When I got up for the dawn prayer on September 11, 2003, the supplication that was on my lips was "O God, let this day pass without any act of terrorism and may He help all the victims of 9/11 find peace." But then I say to myself, I should ask for this blessing of God every day for all the innocent victims who continue to die every day since 9/11 in a cycle of violence that has been unleashed all over the world.
September 11 memories are painful, both as a victim of terror and as a victim of the reaction to the act of terror. On this day, not only 3,000 people lost their lives, but also over six million Muslim Americans were questioned for their loyalty to their country. Even though, Muslims and their organizations were in the forefront condemning the attacks. Several special interest groups have promoted the idea that Muslims have a soft corner for terrorists. Repeatedly, the Muslim community made it known to its neighbors, public officials and other opinion makers that it abhorred terrorism and stood shoulder to shoulder with all people of conscious who are fighting against terrorism, still people with twisted minds keep on raising questions about the integrity of the Muslim community.
Acts of hatred and discrimination against Muslims are encouraged even in a multicultural city like Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a resolution that says:
Whereas, in remembering the victims of September 11, 2001, and their loved-ones, friends, and business associates, we also remember and acknowledge the truth as to who the perpetrators themselves claim to be, that is, Muslims, carrying out the will of the Deity of their religion known as Islam.
To have such a divisive and very insensitive resolution is really shocking. Obviously, there is an attempt on the part of special interest groups to implicate Muslim Americans in the tragedy of 9/11.
On September 11, several hundred Muslims were also a victim of this tragedy. M. Salman Hamdani, 23, was on his way from the family home in Queens to his job as a lab technician in Manhattan. According to the family, police believe that when Hamdani, a trained emergency medical technician, heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center, he rushed there to help. Like the approximately 3,000 other victims, Hamdani did not return to his family home that day. A commodities trader for Carr Futures, Taimour Khan, 29, was last seen on the 92nd-floor office at One World Trade Center the first of the 110-story twin towers hit by hijacked passenger planes. What has hurt and frightened the Hamdani and Khan families amid their personal grief is the growing number of reported cases of intimidation, harassment and violence against Muslims.
Since September 11, 2001 all over the world the number of terror victims has been increasing day by day. During the last two years, approximately 30,000 innocent people have been killed in different parts of the world as a result of terror attacks or counter attacks. Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Philippines, Indonesia, Liberia, to name a few. We hear very little about these victims.
War against terror is a global war. But there are a few groups who are trying to make this a selective war for reasons that suit their political, cultural, economic and social interests. This selectiveness on the part of a few powerful groups reinforce some of the ideas that terrorists have used to justify their actions.
The fight against terrorism is a noble fight. It is in defense of human life, the most beautiful of the divine creation. It is a fight all humanity must join. But we must not allow special interest groups to use the fight against terrorism as an excuse to serve their political or economic agenda. At stake is human civilization itself and it should be defended with full force. Muslims, like all other people of conscious, are in the forefront of this fight and they will not rest until all forms of terror is tamed.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the Editor of the Minaret magazine which is a monthly publication from Los Angeles, California.
I think it's imperative that we give dawa to all Americans but also those living in Muslim countries--both hold strong misconceptions about our faith. Increasingly, many Americans believe that Islam itself encourages acts of violence against non-Muslims. While, on the other extreme, too many Muslims from "Muslim countries" cheer the behavior of figures such as Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization. Among much of what I have read, two facts stick out in my mind: at least 35% of Americans now believe Islam is inherently violent(Ohio News), and over 95% of Saudi citizens support the goals and tactics of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda(Time Magazine). Are we going to allow these extremist views on both sides of the world destroy our beloved faith? On my part, as a citizen of the US, I worked daily to educate others about Islam, its virtues, its acceptance of others, and its inherent peacefulness. My dawa, most likely, is much easier since I live in an open, free society, where exchaning thoughts, ideas, and information is readily accepted. However, it's time that Muslims living in Muslim countries do their part in giving dawa to other Muslims about the "true" nature of our faith--peace and understanding. It's one thing to fight oppression and liberate others from tyranny, but it's something quite different when we foster a message that it's acceptable to murder innocents in order to establish sharia in a land again. If we are to take a serious look at the Prophet's life, we see that he accepts fighting but totally condemns hurting innocents, especially the elderly, the weak, women, children, animals, insects, and even crops. Somehow, this aspect of the Prophet's life has vanished from the minds of so-called Muslim leaders around the world. Instead of planning how to attack someone, maybe they need a refresher course in the Quran and Sunnah.
Regarding terrorism and discriminations, the U.S. is a racist nation from day 1. However, most people have grown up. Thanks to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Think!!! how the foreigners would still be treated in the USA if Dr. King and Malcolm X did not show in the USA w/ the wave of time.
Solution for the discrimination issues---we need Dr. King and Malcolm X in Muslim communities. Muslims need to be througly integrated into the fabric of this nation. Muslims need to learn how to hug and shake hands with Americans even w/ women. We have no choice now.
The more someone hates you, the more you'll have to hang around in that person's neighborhood. He'll eventually stop hating you b/c he'll get to know you. And always keep the following sentences in mind...
"O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice ..." al-Qur'an 5:8
Regarding terrorisms, Bush and his thugs are as much guilty of spreading terror as Osama Bin Laden, Hamas, Sharon and his Zionist colleagues. Solution: Stop electing and supporting them.
It's not easy to solve these problems, but get to work. Start breaking down the big problem into subproblems and start finding the solution.
STOP taking sides and blaming others. If you see a problem anywhere in the problem, try to fix it. It does not matter if it's a Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, or a communist problem.
Here is another thought that I would like to share with all those who have (in one way or another) suffered as a result of 9/11. The hijackers were Muslims - and so am I. You see, as a Muslim, I cannot deny any Muslim's submission to Allah (the Lord of the worlds) without condemning myself instead. Unless I'm very much mistaken that same basic rule applies to Christians as well (but do feel free to look it up for yourselves). Actually, speaking only for myself, I still prefer to be counted among the victims of 9/11 rather than among the hijackers - and to be counted among the hijackers rather than among all those who have (in one way or another) denied they were Muslims. (Astagh-firullah.)
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahee (wa barakatuhu).
Your last two conclusion paragraphs strongly identify your position and blind faith.you said,'WAR on terror is a global war'.YOU RIGHT, FULLSTOP! THERE IS NO NEED FOR 'BUT'.'BUT' mean JUSTIFICATION.To Terrorists,NEGOTIATION,AGREEMENT,REASONING are bad words you say against allah.Bin Laden kill Americans because of its policies in middle east.why kill.how about the muslims and arabs they like those policies.where are their right and freedom to choose.they love the american products and they wish to live in a society that forestronesian principles free.there are lots of them but they can't say anything,they afraid.The forestronesians and Cavetronesians dictating them to follow without questioning the sets of rules that divinely handed down to them.They believe america and the west modernity is a threat to their principles.They declare war,they said allah authorised them to do so.allah is a killer.I don't think so.allah is love,doesn't matter you love or against him.he creat you as human being to follow his rules is up to you.judgement day is up to him.ABDULLA fight against terrorism we need people likes you,to put down a review,reveal,criticism to the work of mohammed and the koran.I know is hard you can end up shorten your life,but that is the best job that any muslim scholar can do,in this very difficult time.
Dr. Aslam with all respect I sort of disagree with you and would continue to do so till some Linguistic explains me the meaning of terrorism. Terrorism, Anti-Semitism and Fundamentalism are few words that have been hijacked by political parties around to world to gain stronger political grounds.
My view and the view of my few muslim friends is the same - We grieve for what happened to our fellow countrymen and what happened in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and everywhere. Culprits should be brought to justice - theirs and ours.