September 13, 2001

I have been both horrified and saddened by the loss of life due to the horrific tragedies of Tuesday. I have had moments where tears sprang into my eyes hearing of people affected or those who’d perished or of just thinking of the agony and torment that those left behind must be feeling. I was thinking of writing about all that had happened yesterday while driving to work and was thinking to myself that though I always tried to see both sides of a situation that I couldn’t really see the other side in this matter and that I would probably tear into anybody who tried to defend those who’d committed this heinous act against their fellow human beings. But I’ve watched America’s reaction to these tragic events and have come to see the other side as well and I must say that I am deeply saddened and disappointed.

I have heard of Palestinian/Middle Eastern families over here in Michigan who had been harassed out of their homes, of Arabic people who had their homes burnt down, of Muslim women in traditional garb who are harassed by men on the streets – all because they belong to a portion of humanity that is currently suspected of being the perpetrators of these atrocities. I agree wholeheartedly that those responsible must pay for what they did? But do innocents have to suffer for the crimes of the guilty? Do people who committed no crime except to embrace a specific religion or were born in a specific part of the globe, have to suffer? I say an emphatic “No”!!

Let us not delve into anger and hatred, let us think these things through calmly and without partisanship. I believe that there is one thing higher than patriotism for one’s nationality – the duty we owe towards humanity as a whole. We are all citizens of the world first and foremost! So let us put aside nationalistic and idealistic claptrap and unite as a race – the human race – and try to get through these difficult times and not descend to name calling and finger pointing.

I have watched the media and have been disturbed and concerned. Are they just stupid or are they actually trying to incite hatred and rioting? Ever since the tragedies occurred, the media consistently uses phrases like “even the Arab nations have expressed their condolences” or “despite the fact that Palestinians were out in the streets celebrating, Yasar Arafat expressed his regrets over the tragedies”. I don’t see why these things had to be singled out, I don’t see why the Arab nations shouldn’t be shocked by these devastating incidents. And yes, there were probably some misguided individuals who thought that America’s tragedy was cause for celebration but does that fact need to be highlighted? Hard as it may seem to believe, I’d bet that Palestinian’s weren’t the only people who celebrated (and don’t tell me that some Americans didn’t celebrate when Iraq was bombed even though many innocent civilians died as well …) but they are the only ones who are spotlighted over and over again. Why is that? Do they want a bloodbath here in the US so that all Palestinians or all people of Middle Eastern descent would be purged? It certainly seems like it at times to me …

I know that some people are going to take this negatively but I do believe that those who don’t speak out in times of injustice are just as guilty as those who perpetrate the crimes. And I also believe that it’s a time when we should put aside racial and nationalistic boundaries and stand together as human beings. If we give in to anger and hatred, the culmination of these tragic events could be another world war and I don’t think that any of us wants that. Why would anybody want anymore lives to be lost after such a devastating loss? I can’t for the life of me fathom it … Let us all hang together in these times of trial and tribulations as human beings and support each other and not point fingers or persecute people or as Benjamin Franklin once remarked, assuredly we will hang separately!

Posted by Fahim at 8:23 am  |  8 Comments