All those years ago today, I can remember where I was… I was a sophomore in high school, we got at about 7 in the morning, before breakfast, he said that something terrible had happened, and I should turn on the news.
I think the second tower had just fallen as we turned it on. The news footage that day was almost all of the standing towers, replaying the shots of the crash, of the towers smoking.
I still had to go to school. My first period Geometry Teacher Mr. Duskett had a phrase on the board “September 11th 2001 a day that will live in infamy” quoting FDR’s famous speech about December 7th.
In second period English we didn’t study at all, we just watched the news. My friend Salim sat right behind me and we both watched in awe as details began to pour in about the attacks. By this time it was clear that this was no accident.
“Who would do this?” he asked with tears in his eyes “Who could do this?”
I brought that story up recently in a discussion, when the anti-American sentiment of Islam was brought up, hoping the prove a point.
My mother asked why I’d never mentioned it before, she said when I got home from school that day I had told her we barley talked about it we just sat in stunned silence.
There certainly was a lot of that. I told her “I guess at the time I didn’t think that comment was terribly relevant”
At first I didn’t know why, and then I realized. Why would it be relevant? On 9/11 an American was upset, aghast, and confused about who could do such a thing? Of course he was. So was I!
Salim was my friend, he wasn’t my “Muslim friend” or my “Middle Eastern friend” he was just a guy, I went to Jr. High with him, we talked, I gave him an old laptop once. I was compassionate loving and non judgmental to him, Why? Because at the time, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be.
I didn’t know any worse.
Salim’s comment was in second period. It wasn’t until Mrs. Delong’s Social Studies 5th period we learned Osama Bin Ladin was responsible. And it wasn’t until several days after that we high scholars figured out who Al Queda was. (actually we called them the Taliban back then) and it wasn’t until the following months and years that our understanding of the middle east, and of Islam and of Muslim people began to change and sour
So now when you think of the Middle East you think of words like Haamas and Jihad and Hezbollah, you think of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorism in Ireal. That wasn’t the case at 9 in the morning on September 11, 2001.
I thought of Salim… and Omit, and that little guy from wrestling what was his name? …Salmaan. Nice guy.
None of them hate America
None of them want to hurt Christians
It’s become commonplace now for Christians to cite that Islam is a dangerous religion, that they want to take over the United States, that they lie, that their prophet was a murderer, that it’s a theocracy over there in the middle east. It’s usually backed up by some half remembered verse in the Koran about what you should do to infidels…
I dunno what the Koran says, I can’t read Arabic, and translation is considered theologically problematic. But if it says you should hurt people then these guys don’t believe it, and there are others like them. As a matter of fact, they’re ALL like them, nice guys and gals who love America and were shocked at the 911 attacks.
Of all the Muslims I’ve ever met in the US, Not one of them was cheering that day
And a great many were crying.
They must have known what was coming.