A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Post Mortem: The 9/11 Anniversary

The 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks came amid much apprehension, occurred with calls for unity and tolerance between faiths, and passed with little controversy and acts of violence. The majority of Americans marked the day solemnly in memory of those lost in the attack. There were some hopeful signs that tolerance was being practiced, but there were also acts which marred the ceremonies.

Opponents of the Manhattan mosque used the 9/11 events as another opportunity to politicize the day and further their agenda. It was hoped that we as a nation could pause long enough to mourn our dead without getting up on a partisan soap box. Alas, it was not to be.

More importantly Qurans were not burned, although American flags were torched in other parts of the world. Reverend Terry Jones kept his word not to burn the Quran. Later, he expressed his disappointment when he learned that the relocation of the Manhattan mosque was not part of the deal as he had been led to believe. Still, there was a sign of good will and outreach from Jones. Television news footage showed him shaking hands with the Imam from Florida, an act that I didn’t expect to see considering Jones has previously preached that “Islam is of the devil”.

I repeat: NO COPIES OF THE QURAN WERE HARMED DURING THE 9/11 WEEKEND. Many political and religious leaders stressed the point that such an act would be an intolerable desecration of other people’s beliefs. Unfortunately, Islamic protestors in Kashmir and other areas did not receive this message.

In a preemptive demonstration, the protesters burned Reverend Jones in effigy. I can appreciate that act; it is a dramatic and dynamic show of defiance. Then they burned the American flag and chanted, “Death to America”. This was all in response to Reverend Jones’ announced intentions to burn the Quran, which I repeat DID NOT HAPPEN. In the past, many Americans have burned the flag in an act of civil disobedience. Everyone recognizes the intense emotions aroused by this action. Most people would also agree that the burning of the flag was a desecration on par with the burning of the Muslim sacred text.

Ironically, the protests in the Far East could be interpreted as an affirmation of Muslim critics that Islam is a violent religion. I can just hear the chorus of “I told you so!” rising up from the evangelical Christian pulpits now. God, how I hate when that happens!

It has been noted that the gap between Muslims and other faiths in America is wider now than in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Hate crimes against mosques have been reported around the country. There has also been an increase in job discrimination complaints from the American Muslim community.

It’s all a matter of public relations. The overseas riots only fueled the fires of misunderstanding Americans have about Islam. America also has a public relations problem in many — if not all — Muslim countries. Both sides have much to teach the other. Both sides have a lot to learn from the other.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to listen...and learn.)


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