As U.S. cruise missiles hit targets this week in Afghanistan, many members of the Flushing Afghan community voiced support for the strikes. But they were very worried about the fate of civilians in their homeland.
Most of our members are satisfied with the strikes in the hope that peace will prevail, said Imam Mohammed Sherzad of Masjid Hazrat-I-Abubaker, an Afghan mosque on 33rd Avenue in Flushing. We are very concerned about civilian life in Afghanistan.
Other Afghans believed the risks of bombing Afghanistan, whose Taliban regime is harboring Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the World Trade Center attacks, outweighed the benefits.
They should not attack, said Abdul Faria, an Afghan instructor with Apple Driving School on Main Street in Flushing. They should have more talks.
The good thing is that they are bringing food, he added, referring to the U.S. cargo jets dropping thousands of humanitarian daily rations over Afghanistan to help feed the impoverished civilian population.
Dr. Dawer A. Nadi, a Flushing dentist and president of the Afghanistan Peace Association civic organization, echoed the sentiments of Sherzad.
We are concerned. At the same time, we are optimistic about the attack, he said of the strikes.
Nadi, who emigrated from Afghanistan in 1980 and lived in Flushing for many years until recently, said that some Flushing Afghans favored the Taliban government.
Im pretty sure some people are probably still sympathetic to the Taliban, even to Osama bin Laden. But generally speaking, Afghans, more than 90 percent, are against terrorism. They are a peace-loving people.
Nadi said he had several relatives in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, which has been a target in the U.S. attacks.
My uncles, my aunts, very close relatives of mine. The last time I spoke with them was probably two or three weeks before. I am pretty sure that everyone in Kabul tried to get out. They knew this was coming.
Im sure some innocent lives will be taken, which is sad, he said. But that is the damage that I think the Afghan nation has to accept.
Reach Reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 141.
©2001 Community News Group
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