“We remember, early/mid September. Memories that will last forever.”
I was born a Muslim.
This declaration held definitively different connotations than it did before this day eleven years ago, arguably the most culturally significant period in recent history. In this time of crisis we looked to the leaders of the world to follow virtue and set the example. In many ways this was a true test of the very freedoms that Western democracy is founded on. 9/11 helped to feed a corrosive societal force, a deep fear that temporarily surpassed compassion and understanding.
I was 11 when the towers fell. It was my first week of secondary school. I will never be able to shake that terrible feeling. Osama Bin Laden had shamed the name of Islam in the eyes of the world.
Suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam.
The minute these suicide bombers kill themselves they renounce their faith in Islam. The fact that they proclaim that they do this in the name of Allah is as ludicrous as claiming that the lynching of African American’s in the Deep South by the Ku Klux Klan was done in the name of Jesus. Islam did not perpetrate these acts. Yet the reports had always curiously enough read “Muslim Suicide Bombers.”
This incremental lack of understanding became part of a series of events shaping my perspective and critical thinking at a pivotal point in my childhood. My judgement was clouded by the ignorant assumptions of many. This foolish misguided sense of responsibility continued to haunt me. I had begun to grow ashamed of my ancestry. Being asked to apologize for the actions of these brainwashed fools at such a young age was incomprehensible.
Hatred and Global media scrutiny are two true agents of mass destruction. (see George Bush)
The subsequent War on terror echoed much of American Cold War paranoia and has proven to be a turning point, changing the political landscape and questioning the virtue of democratic ideals, and the true price of freedom. To this day I believe the drumming up of support for a foreign unsanctioned and debatably illegal invasion/intervention in Iraq was not an appropriate response. Such an indelible impact was left that I felt it necessary to write my undergraduate thesis on the subject.
In retrospect it is clear to see when a country that spends so liberally and astronomically on defence spending is attacked so openly; to show no reprisal or retaliation would have shown weakness.
The Chilcot inquiry has been almost completely overshadowed by this joke of a hacking scandal and subsequent inquiry in an almost poetic fashion. It seems enough time has passed that most people feel less concerned about holding world leaders accountable for their actions..
My thoughts today are also with the families of brave British Soldiers lost in Iraq, who were instrumental in peacekeeping and nation building.
RIP The Brave Firefighters, 9/11 Casualties and victims of the war on terror.