A reason to remember 9/11
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?
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.