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December 4th, 2008

Dorothy Rabinowitz Blames Deepak

Reporter and WSJ Editor, Dorothy Rabinowitz, took author and spiritualist Deepak Chopra to task in her piece, Deepak Blames America, in the Wall Street Journal this past week.  Her reasoning for the condemnation was that she simply disagreed with his views - and his offered solutions - on the terrorist problem gripping the Middle East and, in particular, the Mumbai terror assault.

In Rabinowitz's mind, Deepak wasn't contributing peaceful ideas on ending terrorism, but - rather - attacking America.  True though Mr. Chopra's statements may be, any negativity expressed concerning America is seen, by the conservative right, as an "attack" on the country itself.  Perhaps Dorothy Rabinowitz would do well to keep in mind that this great nation was built on the spirit of debate and opposing viewpoints; in fact, it is the heart and soul behind the creation of the First Amendment.  As is often said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism".

One of the most unfounded and discreditable parts of the article - in my opinion - was this:

How the ebullient Dr. Chopra had come to be chosen as an authority on terror remains something of a mystery...

I fail to see how Mrs. Rabinowitz can so easily question Deepak Chopra's "authority" on terrorism. It takes little fact-checking to learn that Mr. Chopra has had quite personal experience with terrorism and knows, firsthand, the regions in which these conflicts are going on.  Let us not forget that he was, also, born in Pakistan to parents escaping the area now known as Islamabad.

He may not be an "authority", but he certainly has more personal experience with what he is talking about than she does. Mr. Chopra's family grew up surrounded by this very terrorism, and he has lost family members and loved ones to its horrors. He knows the areas in question, the groups responsible, and the people it is affecting. Obviously, we owe some respect to Mr. Chopra's ideology with his being privy to such.

Personally, I would be more inclined to listen to Mr. Chopra's ideas on creating peace out of the hell and havoc that is there now than from someone like Mrs. Rabinowitz, whose only answer to ending the reign of terror is to attack someone who offers an intimately composed solution. Whether she agrees with Mr. Chopra's ideals or not, it is no reason to personally attack him in a public forum with a libelous and ostentatious headline.

For more reading on this, I urge you to read Deepak Chopra's response over at Huffington Post, and the beautifully astute and decorous rebuttal Deepak's son, Gotham Chopra, offered on Intent.com.  A more detailed rejoinder is A Fuller and More Detailed Response to Dorothy Rabinowit'z Attack on Me in the Wall Street Journal; a must-read where Mr. Chopra shares his painful and very personal lifetime experiences with terrorism and being born in Pakistan to refugee parents.

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