Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - Changed perceptions

I was just reading this nice blog on Dawn today by a former student, who was there in USA when planes struck Twin Towers.

I was in Pakistan at that time and I was also a student, a sort of a fire-brand type. It was evening and darkness had already pervaded our university. I can clearly recall that that day I was sitting in my computer lab and for some reason I was late in going home. Almost all my classmates had already left for home. On another system my classmate, Ovais, was sitting when he suddenly called me over informing me that some building in USA is under fire. I looked at the screen and thought maybe some odd fire had broken inside. I was wrong. Ovais hastily told me that it was some plane, which had hit the twin towers. Twin towers for me was a new term. I went home.

At home, as soon as I entered, my mother greeted me with more than a flourish and invited me to look at the screen, which was positively blackened with the dark, billowing smoke coming out from the towers. It was CNN and the anchor was horrified at what was happening just behind her. I was just beginning to settle when suddenly a plane took a sharp turn and rammed into the second tower, which till then had been standing amidst chaos and drama. It later emerged that planes had been hijacked and used as suicide material. What an ingenious idea that was, I had thought. And I was really very glad, just like my parents and siblings, that finally that great Satan had been 'controlled'. Future events and the consequences for Muslims the world-over would prove us all wrong. These terrorist attacks into the heartland of USA had not only shaken the great Satan, it had in effect woken them up and all of us to the reality of international terrorism. A reality, which sadly has harmed interests of Muslims world over.

Today I and my parents feel that the events of 9/11 were not perpetrated by Jihadis (as CNN would have us believe) but by real terrorists, people who have no faith or religion. Today I can see clearly that killing of innocent Americans, whether Jews or Christians or Muslims, won't serve anyone's purpose. We cannot ask for revenge on a common American for the misdeeds of their Army and politicians in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine. This we all Muslims should understand and realize. We cannot isolate ourselves from the real world and continue to fool around. We must consider murderers and killers as terrorists and not some good Muslim Knights.

Today I am not happy that common Americans were killed that day. I just hope I wasn't happy in 2001, when the events broke out. But I was and I accept it now.

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