On the day of the press conference, one doctor spoke out eloquently and succinctly regarding the scene in San Bernardino, his name is Dr. Michael Neeki. Listening to what he spoke about and how he described the problem as well as his experiences in Iran before he immigrated to the USA was something that I thought each and every news station would carry. Unfortunately, his story does not fit the narrative of “doe eyed” sadness and victimization…… so he has been very well ignored.
Here is the interview:
DR. MICHAEL NEEKI: We are prepared for disasters in California but we never talk about terrorism. This is the time. Even the president admits that this is a domestic terrorism and there is a possibility.
JENNA LEE: I want to ask you a quick final question. I know you were born into a Muslim family and you came to this country to pursue your own version of the American dream. I would just briefly like to ask you about what you said yesterday. You said in the press conference, ‘it’s time to show ISIS what we are made of.’ We are all look for solutions about how to combat terror. What do you think is number one on the list?
DR. MICHAEL NEEKI: Number one on the list is bringing America together, bringing the community together. I was born in it but I mention it here because I really had suffered from fundamentalist religious ideas. I was tortured in a prison by these people. You can not sit and talk to these people. They are actually fanatics and made up their mind. For those Americans who actually, for those of us that emigrated here, here you have to choose a side.
When you swear and you become a naturalized citizen of this country and uses these resources to get where you are, show the loyalty to the community. Bring everybody together. It’s not an issue of religion anymore; it’s an issue of protecting the constitution and individual freedom in this country. And we are threatened by ISIS and these radical ideas coming in.
And then the statement that almost guaranteed he would not be a featured guest on most stations: “fellow immigrants to “choose a side.””
Neeki told CNN that the carnage at the scene was horrific: “There were a lot of head injuries, chest injuries, and they didn’t have a good chance of surviving,” he said. Neeki is a native of Iran, and left the country because he “was a political opponent to the Iranian regime,” he said. Read more at: http://www.people.com/article/san-bernardino-shooting-doctor-michael-neeki-swat-team
“I’m here because I came for democracy,” he said. “It’s sad to see that you come miles from across the world and see something like that happen here in a country that respects everybody and gives equal opportunity.” Neeki said it took him nearly a year and half to meet California’s regulations to join the SWAT team as its only physician. Due to budget constraints, he pays for his own training and some of his equipment. Some of his gear was donated by the cities of Rialto, Fontana and Colton, which created the 45-member Inland Valley SWAT Team in 2012.
I am convinced that some people in America find it comfortable to attribute their values and motives onto those they don’t understand, than take the time to understand other cultures.