and perhaps be able to encourage a dialog on this most important subject… Please help us build a bridge… (ed)

6 Responses to Open Letter to Muslims from American Airline Pilot

  1. JT says:

    I ask you how else would one suspect another of the possibility of being a terrorist; if one has a overcoat on and a bulky vest underneath, and has a hat pulled down over his face and his eyes averted toward the ground, would it not be suspect to wonder what he has to hide? If that is profiling then so be it! I submit that “Profiling” is just good police work. I am a Black man and I have no problem being profiled, I dress nice, and don’t talk like a hoodlum, and I have some sense and nothing to hide. If you act right you will be treated right, let them do their job and we will all be safer.

  2. Imam-737 says:

    I am a Muslim flight attendant.
    You sir, are a bigot.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.
    Luckily, your ignorance is not shared by the majority of the professionals that we work with on a daily basis.
    I can’t trust you to not consider me some kind of threat.
    You are on my “no fly list” and soon to be the “no fly list” of many others in our industry.
    You are a disgrace and a liability.
    Your assumptions are fallacious as they are hateful.
    I am certain your days in aviation are limited.

    • haferaviation says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. We published this after great consideration of “Bias” toward Muslim emotions and felt that, “when read carefully” this letter perhaps would bring forth an open dialog between those “Ignorant” of Muslim beliefs, mode of dress and traditions. The problems is: Folks are bigots because of their lack of knowledge and understanding of those they fear.
      Respectfully, I would hope you would take the time to help us understand rather than calling the writer an “Idiot”… Agreed, profiling is an idiotic way of identifying a suspected or imagined threat. It is a systemic problem, But No Muslim, we have found, will take the time to have a dialog and explain it to those who are “Ignorant of the facts”… You are correct the aviation community is a tight knit bunch, so let’s start doing something about it and start a dialog between Muslim and those who lack of knowledge and understanding of those they fear. Maybe this is a great beginning…
      (JRH publisher)

    • Toolie-45 says:

      Wait Imam-737! You should seriously consider this pilot’s commentary and consider looking inward to try and shine a light on the fringes of your religion ruining it’s peaceful nature.
      You didn’t really try to hear what the Captain was saying, you just took outright offense without considering what he’s trying to communicate. He’s not ignorant – he’s afraid!
      He, like millions all over the globe, are fearful of terrorists.
      Constantly being afraid is horrible. Chronic fear can make people physically ill and eventually angry and mistrustful.
      This commentator wants everyday Muslims like you to stand up and stamp out the terrorists who are using your religion for political ends. It’s a shame terrorists selected Islam as the vehicle for their murderous agendas – but that’s just the fact of the matter. The commentator wants your religious leadership and regular peace-loving Muslims like yourself to do something about it.
      Unfortunately, instead he receives notes like yours – accusing him of being an ignorant bigot.
      Imam-737 – You should cast blame on those who are causing the fear, anger and mistrust – the terrorists – the ones using your good name for horrible purposes – not a scared individual who points out obvious inaction by the followers of the religion terrorists misrepresent.

      • haferaviation says:

        “Toolie-45” Thank you for so eloquently making a statement that should not offend any level-headed understanding person who is willing to have an honest dialogue about the issue. That puts it where it should be; in a neutral zone without anamosity and void of defensive or agreesive tones. I applaud your effort… Thank you!

  3. “if one has a overcoat on and a bulky vest underneath, and has a hat pulled down over his face and his eyes averted toward the ground, would it not be suspect to wonder what he has to hide?” This is a good question, should you ignore your “Gut feeling” and board the plane anyway?

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