Contributions

Explore and engage with other people's views
through words, pictures or video.

It was never about them and us. It's just us.

Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

I feel it's quite fitting that I'm sat here writing this just after Ramadan: a month of reflection and prayer. The more I think about how the world has changed in the past decade, the more I feel that there were lessons to be learnt that weren't.

Before 9/11, I felt that most people simply looked at Islam as another religion. After 9/11, this has changed considerably. Still, I have found that my Islam has been strengthened by the increased media spotlight on Muslims in the West. Like many Muslims, I felt the need to defend my religious identity that has been under constant attack ever since. Muslims on campuses and in society at large have been saying: "We are like you. Islam is peaceful. Complex socio-political factors have driven some fringe elements to commit barbaric acts. But they don't represent us. This is not our religion. Please don't judge a billion and a half people on the actions of a few."

I have felt the need to educate myself about Islam first. How can I tell others if I haven't got the answers myself? Time and time again, I read comments under YouTube videos and blog posts about how the moderate majority of Muslims have not been vocal enough in their condemnation of terrorism. I think to myself, why should I have to prove that I am against terrorism more than anybody else? I have nothing to do with those 19 hijackers. I'm telling you that Islam does not teach that and then I still have to apologise?

Apologising implies that I have to take responsibility for their actions. More Muslims have died at the hands of extremists than non-Muslims. Mini 9/11s happen regularly in some countries. Muslims also died on 9/11. And think about the thousands of civilians who have died in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Do we even know their names? I am not trying to take anything away from the losses suffered by the families of 9/11 victims. I just wish that we didn't have so many double standards. Why have their legacies been allowed to be used for such politicised agendas?

Starting my studies at University in 2004 was when I began to feel like I needed to do something. Being part of the Islamic Society on campus made me aware of the work that needed to be done. There were no two ways about it. Islam had a bad rep. As I have said before in a previous post, Islam is and always will be beautiful but it is Muslims who have managed to make something beautiful into something so misunderstood. Thankfully, I have never had any verbal abuse directed at me, but I have read about hate crimes against people who even look like Muslims.

Another thing has really bugged me. Since when has every man and his dog been an expert on such complex aspects of Islamic jurisprudence as jihad and the Shariah itself? And why do the most misinformed and sensationalist "experts" get all the airtime? Because it sells in this post-9/11 age. It's as if extremists on both sides have hijacked (for want of a better word) the discourse. I'm not a religious scholar, but even I can refute the rubbish that you hear in the media about Islam. At first, I could never understand how so many people could all believe the same lies. But it makes sense really. If you have had no real-life experience of dealing with Muslims or if you don't know any Muslims, it's kind of understandable. But non-Muslims should not believe everything they read about Islam in the media. Especially when the people putting forward the "facts" are sensationalists.

At the same time, I realise that Muslims themselves have a lot to answer for. Why did it take something tragic like 9/11 for us to start coming out and engaging with our wider communities? Before 9/11, Muslim immigrant families were happy to just go about their daily lives and keep their heads down. Now we've more or less been forced to come out and educate people about Islam. I have been lucky in that I grew up mainly around non-Muslims: our neighbourhood, the school I went to and thus my best friends. For this reason, I would like to think that at least the people that know me well have a more positive view of Islam.

If everybody had a Muslim friend and therefore had a positive experience with Muslims, the islamophobic drivel out there would fall on deaf ears. So this is a call to action for Muslims. Go out and speak to your neighbours. Stop treading water and make a difference in your communities. Muslims need to be socially relevant here in the West. Come out and support the issues that matter. It is part of our religion to be on the side of justice; be it with the Muslims or against them. Campaign for issues that are affecting us all in our communities here in the UK. Whether it's student fees, NHS cuts, your local youth club losing funding or feeding the homeless. Come out and show your communities that they are gaining by having Muslims as neighbours. Community spirit is part of our faith. It's high time we started to show it.

Here is a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that I want people to know:
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Help your brother when he is the oppressor and when he is oppressed.’ His Companions replied, ‘O Messenger of God, we do understand helping him when he is oppressed, but how can we possibly help him when he is the oppressor? The Prophet replied, ‘Seize him by his hands!" - Sahih al-Bukhari, narrated by Anas bin Malik

Shibli Zaman from SuhaibWebb.com summarises the implications for this nicely:
“(As a Muslim in the West) I will do as my Prophet has taught me and do everything I can to protect you, but I will not allow you to oppress me and blame me for a deed that was not mine.
Those flying angels, flying out of the World Trade Center and to the next world, deserved more than to be used for the opportunistic political gain of fear mongers. They deserve more than bumper stickers emblazoned with over-marketed slogans of “Never forget” and “Support our troops”. Those slogans are meaningless without action. Let us truly “never forget” and love one another, for the murders of 9/11 were the illegitimate child of hate bred with fear.”

Collective punishment is immoral and unjust. I am sorry that such a barbaric act was done in the name of my religion but that is not my religion. If somebody is a lunatic, it doesn't matter what religion or race or culture they profess to come from, they are still a lunatic.

I'd like to end with a quote from Obama's speech that he gave on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary last year (David Cameron doesn't quite have the same effect when he speaks):

“From a national security interest, we want to be clear about who the enemy is here. It's a handful, a tiny minority of people who are engaging in horrific acts, and have killed Muslims more than anybody else.

The other reason it's important for us to remember that is because we've got millions of Muslim Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country. They're going to school with our kids. They're our neighbours. They're our friends. They're our co-workers.

And, you know, when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?
I've got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan in the uniform of the United States armed services. They're out there putting their lives on the line for us, and we've got to make sure that we are crystal clear, for our sakes and their sakes, they are Americans, and we honour their service.

And part of honouring their service is making sure that they understand that we don't differentiate between them and us. It's just us.”

Comments

Login or Register to Comment

Thank you for this informative and useful article. It really helps me a lot looking forward for more. Keep it up! how to buy instagram likes

This is something that I really need - help with my essays. I just become so clueless and lost when I'm in the middle of writing. Sometimes I just speed through to the conclusion just to end it. Thankfully there's this essay help you posted about, which I would surely take head from.

At initial, I could never appreciate how so numerous persons could total accept the equal equivocates. However it constructs feel very. If you contain had no sincere-animation art of dealing among Muslims or if you don't understand some Muslims, it's mild of coherent. essaystate.com

This is Nice son thanks for shear with me. Website

As I have said ere in a previous announce, Islam is moreover always desire be fetching however it is Muslims who have managed to accomplish something fetching against something so misunderstood. private cloud dubai

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing this information. cheap writing services

Thankfully, I receive never had some verbatim hurt directed at me, however I experience predict about revile violations onto persons who level gaze want Muslims. school

I'm nay a religious pundit, however flat I can rebut the garbage that you listen in the media about Islam. At initial, I could never take how so numerous persons could total trust the consistent misinforms. ????

Mutual penalty is unprincipled furthermore cruel. I am sad that such a uncivilized deed was through in the term of my faith however that is negative my sect. productivity software:

The attorney is a very important person with the court in law. He works in the betterment of other individuals and might always make sure to resolve ones own disputes in the absolute best manner. myattorneyatlaw

Latest phones means device full of all enhanced features and even amazing feels. These phones are located in mobile advertise with most recently released offers. mobilexpert

Simply finding the perfect name for one's baby is significant. What Learning to speak spanish baby details will remain your son's rich historical? babyheritage

Winter snow storms Hockey is without a doubt one sport which can be played across the country in distinctive regions. It is able to combine the structure crushing checks considering the gracefulness in sliding on the ice. www.scorespro.com

Those flying dears, flying away of the Earth Calling Focus also to the after cosmos, appropriate additional than to be shared for the opportunistic political benefit of dismay dealers. High Quality Diamond Jewellery in uae

Occur absent also read your communities that they are gaining by holding Muslims as neighbours. Neighborhood esprit is unit of our trust. It's foremost day we started to evidence it. Cash For House

Thu-sly you will http://grabessay.com/essay-writing-help have the capacity to peruse the psyche of the learner and right them. Verify that you as of now provide for them reference materials to outwit them.

I admire your blog the best one in my opinion.You have done the great work by creating it. monster warlord hacks

I'm truly happy to find this extraordinary website the fate of this web journal is getting great and more helpful for me much appreciated and god favor you homework paper writing service

this is the best place to for free club penguin if you are also looking for club penguin cheats and codes then visit here and get all the codes of club penguin

Actually what is happening is all to achieve political interests and for resources. Muslim lands are rich of resources so the capitalists took the religion to full their aims. At assignment writing service i usually do a long discussion about such attacks on a specific religion, cast or sect and the thing i blame for all these happenings is the political interests and greed.

If everyone had a Muslim buddy further consequently had a definite art accompanying Muslims, the islamophobic twaddle external there would collapse on deaf ears. Office Cleaning Dubai

If everybody had a Muslim friend additional so had a definite art supplementary Muslims, the islamophobic nonsense outside there would fall down on hard of trial ears. mycollegeessay

Many thanks to the great putting up! The particular weblog has been entirely exceptional! A lot of well known information in the same way stimulation, washed-up of which we drinker hope! Your blog is usually careful decorous, My partner and i as it! Thanks a lot to your expressing! buy land in Dubai

dulles limo iAd car service | Dc to Dulles limousine | Dulles to dc car service we've got to make sure that we are crystal clear, for our sakes and their sakes, they are Americans, and we honour their service.

As I have said already in a previous notify, Islam is also always testament be comely however it is Muslims who have managed to effect something attractive against something so misunderstood. Custom iPhone Cases

If everyone had a Muslim buddy plus consequently had a unequivocal finesse among Muslims, the islamophobic slaver absent there would slip on deaf ears. Residential Air Conditioners

So nice to heat that someone can easily help other people without any recognition and fame! writers per hour

Good Stuff!! A fantastic article. Very objective and critical. http://essayservices.org

Our commitment is to provide our customers the Watches brands in Pakistan with our Branded watches in Pakistan customer service at a safe and secure environment. We proudly stand behind the quality of products that we sell because we believe in providing our Watches brands in Pakistan the best quality and affordable fine watches together with excellent cus

Its such great information about Islam. I am get some useful knowledge about it. pay for paper writing

This post has helped me for an article which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this topic. Keep it up. UK Assignment Help

At initial, I could never grasp how so numerous persons could sum suppose the alike falsehoods. However it constitutes feel truly. If you contain had no legitimate-spirit skill of dealing accompanying Muslims or if you don't comprehend some Muslims, it's sort of coherent. local singles

Thankfully, I hold never had some spoken harm directed at me, however I possess foretell about malice misdeeds onto persons who equable gaze want Muslims. Top Media Company

Thanks a lot. Do you know apps also worked on Windows XP Windows Vista, 7, and 8 totally. You can run periscope for pc, imo messenger for pc, whatsdog for pc

it is very difficult to talk about religion. We must respect each other. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness. I think the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.More information about this topic can get at website http://essayhelperonline.com/

This is a great web site. Good sparkling user interface and very informative blogs. I will be coming back in a bit, thanks for the great article. I have found it enormously useful.. happy wheels| happywheels| happy wheels unblocked| happy wheels demo|

Thank you! I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site. fighting games kissing games christmas games scooby doo games brain games

It's as if extremists on both profiles get hijacked (for need of a top term) the converse. I'm negative a religious student, however fifty-fifty I can disprove the hogwash that you attend in the media about Islam. Women’s Designer Clothing

As I experience said anterior in a previous advise, Islam is moreover always testament be stunning however it is Muslims who possess managed to bear something fetching toward something so misunderstood. salsa dancing

Thanks for the great information, I astonished from this great post and it is more inspiring to me, thanks for sharing with us.here you can check for netease app for pc, grooveshark alternative app and gwhale apk for android.

You have delved into the issue quite ingeniously but you could do a little of word explaining. I got lost in the last few statements. I would really like to understand this because I am involved in providing college assignment help

Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog. mahjong agario agar io kizi car games fun games

Thankfully, I experience never had some wordy ill-treatment directed at me, however I experience comprehend about enmity offenses into persons who equable ogle love Muslims. Grande Prairie car loans