A reason to remember 9/11

Published: September 14, 2010

The attack on the Twin Towers claimed hundreds of innocent lives

Ever since I saw the movie V For Vendetta, I have a small ritual of sorts. Every year, on September 11, I keep my status for the whole day, “Remember, remember, the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.” It’s my way of paying tribute to the innocent men and women and yes, believe it or not, Muslims that perished no that tragic day.

This year, a friend commented asking what it meant, and I gave her the cliff notes version of the original rhyme, explaining it was my way of commemorating the tragic loss of human life that day. She found it ridiculous that I would consider the loss of human life on that particular day tragic.

I’d love to say I was surprised, but honestly, I wasn’t. Far too often, I’ve come across this attitude. Pakistanis on a whole, as well as the Muslim world, generally tend to have this angry attitude towards America. Note, I said America, not the West; it is America after all, that to them, is targeting the Muslim world, murdering innocent Muslims. There is a savage sort of blood lust in many people in this regard; I remember a close cousin saying they all deserved to die because they were infidels.

An Extreme Response

One overzealous man burned the Holy Quran and tore out its pages on Ground Zero. Reading the article, I saw a comment where an American suggested that their troops be protected behind a wall of Holy Qurans, as people were making a fuss over a book while they gleefully danced to the idea of murdering infidels. Extremists, yes. But is it really any different from what many of us would say?

9/11, the day the world stood still, was the day everything changed, when Muslims and the rest of the world went from a somewhat stable coexistence, to the current war-like state. Both sides take delight in the other’s deaths; I cried as I watched the Twin Towers fall, I cry now for the lives we lose on both sides, for the soldiers dying so far from home only to defend their country, misguided as they may be, for the Muslims dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hell, within our own borders. Moreover, I wonder, is there anything humane left in us at all? Is there no longer any distinction between animals and us? For, as I pointed out to my friend, the ability to mourn the loss of lives is what separates us from animals and we have lost even that at this point. Islam teaches us to live a life filled with peace, love and tolerance, and yet, we rejoice at the loss of human life, simply because it’s an American life? So what else is there?

Grief knows no religion

On September 11 2001, hundreds of people lost their lives. That is what I commemorate; that is what I remember. I didn’t know any of them, but I know they must have had parents, siblings, children, nieces, nephews and cousins, just like me. I know that they left behind families and friends whose lives are forever torn apart. I know that it was the day the world went to hell. So I commemorate that day, and remember the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.

And if that makes me a traitor to the country and a kafir or munafiq or infidel or whatever, then so be it. Wouldn’t you do the same, and choose to retain your humanity as I do?


Ghausia Rashid

A BSS student majoring in journalism at Bahria University. She enjoys writing about anything that matters, is an avid reader, talks more than she should, and to her bemusement, is frequently asked if people find her annoying! She is interested in activism, politics and culture.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://aamirwrites.blogspot.com Piscean

    thank you for writing such a piece ,people often forget the pain and suffering is universal .it goes beyond the boundaries of language,religion or etc.In God’s eyes kindness and love are what it’s all about.this goes out to all the people who have died in act of terrorism and violence simply because they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time
    May their souls rest in peace! amenRecommend

  • Munazza

    Miss Ghausia, thanks for making it easier for me to say this:
    You’re the perfect example of people who try ever so hard to convince evrybody by these lines ( I would consider the loss of human life on that particular day tragic.) that they’d be better off living in Amreeca than here in good old Pakistan. In a simpler, more frequently used word: wannabe.
    No one says that the people who died in the 9-11 incident deserved to die or the families affected had it coming to them..no they’re as innocent as the hundreds of people that USA then killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, that are being killed every single day here in Pakistan by the virus that the US itself first injected. Did you ever dedicate a status to them? Did you ever pay public condolences to the people that die in the blasts every other week? I’m sure not. Why does the Tribune even publish this crap?Recommend

  • Sakina

    Wow.. amazing article… enjoyed reading it! :)
    and Munazza, I don’t see a point of your comment.. the writer is trying to promote a message of peace and equality … why does it hurt you? should all peace loving people be categorized as “wanabes”? damn…then i’m a wanabe too then, thanks for the revelation! Recommend

  • Majeed Jamal

    I could not find any resemblance between 9/11 and v for vendetta. Of course no one can defend or rejoice killing innocent people.. But when you write about hatred and anger against America in Pakistan, it did not start with 9/11, war on terror or Afghan invasion.. This hatred has a long history.. Let me tell you something. When Benazir Bhutto become prime minister, the US ambassador in Islamabad called her office and wish immediate meeting.. Mrs Bhutto hold that request for 3 days. She wanted to stop them from interfering that much internally.. Now you can see that they appointed a viceroy Halbrook for this nation and even an under secretary could call on President.. It is also true that eventually Benazir also understood that American are so much important and she managed deal with them.. They have strong ties with Military but not with ordinary people. So, how can one expect love and friendship in response of conspiracies and instability? Recommend

  • benu

    I 100% agree with Munazza. If you wanna grieve, grieve for every innocent dying everyday all over the world majority of them being in Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan via terrorism and Somalia, Nigeria via hunger; ever wondered y Muslims are tortured everywhere and if they reciprocate in defense they are labeled Taliban which u know was a produce of America. My sister 9/11 could be a conspiracy just like many other to make excuse of invading muslim states! people who kill have no religion but people who die do and it hurts the same to families suffering in 9/11, Katrina,Tsunami or Flood in Paksitan so let’s not be selective on incidents right? Recommend

  • Javed Afridi

    Dear Ghausia Rashid,

    I consider you a better Muslim than your cousin or the likes of him or for that matter, most of us here. Thanks for writing this.Recommend


    well said…and in nice wordsRecommend

  • http://facebook.com/sajjadx Sajjad Ahmed

    I see no point in you getting overly defensive at the end !
    You are right, and feel the pride in standing by it too.Recommend

  • Mahvesh

    Munazza, why do you need to elevate your suffering by trivializing others’? I’m sure if Ghausia has dedicated a Facebook status to Americans, she has probably done the same for Somalians, Rwandans, Palestinians and Pakistanis (if a Facebook status really IS that critical to you for gauging someone’s sympathy). The key ingredient here is ‘humanity.’ I think it’s horrific that you would rather bring someone down for sympathizing over people dying, just because you think their allegience lies with Evil Amreeka. There’s nothing wannabe about this – it’s common human grief. I feel terrible knowing people jumped to their deaths from the Twin Towers because they couldn’t get out, just as I feel terrible for those who died in Peshawar’s Meena Bazar attack “for no fault of their own.” Have a heart – because someone’s son died on the other end of the world shouldn’t make you feel better because your cousin died too. Recommend

  • http://depthofocus.wordpress.com Hashim Nauman

    Very well written. As for Munazza, it’s strange how the “wannabe” crowd is the only group of people that actually speak up against the “injected virus”.. Strange how it’s advocated in every mosque, no sermon is every dedicated to people who die in suicide bombs (atleast not to my knowledge)..

    Human life has way more value than religious differences and conspiracy theories.Recommend

  • Khadija Masood

    You made everybody else but you look bad in this article. Thats what I have a problem with. All muslims or Paksitanis did not celebrate the attack of the twin towers, but you made it sound like they did. There are always going to be fringe elements present in society, but there are moderate muslims too. You did not give a balanced opinion.Recommend

  • Ali

    and the grief and moaning on the lives lost doesn’t make you a kafir but not mentioning anything in the same article about the amount of people and muslim brothers that have died because of this incident does make you a munafiq. Who is editing the articles at tribune????Recommend

  • Dia

    I feel sorry for them too, but then I quote Munazza “they’re as innocent as the hundreds of people that USA then killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, that are being killed every single day here in Pakistan by the virus that the US itself first injected. Did you ever dedicate a status to them? Did you ever pay public condolences to the people that die in the blasts every other week?”…
    Did you, Ghausia? If you didnt, this article is pretty useless and rates you as another wannabe!! Recommend

  • Faiza

    Excellently written piece. Islam is a religion of peace, let us not forget that. I disagree with Ms. Khadija, the writer has given her opinion on how she feels about this incessant loss of life, it is not written to boost her own ego. If more people start thinking this way, then maybe this world will be a better place for our children to live in. Recommend

  • BT

    Why do the commentators attempt to personally attack the writers, instead of critically debating the issue at hand? What is everyone expecting, that the writer show’s her history of status updates over the last five years? If she failed to update her facebook status about one of the many suicide bombings, she is a wannabe? Do we have to validate our moral sensibility through Facebook statuses? The whole war on terror has caused a loss of lives on both sides, the only people who are suffering, is the ordinary people, not the people in power who have made these ridiculous decisions. No one wanted the war, but the powerful forced the decision on us, despite the millions of protests that took place the world over ( which everyone forgets).
    You can’t call a person a ‘wannabe’ because they’re advocating peace. It’s a poor argument, non the less a stupid one. ET commentators, stop sending out such immature comments. I would ask ET to start editing the comments, not the blogs and articles. Recommend

  • Rabia Jalal

    for all those who think the writer only cares about lost non muslim american lives, let the record be clear that muslims also lost lives in the 9/11 attacks, and i personally know of a young pakistani man whose life was lost in the world trade center. 9/11 is not a day of tragedy just for “infidels, it also affected muslims globallyRecommend

  • Taimur

    whoaa !! what a poor article and horrible representation of Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular !!
    ” … Pakistanis on a whole, as well as the Muslim world, generally tend to have this angry attitude towards America….” now this is such a sweeping statement. Your cousin unfotunately does not represent 180 million people of this country so please don’t view each and everyone of us in light of his statement.
    I agree that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but that should not be at the cost of demeaning an entire nation or society. Your article unfortunately is a true dipiction of extremism and hatred. Your article was a biased piece of writing! Recommend

  • Maheen Rahman

    Well-written Ghausia.

    As for people who think its “wannabe-ish”, really, grow up. Criticism for criticism’s sake is not only lame, it’s immature. Recommend

  • Ghausia

    @Majeed The V For Vendetta connection is because of the Guy Fawkes line quoted in the movie, a variation of which I posted as my status. And I never mentioned the political relationship with America, that’s how it works, the superpowers control the third world countries. I’m talking about the civilians, do you really think all Americans are evil because of what their government does?

    @benu I’m talking about one secluded event. Of course I feel bad for the people dying in Pakistan but 9/11 was a massacre systematically carried out within one day, and its impact is still resonating throughout the world.

    @Dia why don’t you add me on FB so you can have your proof that I feel bad for the whole world? My full name is Ghausia Rashid Salam. We can also discuss what the term wannabe actually means because you apparently think feeling bad about anyone but Muslims or Pakistanis dying makes you a wannabe.

    @Taimur, Unfortunately, you’re right about the sweeping generalization part, I don’t know why I didn’t realize my mistake as I was writing it. But I don’t see how I’m advocating extremism or hatred.

    And to all the naysayers, I do feel bad about Kashmir. I have friends there, its a bad situation specially in Srinagar these days. I just shied away from writing about it because just like in my last article, there would be a brawl between Indians and Pakistanis, and I adore both countries so I don’t want to do that. I just might do something on Srinagar though, things there are getting pretty bad. Recommend

  • Aamna

    It’s NOT wannabe-ish if someone grieves for the loss of human lives and families being torn apart. It’s time that we Muslims stop thinking so highly of ourselves. Recommend

  • Zia Ullah Hamdard

    Since the civilization of the man, man is at war with his fellow being. According to a philosopher ”peace is the dream of the wise; while war is the history of the world”. So why not take the right side even if that is weak. This is what i personally think the biggest challenge in front of todays so-called civilized men. Although, it would be like biting a bullet, but the fact remains constant that man has still a long way to go to the climax of civilization; that has been the dream of many of the philosophers, thinkers, poets and great writers. The fall of the twin towers is a symbol of the fact that nothing is constant in this contemporary world. For the crier, i would simply suggest that ”it is no use of crying over split milk”. There are many milestones waiting ahead:

  • parvez

    The writer has done fair justice to the title.
    One reason to remember 9/11, I feel, is for the rest of the world to take note of how the US reacts or rather over reacts when they are threatened.
    9/11 – innocent lives lost about 4000.
    due to 9/11 – conservative 100,000 and counting, lets not forget destroying a country – Iraq.Recommend

  • Wasif

    Touching but emotional.Recommend

  • http://www.pakspectator.com Sana Saleem

    That Day really changed the circumstances. Our country is now in a poor and unstable state just because the incident on 9/11. I wish bad incidents could be reversed but No……

    Nice and Expressive way of commemorating the ones lost in 9/11….Recommend

  • Taha Kehar

    An excellent grasp over facts, feelings and ideas. This piece is a good example how all these ingredients can be balanced. Your last paragraph was spot-on. Don’t you worry, no one’s calling you a traitor or even a ”munafiq”. You’re human. Hence, the personalized nature of this piece. Recommend

  • syed shah

    well i no m a bit too late for my comment but i just went through all ur blogs and i really liked ur writing skills…as m maself a journalist and m sure that u just need to step in to this field practically n u will have a bright future for sure..
    regarding ur dis blog, being a movie freak, with no offence i would just like to correct one thing in ur dis blog,in V for VENDETTA its not 11th september, rather its 5th september as v friends always try to b da 1st to text this dialogue…Recommend