The CNN Experience

The CNN Experience

Me on CNNClick on the graphic to go to the CNN article.

I made the front page of CNN.com on Tuesday for an opinion piece I wrote for them. Alhamdulillah (All thanks and praise are due to God), it has been very interesting. I must thank CNN for their reaching out to me an affording me, and by extension all Muslims, a space to talk about Islam. It is refreshing seeing news media doing something to break down stereotypes instead of reinforcing them.

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52 thoughts on “The CNN Experience

    1. If she does identify as a feminist isn’t that’s supposed to be “her business.” Just checking.

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      1. It is sooooo easy to sit behind a computer screen and criticize. But what exactly is it that you are doing to rid misconceptions and harmful stereotypes that lead to Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims? Please forgive me for actually doing something to try to change the image of Islam in the West. And in the mean time getting thousands of threats, hate tweets and messages telling me to kill myself. And yes, I do self identitfy as a Feminist, but you have no idea what that means to me as a Muslim, and neither do the thousands of people who are right now all over the internet calling me a stupid cow, and an attention seeking whore with daddy isssues and so much worse because of it. So if you, my brother in Islam, cannot support me in this, you know where the door is.

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      2. Let me also say before you say something stupid like, oh, well, you got hate because you put yourself out there. I knew that would happen and I did it anyway. That is not the reason I mentioned it. The reason I mentioned it was becasue I have enough of it from the people who want to make themselves my enemies. I do not need it from you. Salam

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    2. Woow…sweet joe jelly bean bryant! Slow down! How was I..I mean why are you attacking me ????? And when did I saw anything about you being on CNN ? Of course it was a good thing, but make no mistake about it, CNN is doing this to show some demographic polling, they do not care for you being Muslim.

      Now seriously, why are you getting death threats ??? WTF ???? For what exactly ?? From Muslims ??? I’m just aghast…
      (of course I’m with you 100% from an Islamic point of view, no question about it. We are on the same team. Also I like to come in and out of windows)

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      1. OMG! Hyde. I owe you some serious appologies. Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. I saw your comment to “a Writer from the East” (Did anybody ask you? Are you a feminist Mama Bear, looking out for all?) and thought it was a general comment on my CNN article. In my wordpress account it is not super specific when there is a reply to someone’s comments or just a general comment. I am so sorry that I assumed you were talking about the article.

        Yeah, I get that my suposedly contraditory identity (even tough I wished that CNN had not made the feminist thing part of the title, becasue my identifying as a feminist is complicated- about which I am writing and will post soon) will drive ratings. And I make no mistake in thinkging that they actually care about my cause. But we mutually benefitted each other and in all honesty they have the power to just silence the Muslim voice entirely on their site, but they didn’t and I appreciate that.

        And yes, lots of hate tweets, emails, fb messages. It’s been constant since the story came out. I have been getting several emails from people telling me to die or that I should kill myself, all coming from non-Muslims becasue they don’t like the fact the I am a Muslim. There was even an op-ed piece in some newspaper in Idaho about how I am alegedly a self-hating white person and hate America, lol!! So I am in fight or flight mode and thinking that you would say “Did anyone ask you?” was kinda like WTH, man, I thought we were on the same team! And we are. so that’s good.

        Thank you for your patience with me and my mistake and not being rude back to me even though I probably deserved it. (windows are way too much work. Why not teleport?)

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      2. Thankfully you are with her, as am I.
        I am appalled at the crap dolled out by ignorant people towards her CNN piece. I also understand this more as a form of reinforcement that Theresa Corbin is a woman that makes both the Islamic World and the Western World aka America highly scared because she breaks all stereotypes and challenges preset ordinations within society about women, religion, power and the courage to go despite dismal, anger and intolerance.

        It also shows me that western society that keeps teaching Pakistanis like me that we are oh soooooo intolerant are themselves in need to take a good look in the mirror because they have acted no better then hardliners themselves.

        Btw:Corbin, all over M.East e papers, your story was republished citing CNN. More power to you!

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      3. Seriously is that the angle they took? I saw a Middle east blog on one of their papers being very positive about your feminism and Islamic faith though.. 😉

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      4. Yeah, in-fact am sorry I saw it on a hard copy printed version and before I could scan it to send you, it was gone – that my office news monitoring department for us! 😀

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  1. Theresa Corbin, you rock!!
    And I request this photograph and also a follow up story on The Human Lens, because clearly people are NOT getting that Muslim women mean business when we say we are free with and without hijab.

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  2. Mashallah! Great job on your opinion peace. We certainly need more positive voices like yours. May Allah reward you for your efforts, Ameen.

    I have a piece that I have on my blog that I’d like to submit. Feel free to view my blog with the title “An Act of Unity in a Public Realm”. How do I get this published on a news site? I’d be very happy to receive your advice.

    Jazakallah Khayr

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    1. Jazakum Allah Khair! MashaAllah. It is so good to see my Latina sisters being active and vocal about their faith andtheir hertitage. I LOVED your piece on about unity in the Public Realm on your blog. It is a message that needs to be heard. For me I submitted my piece to CNN’s ireport: http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/1170398?hpt=hp_bn1 They are calling for submissions. I would love to see you piece on CNN. Once you submit it, send me the link of the ireport so I can promote it. Thank you for coming by the blog and don’t be a stranger. 😀

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  3. OK wait. Forget the comment and the apology is not needed. Your telling me you are getting DEATH threats because you are a Muslim ??????? I hope you and the fam are safe and hope you got guns in your house. This is seriously not cool. How many women convert to Islam, that they suffer this backlash, and the fact you have been a Muslim for a +decade….just wow….be safe….

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    1. Yes, I am getting death threats becasue I said that I am Muslim on CNN. But they are all electronic in form (via email and message on social media). I don’t think that my experience is typical for most converts, ishaAllah. Thank you for your concern for my safety. The authorities have been notified. I doubt that any of these cowards would ever confront me in person. But if they do … God help them.

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  4. I read your article on CNN and it is well written. I have some thoughts on it and questions. You said you were searching for identity and studying different religions prior to picking Islam.

    Question #1: Did you ever considered Judaism or Buddhism, etc.? If not, why?
    As you described Islam, Judaism or Buddhism are also ancient, peaceful, humble, life loving, and more. Just was wondering why did not you land on Judaism. By the way, Judaism never promotes its religion and never advertises to convert. You either born Jewish or you come to Judaism on your own without force or brainwash. In fact, unlike Islam, a person shall show genuine strong desire before it even possible to convert. So, how and why was Islam more peaceful and appealing to you then Judaism? In Islam, the goal is to convert infidels to Islam. Big word “convert” vs. be your own person.

    By the way, Muslims trace their lineage through Abraham’s firstborn son Ishmael. Jews trace their ancestry to Abraham through the line of his son Isaac. One Father for both religions, yet, so much hate and dislike amongst Muslim towards Jews even though it is 2014!!!!

    Question # 2: In the article you list several reasons that made your life better because you found Islam. Why could not you do the same without converting and loosing your original identity? Why convert in order to live specific lifestyle? If you strong about certain values, you do not have to convert to live your life that certain way you want.

    Question # 3: We are in 2014 and humanity is still trying to convert each other into something else. Worth, humanity is still killing each other because they are not the same religion as they desire you would be. Would you be happy to see the entire word practice Islam and wear pinjab? Would that world be as colorful and unique if the entire humanity practice Islam?

    Question # 4: God – big word and meaning. God is the same for all religion. God does not love you more because you wear pinjab and do not show your body. You do not have to be Muslim in order not to show your body. You can do it if you Jewish, Buddhist or Christian. You can be humble and adhere to certain values that are comfortable to you. So why are you having this propaganda that only Islam can give you this or show you the right way to live?

    You are complaining that people do not treat you well or you are threatened to practice Islam. This statement has no support. Muslim dressed in distinctive clothes walk freely everywhere including Europe and USA. I saw it with my own eyes in Europe. Muslim Mosque or schools do not need to be protected by special security forces because there are no terrorist threats against those institutions. On the other hand, Jewish schools or Temples constantly have to be protected. While in Europe, I could not wear the Star of David on my neck for safety reasons.

    I just came back from France, and it was shocking to see that in 2014, Jewish neighborhood in Paris had to be protected by heavily armed security forces. Museum of Jewish Heritage in Paris was the only one that had heavily equipped security forces at the entrance. This is because you never know when and how crazy terrorist in the name of Allah will attack this places, as it was the shooting in Belgium Museum not long ago.

    Unfortunately, every day when I drop my child in school, here in America, I have to see two police officers standing there to protect kids from organized terrorists or lonely wolfs who would be willing to attack in the name of Allah. Also, I have to see police guarding Temple when we go to pray around High Holidays.

    Question # 5: Do you have the same level of security around Mosque and religious schools? Give me specific instances that support your argument in regards to being uncomfortable or afraid to practice Islam. Is it because not everybody Muslim or not everybody wearing pinjab that makes you to be uncomfortable?

    Now, I was born in Muslim Country under Soviet Union, I am second generation to live in Muslim country. In my old neighborhood, my family was only one to be Jewish. My Mother never practiced Judaism, but I grew up with NON-RELIGIOUS but strong good values. I had to marry virgin, I could not wear provocative clothes, I had to treat family, friends and other people with respect and get the best education possible. I did not have to convert to Islam in order to have strong values. I am Russian Jewish woman who just follows some Jewish traditions and not a fanatic of any sort. I still have Muslim friends back in my old country. Also, have some Muslim friends here who do not practice Islam. I do not judge them. They are educated and have strong morals without wearing pinjab. If they would want to wear it one day, I would still be their friend as long as they would still treat me with respect and love.

    I do not believe that converting anybody into anything is a good idea. This is how war starts!!!! This is how hate starts!!!! You do not like how society degraded, just stand up and speak about it. Help our kids to grow in a better world without converting.

    I lived in three countries. I was born and lived amongst Muslim. I also had a taste of living amongst Arabs and now here in America. This country is still the best because it allows people like you to do whatever they want. I hope you appreciate it and stop whining how hard you life is as Muslim. Honestly, I saw that your article had only one purpose — which is propaganda and looking out for more converts.

    Further, I would never be allowed to write article like yours on CNN. The reason would be is because I am Jewish. Also, I would be afraid to come and say what I think because I do not want my head to be chopped out by some crazy Muslim fanatic, even if he/she is the lonely wolf. Just think about Boston Bomber.

    Jewish religion teaches you to live and love life. Islam teaches you to die in the name of Allah in order to convert infidels.

    I can go on and on about how I, as Jewish woman, cannot do or afraid to do many things right here in America. But still, I am not complaining because my life here is much better then those Jews who live in France or other places.

    Lastly, you list great achievements of Muslim world in 1200 Era. What about now? It was sad to see that Nobel Prize winner this year was Malala Yousafzai whose tragic story I hope you know. She was shot by Talibans and continued to fight for women’s rights. In 2014, the prize winner is this girl instead of a person who discovered cure for cancer. Do not get me wrong, I am kneeling before this girl for her bravery, but also saddened for our world. And again, Islam is so peaceful and that why we can not live in peace.

    I am proud of being Jewish. Population of Jews is shy of about 14 million, and they bestowed to the world one of the best scientists and artists in the world. They brought progress to the world. And I hope that it will continue for many more generations. You would be surprised to know how many items that you use on the daily basis were discovered or created by Jews. Abraham -Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions regard Abraham as the founding patriarch of the Israelites, Ishmaelites and Edomite peoples. Albert Einstein, Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Moses Maimonides, also known as the Rambam, was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages, René Blum, (13 March 1878 – September 1942), theatrical impresario, was the founder of the Ballet de l’Opéra at Monte Carlo – one of the greatest in the world. I can go on and on and on.

    How many Muslims in the world? And what are they doing now? I guess one Muslim is very important, which is Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, for her great achievements which is converting to Islam.

    Jewish people will always be grateful to those who helped them to survive Fascism. Albanian Muslim and Albanian Christians protected them during WWII, many Jews survived because of Albanians great action. Monaco’s Prince Louis II protected Jews from Nazi during WWII as well. I know about it because I do not care what religion person belongs to. What important is if that person peaceful, smart, interesting and healthy minded. I am curious and educated. Sorry to say this, but some Muslims whom I met in college, workplace, and etc. are ignorant and not well rounded. They have strong opinions without knowing the facts. One commonality amongst them is that they all hate Israel. This is totally different topic though.

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    1. Question #1: Did you ever considered Judaism or Buddhism, etc.?
      I did consider Judaism for some time. But eventually didn’t connect with it because the Jews rejected the last two messengers from God: Jesus and Muhammad. I never considered Buddhism because of its basic principle of annihilation of the self. Even though this is a popular belief system, I disagree with it because I believe we are created with certain drives, desires, base nature for specific reasons. And complete denial of these desires or drives is not healthy. Islam teaches the human being to be in control of their desires and base nature but also that they are there for a reason and should be dealt with in a balanced nature. e.g. eat when you are hungry, but do not over eat. Protect yourself when someone attacks you but do not be violent and aggressive all the time.

      You claim that “In Islam, the goal is to convert infidels to Islam.” This is patently untrue. The goal of a Muslim should be to do their best to be their best. The goal of Islam is to guide mankind as to how God wants us to worship Him. If a Muslim wishes to tell people about Islam, their goal should not to convert, but to inform. It is up to each person what they do with the information they receive.
      You also states “Big word “convert” vs. be your own person.” Convert is not the antonym individualism. I don’t know where you get this idea.

      I understand the ancestry of the prophets, thank you. And the Muslim/Jewish hate is disgusting and needs to stop. We had a few bright spots in history and I think we can work toward promoting more of this.

      Question # 2: “In the article you list several reasons that made your life better because you found Islam. Why could not you do the same without converting and loosing your original identity?” I have not lost my identity. And to claim that, you missed a big point of the article. I am still American, a southerner, a creative, thinking human being with many different identities. I just chose Islam as I saw it was true guidance to mankind from God. Why would I not take this wisdom given to me from my creator on how to live a better life? Do people who claim any faith lose their identity because of their faith? No, so why would you assume that of me?

      Question # 3: You ask “We are in 2014 and humanity is still trying to convert each other into something else. Worth, humanity is still killing each other because they are not the same religion as they desire you would be. Would you be happy to see the entire word practice Islam and wear pinjab? Would that world be as colorful and unique if the entire humanity practice Islam?”

      I know what year is it, thank you. It is indeed stupid that we are still killing each other over religion. If we truly practiced our religions, we would live in peace with one another. But there will always be a few greedy, ignorant, warmongers who want to fight and force people to convert and destroy each other under the guise of faith. It is sad.

      The word for the modest dress is hijab not pinjab. There is so much diversity among the Muslims. We are not monolithic, as you somehow assume. Many Muslim women don’t wear hijab, Muslims come from every country and practice many cultures. If everyone in the world converted to Islam out of their own accord, we would still have major diversity because Islam does not teach anyone to get rid of their individuality. But I do not want anyone to be forced into Islam, and I would fight for people to have their right to choose their religion.

      Question # 4: You said “God – big word and meaning. God is the same for all religion. God does not love you more because you wear pinjab and do not show your body. You do not have to be Muslim in order not to show your body. You can do it if you Jewish, Buddhist or Christian. You can be humble and adhere to certain values that are comfortable to you. So why are you having this propaganda that only Islam can give you this or show you the right way to live?”

      I never said you had to be Muslim in order to be modest, did I? And do you presume to speak for God by saying who He does and does not love? I never said God loves me more because of my HIJAB. I only said that I follow His guideline. A guideline he has sent with every Prophet.

      You said “You are complaining that people do not treat you well or you are threatened to practice Islam. This statement has no support.”

      How absurd. These things have happened to me in my life. What are you talking about, I don’t have any support? Are you claiming because horrible things have happened to other people that means the hate crimes that have happened to me don’t exist? I don’t understand this logic. Telling people about my experiences is not complaining. And anti-Muslim hate crimes are at an all time high. Most of the people I know in the US and Europe who are Muslims have suffered similar experiences. Google search anti-Muslim hate crimes or mosque burnings. Your lack of compassion is rather repellent.

      Question # 5: Do you have the same level of security around Mosque and religious schools? Give me specific instances that support your argument in regards to being uncomfortable or afraid to practice Islam. Is it because not everybody Muslim or not everybody wearing pinjab that makes you to be uncomfortable?

      No, we don’t have very much security on a large scale around Mosques except after attacks happen. Mosques in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia have been burned. Many threats have been made to do similar to other mosques. Seriously, you think I feel unsafe because some Muslim women don’t here HIJAB? What a silly assumption. I feel unsafe when people yell profanities and anti-Muslim rhetoric at me in public. I felt unsafe when the guy behind men in line to buy gas growled at me and followed me. I felt unsafe when a group of teenagers follow me laughing at me and calling me nasty things under their breath. And yes, I felt very unsafe when the Savannah mosque was shot at and burned down. http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/apnews/stories/082603/D7T5TEG81.shtml Anti-Muslim hate crimes are sky rocketing. This is a fact. Once again your lack of compassion is quite ugly.

      You said “I do not believe that converting anybody into anything is a good idea. This is how war starts!!!! This is how hate starts!!!!” I agree and this is not an Islamic principle. There is to be no compulsion in religion: an Islamic principle and even a Quranic verse.

      You said “Islam teaches you to die in the name of Allah in order to convert infidels.” This is untrue. I don’t know where you are getting this from.

      “I hope you appreciate it and stop whining how hard you life is as Muslim. Honestly, I saw that your article had only one purpose — which is propaganda and looking out for more converts.”

      This is very insulting. You spoke about how Jewish people have been persecuted and have lived in fear. I would never say that telling people about that is whining. I have had hard times and faced real danger because of my faith. Do not insult me! You thought that my article was about propaganda, but you assumed wrongly. My article was to combat misconceptions and myths about Islam that we see often in the media. My only goal was to tell people that we Muslims are humans too. How often do you hear that?

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      1. Thanks for reply. I didn’t mean to insult you. I will check your link. I prefer facts over assumption. I also went on your websites. One of the websites has several articles that has proud voice, approve, encourage and advertise statistics of all the converts in the Westren world. So, how is it you saying Islam doesn’t have this purpose within its religion. Your website speaks for itself.
        Violence that streams from Islam doesn’t have to be proven. It’s all over the world. Muslims killed in the hands of Islamist as we write each other. Sunni try to convert Shiite and wise versa as we speak. So, why don’t you all sit down and figure out why is this happening. Where those ideas of violence coming from. Koran? Or wrong interpretations of it? I took a class in college Islamic Law and the professor when pressed by students to answer the question “why practicing Islam involves violence”, finally agreed that some parts in Koran call for violence, BUT.. He tried to defend and sugar coat those parts.
        As Jewish I felt I had to take this class to see other side of the story and understand why we don’t get along. Truly, I think hate doesn’t come from Jews. It comes from SOME MUSLIM. Please understand that I probably know the Muslim culture and understand Muslim better than some of our politicians. I understand Muslims diversity. Problem close to me is that hate that everybody ignore. Even the most educated Muslims will be afraid to stand up and address this unwarranted hate that has been alive for generations.

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      1. Ignorance and arrogance construct ugly outputs, and frankly every time I hear in my interactions with Jews (that has happened while I was studying abroad for a few years) about the Holocaust, I did not lash out to them saying stop whining even if they continued to be arrogantly rude because in that period has come out the famous Ahmedinijad’s statement negating the reality of European Holocaust.
        As a Muslim I was appalled at the frenzy and callousness with which many were rejecting the atrocities committed to Jewish populations.
        As a Muslim I am equally appalled and disturbed that THE ABOVE MENTIONED person is attacking Corbin and Islam vice versa.
        And as a human whose life has been about human rights, this Jewish-Muslim hatred feels like slap on humanity and the real message of the Superior Being, who we know in different names and forms.

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  5. Lovely article, but for me as a Muslim, it is heart breaking to read people’s responses. People criticize Islam, but as soon as we try to show them the other side of the story, they don’t let us.

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    1. Ayesha, Thank you for reading. Yes, it is heart breaking and frustrating. But there are many people who will and do listen. We just hear the loudest of those who are set on being against us. Keep telling people what Islam is despite the hate and the success is from Allah.

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      1. I’m a college student studying in the US, (originally from Asia), and the amount of hate I face is amazing. Atheists say I follow a cult and shove The God Delusion at me, Christians try to convert me and Hindus don’t talk to me. I try to talk to them, try to show them that Islam is not the hyperviolent cult they think it is, but they never listen. A typical discussion goes like this:
        Them: Islam is evil, blah blah blah
        Me: You have some misconceptions-
        Them: You’re brainwashed. Wait you’re wearing hijab. How can you speak English.

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      2. I am so sorry to hear that that is your experience. Unfortunatly, this is kinda the way it goes for most of us in the West. Stay strong remembering that this kind of hatred and rejection is something every prophet went through. Don’t loose faith in people either. I know it is hard when you face such bigotry, but this is a part of patience. But also do not argue with fools who are not even willing to listen. You will waste your time and energy. Find people who are willing to listen and be open to you. They exist. Have you joined the MSA at your university? Are there even other Muslims at your university? They can be a great resource to you in your struggles. Stay strong and safe.

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  6. Yes, my room mate is a Muslim, and I have had the great pleasure of meeting Christians who understand the true nature of Islam. Meeting people like them makes me realize that getting people to respect each other’s beliefs is not hard. You just have to be willing to listen.

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    1. I am so glad to hear that you are not alone in your journey, MashaAllah. There will always be those who make it their mision to bring us down, but really we should pity them. What is sadder than a person who doesn’t have any goal other than harming and destroying others? Keep finding those who are willing to listen, you will be heard. If not by anyone, then by Allah. ❤

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    1. if we ,muslims stay strict and tight on the teachings of prophet keep on rectifying our every walk I believe problem is solved.Sister Corbin tears rolled down my cheeks when I read your article,Allah bless you with all of His blessings and keep you strong to face the odds.

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    2. I am not quite sure where you are coming from with this “where are the traditional Muslims?” Are you meaning to say that I am not a traditional Muslim? Or are you meaning to say what you think of as traditional Muslims are not represented?

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      1. Curious me too, what means traditional Muslims? I sure hope not the radical bandwagon whom are in great numbers in Pakistan, and elsewhere and whom we all truly abhor and cannot be united be.

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