Claim: An American Airlines pilot penned an essay about Muslims entitled "You Worry Me."
Example:[Collected via e-mail, 2002]
You Worry Me
By: American Airlines Pilot - Captain John Maniscalco
"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, nineteen 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.
So I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and 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-Muslims 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 those very same good neighbors and children? The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of it's religions, with ALL of it's different citizens, with all of it's 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 it's flag? Do you proudly display 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 and prosper it?
Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in one of your "Jihads"? Are you thankful for the freedom that only 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 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. And 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 only interested 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 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 prove 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 and pure and true when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance.
It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if large 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 defended Johnny Cochran and O. J. Simpson after the latter butchered his wife and murdered an innocent friend. 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.
Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because our women proudly show their faces in public rather than cover up like a shameful whore?
Do you and your fellow Muslims hate us because we drink wine with dinner, or celebrate Christmas? Do you and you fellow Muslims hate us because we have befriended Israel, the ONLY civilized democratic nation in the entire middle-east? And if you and your fellow Muslims hate us, then why in the world are you even here?
Are you here to take our money? Are you here to undermine our peace and stability? Are you here to destroy us? If so, I want you to leave. I want you to go back to your desert sandpit where women are treated like rats and dogs. I want you to take your religion, your friends, and your family back to your Islamic extremists, and STAY THERE!
We will NEVER give in to your influence, your retarded mentality, your twisted, violent, intolerant religion. 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 gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand."
Until then ... you worry me.
Origins: The origins of "You Worry Me" remain murky: it first
appeared on the Internet in June 2002, but our attempts to verify whether its real author is an American Airlines pilot and/or
someone named John Maniscalco have so far led only to dead ends. According to the FAA Registry, John Maniscalco is indeed a real pilot, but this item was also printed in a less vitriolic form in the Hyattsville, Maryland, Gazette (under the title "An open letter to my Arab-Muslim neighbors") on 12 October 2001 and credited to a Kevin Daly of Beltsville. Newspaper publication of a piece as a letter to the editor is not a reliable indicator of true authorship, however, as demonstrated by another widely-circulated Internet piece about President Clinton that was printed in several different newspapers under the names of at least four different people. The Gazette letter might have been based on the Internet version, or the Internet version might be an altered transcription of the Gazette letter; John Maniscalco might have been the original author (or alterer), or he might have been someone whose name became attached to the piece simply because he forwarded it to others.
from the question of authorship, this is not an item that can be branded "true" or "false," because it's merely someone's expression of his opinions. Thematically, it's a more overt expression of the feelings conveyed by such (apocryphal) September 11-related legends as the claim that no taxis were to be found around the World Trade Center the morning of the terrorist attacks: the fear and unease generated by the knowledge that the perpetrators were people who had been living among us undetected for months; people who, although they may have been foreigners, were not out of place amidst the cultural diversity of America. How, then, do we now distinguish friend from foe? Wouldn't it be so much easier if, as advocated in this essay, we could simply assume all ARAB-MUSLIMS to be guilty and demand them to demonstrate otherwise?
But such an approach is not only inimical to many of the principles American stands for, it is also logically flawed. What terrorists bent on the destruction of the U.S. would hesitate to camouflage themselves by hypocritically waving American flags or professing a false love for America? We cannot judge people by outward appearances alone, and that realization leaves us feeling scared and powerless.