Saudi Arabia: Reflections from 9/11

 

 

It used to be in America that people might ask “Where were you when John F Kennedy was assassinated?”  Now a common question applied globally is where were you during 9/11.

 

 

I’ll never forget that moment.  I had come to the United States the last week of August 2001 from New Delhi, India for my son’s early September wedding.  I was to return to New Delhi on 12 September 2001.  Abdullah and I considered each other a couple by then and were engaged in our long distance relationship.  He was still in Pakistan at the time with the Saudi Embassy.  My son’s wedding was beautiful and exceeded all my imagination.  It was a wedding and also like a family reunion.  It was the last opportunity I had to dance with my father before he passed away.  My son and daughter-in-law left for a Caribbean honeymoon and would return to the Washington, DC area the evening of 10 September 2001.  I stayed at my son’s place while they honeymooned, taking care of their cats.

 

The morning of September 11 I went very early to CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia for some final briefings and meetings since I planned to depart for New Delhi the following evening.  By 7:30 I and several others were already in a conference room ready to begin a series of meetings on activities and programs in India.  As we were immersed in our discussion a secretary abruptly opened the conference door shouting for us to turn on the tv; that an aircraft had just flown into the World Trade Center.  As a group we seemed to gravitate our eyes toward the outside windows seeing the clear and piercing blue sky.  Even before knowing of the second plane that was coming we all seemed to know that this was not an accident by any means.

 

The second plane hits and there is organized chaos.  Task forces are formed on the fly and few are left uninvolved.  I knew I would not be returning to New Delhi the following evening.  I assisted as I was able in the capacity of a TDY’er (temporary duty) from a field station.  I had no illusions of tasks assigned due to rank.  I knew as a TDY’er I did not have access to the computer systems and databases and was happy to be used as a ‘gofer’ just to be of use while America was clearly under attack.  Eventually though I was told to go home.  It was another week before I was finally able to board a flight for India.

 

In the meantime it was life in a surreal Washington with no airplanes or helicopters in the sky.  People were glued to the tv and for a period of time, routine life simply stopped.  I was so grateful my son and daughter-in-law were back in the States.

 

Abdullah and I made contact on 12 September 2001.  He was in an agitated state and frustrated that he was in Pakistan and full of anger that his countrymen were the primary participants.  I called him and his voice broke upon hearing my voice.  He had been fearful to try and call me thinking that I would never want to hear his voice due to the anti-American rhetoric coming from the Middle East region.  We both shed tears while talking on the phone, reaffirming our love for each other and our great disdain on such an attack made upon thousands of innocents.

 

As the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches media coverage and stories are routinely covered.  This article from Associated Press discusses experiences of some expatriates who were in Saudi Arabia during 9/11 and the reactions they experienced.  An event like 9/11 made an impact on every individual regardless of location, nationality or religion.

 

I think it is interesting and allows us to further learn from each other to reflect and share where we were at that time.  What was YOUR initial reaction?  What was the reaction of those around you?  How have you or your world or way of doing things changed since 9/11?  Is the world safer today?  Has the risk and threat of terrorism been further marginalized since 9/11?

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140 Responses

  1. Wow, that AP article was something. I’m sad to read the Saudis she knew were happy that their countrymen pulled off such a horrible feat. Well, they showed us their Islam and it’s not something most of us want. 9/11 was not good dawah anyway. And I doubt sincerely that those murderers are enjoying paradise today. Just my opinion, of course.

  2. It was a horrible day, we were at work , kids at school, i saw it on TV and watched the whole thing unfold, F was in surgery from 8am to almost noonthat day , i remember i couldn’t get him out, i did try to go in and talkto him, but it was a closed surgery .. my dad called in shock and wanted us back home asap!!!!
    F was horrified when he came out and i told him , i remember the shock in his face, it’s a bad feeling to know your countrymen were the cause of destruction and death of innocents…later his first words on hearing about their nationality was –
    ‘ i think we should pack up and go back home ( India)’ – i’m glad i left when i was young !!!!

    10 yrs later we are still here 🙂 kids grown and flying off 😦 those families still in pain.

    i’m sure those killers are rotting somewhere terrible….

  3. @Susanne: i highly doubt the hijackers were doing it for dawah purposes obviously..they weren’t trying to call anyone to islam by doing that although its been said that many Americans did convert to islam after 9/11 because the attack made people more informed about Islam.
    Anyway back to the topic I remember being in primary school and the our teacher saying we didn’t have proper class that day so we had to write poems and draw pictures about how we felt.
    As young kids we had no idea what was going on but i remember the first time i ever heard about OBL was that same day when our teacher asked us who we thought was responsible, and a girl answered OBL and i was like who’s that???? I had no clue.
    No one is safe and i think its because the world as a whole has become desensitised to the mis-treatment and killing of human life, until it effects them personally and then we wake up.
    Even if september 11 didn’t happen i believe the world would be in the exact same state as it is today…The only difference would be the thousands of ppl killed on sep 11 wouldn’t be dead. Just my opinion…

  4. “I think it is interesting and allows us to further learn from each other to reflect and share where we were at that time. What was YOUR initial reaction? What was the reaction of those around you? How have you or your world or way of doing things changed since 9/11? Is the world safer today? Has the risk and threat of terrorism been further marginalized since 9/11?”

    I was sleeping in my room. I heard the radio alarm come on, and I think I vaguely recall it being mentioned on a talk show. Later, I remember a family member waking me up to tell me about it. I didn’t understand at first what the big deal was so I turned over and went back to sleep. A few hours later, I crawled out of bed and went into the living room where a family member was watching the news. That’s when I realized what had happened.

    Growing up in the place that I did, hearing about people dying was a daily thing, so it didn’t bother me as much as it seemed to bother others. You have to be able to shrug these things off as a part of life in order to retain your sanity at times. Besides, I tend to go “cold” or “unfeeling” in high-stress situations. If I had been around the people affected, I would want to be there in any way for them I could. I probably would have even cried from feeling their pain. But I wasn’t, so I just didn’t let it get to me. You can’t always be there for those that are suffering. You just do what you can and go from there.

    I did feel very sorry for the people who had died, and even more for their family members who will never see them again. One thing that amazed me was how many people knew someone who had died during 9/11. I was a bit surprised that a terrorist attack happened on U.S. soil.

    At the same time though, war goes on in many countries around the world. This was a big deal because it happened in New York in World Trade Center buildings. If it had been a war that had killed even more people somewhere in a lesser-known developing country, the world would not pay nearly the same amount of attention. Sad, but true.

    My life was not greatly impacted by 9/11, other than the increased security at airports (still don’t fully understand the ban on liquids but completely understand checking ID). I also am not a fan of the “Patriot Act” because basically it takes away rights of Americans, but that is my POV. Oh, and the ethnic and religious profiling that happened after the attacks did affect some of my relatives within my extended family’s willingness to embrace the though of me dating my ex-boyfriend who was Saudi. I was kinda hesitant to tell them we had broken up because I didn’t it to influence their prejudice to be any worse than it already was.

    As for the world being safer, I believe parts of it have gotten safer and parts of it have gotten less safe. Ditto for the threat of terrorism, though I believe the US government is doing what they can to make the US a better place to live.

    Safety has to be balanced with liberty and freedom. As the saying goes, the safest place is in a maximum(high)-security prison. Just wanted to remind people of this.

  5. *…willingness to embrace the thought of..
    *…I didn’t want it to influence…

    Sorry for the typos!

  6. I was at home and had turned on the tv to watch the news. I remember that the first plane had already hit and they were speculating that perhaps the pilot had a stroke or something really weird.Why would it hit the WTC? When I saw the second one hit I knew it was a terror attack but up until that moment it never occurred to me. I was holding my two year old daughter and i was trying to hold my emotions in check so that I would not frighten her. She kept asking me “mommy what is wrong?” I called my husband at work…I also knew instantly that America was going to strike back at whoever had done this…and they were going to strike back hard. No question about it. I also remember thinking that “this changes everything forever”.

  7. @StrangeOne..”At the same time though, war goes on in many countries around the world. This was a big deal because it happened in New York in World Trade Center buildings. If it had been a war that had killed even more people somewhere in a lesser-known developing country, the world would not pay nearly the same amount of attention. Sad, but true.”
    I think you hit the nail on the head..thanks for bringing it up 🙂

  8. I was at my parents early. I had dropped my kids at school. My dad had flown in from Ireland the night before. He had been there for his sister’s funeral. He was back and forth to Ireland twice in ten days, both for sister’s that died unexpectedly. My mom had called and said he was having trouble breathing. As I was getting him ready to go to the ER, a friend called to say a plane had flown into the tower. I turned the news on and really, at first, thought it was a terrible accident. Until I saw the second plane.

    Our ER was being renovated so there were no TVs in the rooms. My siser and took turns running out to the lobby to see what was going on. My dad was diagnosed with pleurisy (luckily no embolism) and we brought him home. For days after I was glued to the TV. It was wrenching to watch.

    I worked as a freelance court reporter in Boston and all work ceased. The place we parked was shut off from the public because the FBI had offices there. When we finally got to go into work, I kept looking at the skyline of Boston and wondering what it would have been like if the Prudential or John Hancock Tower had been taken out. And it was eerie driving into the city … no planes or helicopters.

    It did make me want to learn more about Islam and it’s people. And I’m glad I found certain sites, like this one and some others, to give me a balance. So many lump all into the same pot. At one of our local corner stores, the man is from Pakistan. He’s a very nice, very hardworking man and loves his family. He works about d18 hours a day in his store to provide for his family and grandchildren. Many people gave him a hard time, and that made me very sad. He’s been part of our community for a very long time. He was kind to me when I had problems in an abusive marriage. He would let me put essentials, eggs, milk, etc. on a tab and not worry until I could pay it.

    All in all, though, it was a horrific day. But it pulled everyone together. We had prayer services at our church. But it did make me worry about flying. I was to fly out to Florida shortly after and I nearly canceled my trip. My dad talked me out of it and said you cant live your life like that.

    For all the people that died, though, my heart breaks for their families.

  9. Mary…

    Your post reminded me of something else…

    The one thing that was really weird to me immediately following 9/11 is how quiet everyone was. It was as if the world stopped spinning for a brief time. At least where I lived (a medium sized city) there weren’t as many cars on the road, stores and restaurants were almost empty. And the weirdest of all is that people stopped talking to each other. They were lost so deeply in their own thoughts. Usually at the store the clerk will greet you or you say hi to people or have a chat or something like that. There was no chatter or banter or conversation beyond the basic to get the job done. Very odd…of course now things are back to normal but the shock at first was absolutely palpable. And despite all the somberness I didn’t hear a single person express a revengeful thought. Not that it didn’t happen, it is just that it wasn’t a knee jerk reaction “we’ll get them”. and amazingly I didn’t hear a lot of hate for islam or muslims either.

    Case in point: My husband was in school at the time and to supplement our income he moonlighted at a SMALL country hospital that served country people…the ones that are generally thought of as less “sophisticated” in many ways. Up until the point of 9/11 he said no one asked him where he was from (he is from India) …it wasn’t an issue ever. I don’t think most Americans had that mindset even in the smaller towns. Once 9/11 happened everyone (patients) asked him where he was from. It made people more aware but even still, they never said anything to him beyond asking him where he was from. So I don’t think there was this unconstrained and boiling anger.

  10. @oby – i was never asked where i was from or differentiated, probably because i look typically indian with the requisite symbols 🙂 bindi bangles etc., and talk with an indian accent however 2 patients refused surgery, since it was to be performed by my husband !!!! i found that incredibly stupid, of all the places an OR is the most secure gazzilion eyes and drs watching!!!! and if anything if i was in F’s place i would have been out to prove i was good 🙂 anyway it just opened up 4 hrs in his calender and a considerable amount of other time free to spend with us .
    one of the patient wanted back in , F was ok but i fought him on it and ultimately he refused to operate !!! was quite an issue back then and caused a mess, we’ve never interfeared in each others work but at this instance i felt the lack of trust!!! it’s really not wise to operate on someone if he had doubts , F would be setting himself up for a lawsuit if anything went bad.. that was not a good timein our lives!!! we seriously considered moving back home. that was a terrible time . i hope to god it never happens again.

  11. Radha…

    That is too bad about F. My husbands experience was much different and that is interesting considering it was a small southern community. Maybe they needed a doc so badly they didn’t dare say anything…

    Why did you consider moving home and how quickly did you decide that? My husband was glad to get out of the south as he felt it was more closed minded than other places in the USA, but never considered going home…not once. Even now wild horses couldn’t drag him though I have suggested retiring in India. I had a better experience and miss a lot of things from the south but he doesn’t. When we were out together, I never once experienced racism against him (or at least none that I could tell.)

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  13. I am so sad that this is never-ending. Worse things happen in the world on a daily basis but the US makes it seem as this event was THE ONLY event in the world. I wish ‘they’ would let it go instead of remembering, focusing and making it the most memorable thing ever. Yesterday is gone and it is time to move on. Remembering the past like this doesn’t do anybody any good.

  14. We were in Port Sidney Marina on Vancouver Island (Canada), our boat scrubbed down after a week’s sailing, and were flying to Seattle that morning to be back with our daughter and her family. We weren’t ready to leave on such a beautiful, hot sunny day, and my wife called WestJet to see if we could get an evening flight. It took forever to get through and she ended the call and said there was a great deal of confusion; all flights had been grounded, there might have been a terrorist attack in the U.S., no one seemed to know what was happening, but at the moment there were no flights, for a few hours at least.

    We tuned into a Seattle radio/tv station and listened/saw with the same horror everyone would later express. We went topside and joined small knots of people on the dock in quiet discussion, most of them Americans like us who wanted only to get back to home waters five miles east across Haro Strait. The marina lowered its several flags to half mast, people talked in low tones. The streets of Sidney were empty, not a single person or car moving as we walked into town for breakfast. In the diner there was only one person, a local businessman.

    Our cellphone was busy with incoming calls, had we heard? Friends came down to the dock and took us to their house to watch CNN and the endless replays of the planes flying into the twin towers. “You won’t believe it,” they said. We hardly could. The lasting impression we have of the few days following was the almost total silence. No planes flew low overhead landing and taking off from Victoria International Airport on the other side of town, few boats were coming and going, people were not laughing on the dock. Our world was standing still.

    To a Canadian it was shocking, but to us Americans it was more visceral, we felt gutted, we were scared, and it was through our eyes we better understood the deeper implications, had a foretaste of the security changes soon to follow. The border re-opened a few days later and with the all clear there was a solid line of American boats making a beeline for home. We got a flight and air travel has become an ever increasing aggravation. As a footnote, last month we were talking to one of our boat neighbors, a Harvard professor and his wife, a charming well read woman, and she had never heard of the diverted flights to Canada, the open arms of the many in Newfoundland and other outposts where Canadian generosity to their our American neighbors was in full bloom.

    Here’s an excellent video by Alan Jackson: Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning. He wrote this song shortly after the World Trade Center tragedy on 9/11. One of the most poignant songs written about that dreadful event. He put this video together many years after the event, but even so the images of that day are still burned into our collective memories forever ….

  15. Wendy you have said this other times too. I am wondering how Canada would feel if it happened to them…maybe they would feel differently and maybe not.

  16. Oby, it never does people well to relive and relive a bad event. This is not healthy. Every psychological study you see on a healthy mind will point out that a person has to forgive and move on. It is NOT HEALTHY to hold onto this all the time. People don’t have to forget but to have it put up front and center constantly and to make every anniversary a major event is NOT healthy. It keeps people afraid and fearful of Islam and I think that is the psychological intent of this. The event is glorified absolutely out of proportion. Of course Canadians would be devastated but I think we would move on. We would remember but we would move on. At least I hope we would.

    Canadians and Americans have no idea what it’s like to live in a war-torn world. Can you even begin to imagine what those people think of the way the USA carries on about 911? Americans are still living with fat bellies and basic peace and freedom and not worrying about whether their house will be shelled overnight or their women raped when they go out to the fields … I could go on and on. How do you think those people see the US and this ‘celebration’ remembrance?

  17. @Wendy – ‘the US makes it seem as this event was THE ONLY event in the world’

    I don’t believe that that is true at all. Why do you say that? While it wasn’t the ‘only’ thing in the world it was, and IS, the BIGGEST. Not just because of the loss of lives on US soil but because of how it impacted the WHOLE world not just one little town in the US.

    ‘Remembering the past like this doesn’t do anybody any good’

    Yes, yesterday is GONE but, history can teach and there is a LOT to be learned by this ‘one event’

  18. Like what???? Like what that hasn’t already been learned? Like what that has been ignored????

  19. @Wendy – I had posted that before I saw your post. I guess you kind of answered my question.

    ‘Canadians and Americans have no idea what it’s like to live in a war-torn world’

    Actually, Wendy, you are WRONG. There are PLENTY of Americans and Canadians that came from war torn countries. Why do you think they are so intent on making sure that their new homes REMAIN unlike where they fled from.

    ‘Americans are still living with fat bellies and basic peace and freedom and not worrying about whether their house will be shelled overnight or their women raped when they go out to the fields …How do you think those people see the US and this ‘celebration’ remembrance?’

    Why should what we do to grieve matter to them and why should we CARE what they think? I would hope that they take the time to ponder WHY they are continuously living as they are when the US is able to go on after such a horrible tragedy.

    But, seriously, why do you talk as though the US is the only people that hold commemorations on the anniversary of major historical events. LOLOLOL I take it you’ve never heard of Nakba Day Celebrations or the Shites Day of Ashura?

    Wendy, I have a feeling that you don’t really understand a lot about grief and the grieving process. Unfortunately, I do. It isn’t about ‘holding on’ to some kind of anger. It is about honoring and remembering those who were lost and it is HEALTHY to do that, much healthier than NOT doing it, actually.

  20. I will hold my tongue except to say you don’t know anything about me or what I have experienced. BTY this ‘non-religious’ person attended Ashura events twice in the past few years among others. Did I say they were healthy??? I still say most North Americans don’t have a clue what ‘great tragedy’ is. This anniversary has been discussed ad nauseam almost constantly since last year’s anniversary and let us not forget the mosque hue and cry. I will express my opinion (and that of “oh so many” others) and you can express yours. It is typically American and you can take from that what you will. Oh, and I am not talking about those who have come from war-torn countries. I’m talking about the ‘born in the USA’ American. I can’t imagine how those who have emigrated from war torn countries ‘look forward’ to this event and especially those with darker skin. ‘Nuff said.

  21. Wendy…I definitely can understand your perspective. But it is making me wonder what exactly Canada is seeing on their media every time the date rolls around…it seems that they are getting a bigger impression than it actually is here. There are no hallmark cards or celebrations or parties or anything ofmthe kind that I am aware of. At the most the president might remember the incident in a speech no more or less than they would do for Pearl Harbor remembrance or the end of
    WW2. I am really flummoxed as to why Canadians have the idea it is a celebration…I don,t even know anyone who talks about it except in passing if at all leading up to and on the actual date. That 9/11 changed the psyche of America there is no doubt, but let’s be clear…there is no major celebrations only remembrance of those who died and the determination not to let it happen again god willing.

    This year is a big year because the 9/11 memorial is going to be unveiled. Personally I like the fact that they made something good out of something bad. To my mind it is a place of peace and reflection of what hate ideologies can do…no matter from where they come. Being NYC people of every stripe will come to reflect and hopefully bring away a sense of hope for the future as well as a personal renewal that they will remember that each person can make a committment to being just a little bit better as a human being.

    Unlike what some media are trying to portray it as a “look at us…poor us…we were attacked”, I don’t think or at least I hope that people visiting won’t take it that way. I hope they will get the bigger picture and realize the lessons learned can be applied to everyone’s lives. On top of that, many countries have memorials to their dead…why shouldn’t the USA? It took place on US soil, but the lessons to be learned are transcendent of country/nationality/race.

  22. ‘I will hold my tongue except to say you don’t know anything about me or what I have experienced’

    Ooooh, a little testy? Sorry…LOL

    Wendy, no one EVER knows everything that another person goes through BUT we can deduce some things from their utterances. And from yours, I deduced, based on your advice to the grieving, that you don’t understand the grieving process. If you did you would NOT advise them to ‘move on’.

    Like Oby, I too ‘am really flummoxed as to why Canadians have the idea it is a celebration…’

    Unless we want to say it is a celebration in honor of the bravery of the heroes created on that day. I just can’t, for the life of me, see how that can be seen as a bad thing.

    Do people think any commemoration is a rally call against Muslims or something?

  23. Perhaps 9/11 is a big deal to some Americans precisely because we aren’t a country that has had to deal with many wars on our soil or children going to bed hungry or women being raped by child soldiers. We aren’t used to tragedy thus this one stands out in a big way.

    By contrast, my Syrian friend told me when we met that they have had to deal with so many conflicts, it’s almost a “joke” to wish each other “Happy New War” in the same way we’d welcome a new year.

    Maybe if we have more tragedies these single events (Pearl Harbor, 9/11) won’t be such big deals and we won’t have these yearly remembrances.

  24. I can see what you mean Susanne and yes, north America has been fortunate that it has not had a war on it’s soil since the Civil war (if we don’t count the 60’s turmoil) But by the same token, I don’t think that means we should not recognize what happened on 9/11. In fact, I think it a very real reminder how damn lucky we are to live in relative peace and prosperity. And if the 9/11 memorial does nothing else, maybe it will make us grateful for the peace and prosperity we do have and make us darn sure we guard it jealously…and at the same time give us a tender heart for those not quite so fortunate.

  25. Lynn, I believe I am old enough to be your grandma so suffice it to say that I’ve seen and experienced a lot of grief over the years and a lot of life. Life goes on, people should move on. People should not hang on to a tragedy for 10 years. It is acknowledged that Americans have changed since 911. They are uncertain and not moving on as they should. Think about that. The gov’t and media have been pushing fear and insecurity for 10 years. Enough already.
    Susanne, I agree that you have not had to deal with this before. North America hasn’t had to deal with this since our countries were formed but people still have to move along. Hopefully after this year the remembrances will become smaller and fear mongering will stop.
    BTW, it’s not just Canadians who are thinking this way. It’s been on international news for weeks now. I am Canadian and I am thinking this way and they are thinking this way in the UK and other countries as well.

  26. If the world experienced a 9/11 on a regular basis I doubt it would change a thing about us. Human beings are stubborn and learn slowly when it comes to changing how we behave towards others,,,,what we believe to be true about them etc. What’s a few deaths (and yes, 3000 was merely a drop in the water compared to the carnage humans have waged against each other in this bloody game of ethnocentrism.)

    America is having this continued observance, not to remind US about what happened to us…but to remind others that we haven’t forgotten. We have used and will continue to use 9/11 Anniversaries as an excuse to keep our hurt and anger alive…and so that the govt can continue to take away our rights …all in the name of Homeland Security.

    I stood in the home of a very close friend in Bahrain watching the towers go down. They were Bahrainis and they cheered as lives were lost. I was absolutely shocked to see this reaction to wanton murder…but then again…I see murder on the news and front pages everyday here in America and it seems to be glorified with round the clock updates and constant sensationalism.

    Americans are dying, more than 3000 a day Im sure, from inept medical coverage. Everyday in America americans die because they cant afford health care…but that isnt nearly as tragic as 3000 dying all at once…because its not sensationalized and is boring to the avid American tv watcher.

  27. @Wendy – ‘I still say most North Americans don’t have a clue what ‘great tragedy’ is’

    I do not deny that that is true (I also don’t believe that it is accidental). But, why should they not be allowed to grieve their tragedy just because they haven’t had that many of them? I can’t remember my son because others have lost more? I can appreciate the fact that others have lost more. I realize that no matter HOW bad something in my life is, there IS someone else in this world that has it much worse. Does that mean that I don’t have the right to remember my son any way that I feel fit?

    ‘This anniversary has been discussed ad nauseam almost constantly since last year’s anniversary…’

    Well, for one thing I’m going to guess that it’s the new Memorial Dedication as well as it being the 10 year anniversary is the reason for so much hype (If you insist that it’s there. I guess I don’t watch enough TV because I’m not really seeing anything like that) But then again, I guess they DO talk about 9/11 a lot since they are in the middle of a WAR because of it and of course the killing of bin Laden and all. Of course I am fairly confident that things would be much different if it was just a tragedy that happened without the threat of another one looming. Don’t you think?

  28. There is always a threat of tragedy looming somewhere, Lynn. You even have your home grown ones. And what war is it that you are in the middle of??? I seem to have lost the point of it if there ever was one. War on Terror? War on Drugs??? How about a war on poverty and a war on those against decent health care for Americans. Of course if the people of a country are kept fearful they will be able to ‘justify’ the billions they are spending on a ‘war’ instead of health care and education.
    If you want to mourn a tragedy to your country perhaps you should mourn the loss of income, health and life (both human and not) caused from off-shore oil drilling accidents. They have done more damage to the USA than 911 IMHO.

  29. @Wendy – I meant to say, I’m really impressed with your computer skills and how well you stay up on the affairs of the world at your advanced age (if my grandmothers were alive today they would be 106 and 120 years old! 😉 )

  30. ‘They have done more damage to the USA than 911’

    I agree. But, I don’t think that 9/11 damaged the US as much as it did other countries. Again, you can’t deny one thing just because there is another, unrelated thing. It’s not like if they commemorate and memorialize the heroes of 9/11 they can’t work on health care or other issues. We Americans are pretty good multi-taskers 😉

  31. So you come across younger than you are apparently.

    You are right that 911 damaged other countries more than your own. You went off and killed thousands of innocent peoples in countries who had nothing to do with 911. I also disagree with the US multi-tasking abilities. You’re government parties can’t even work together for a starter and that is causing untold damage to the US population because of party members who only want to hurt the ones in power. Politics everywhere suck but in the democratic world yours seems to be amongst the craziest. LOL!!!

  32. ‘but in the democratic world yours seems to be amongst the craziest. LOL!!!’

    I would have agreed with you on that if I didn’t see actual fighting in Parliaments between members. And the yelling and disrespectful behaviors in parliamentary session? SO very different from what you might see on C-SPAN if you ever watched that.

  33. ‘So you come across younger than you are apparently’

    Yes, thank you, But I owe it all to Oil of Olay 🙂

  34. Lynn…I was thinking the same thing…

    I must be numb or not watch enough news because although there is definitely more hype this year due to the Memorial, I just don’t see “nonstop” 9/11 promos…maybe I ignore them or don’t watch the right channels but no one I know is talking about it. I am wondering, are other countries/foreigners actually HERE during the date to see for themselves what is going on or if they are taking stuff off the media and running with it? Am I the only one that thinks, other than in a passing way and maybe a tv show on Discovery on 9/11, 9/11 is not focused on in such a heavy handed way? Maybe it is in NYC? I simply don’t know anyone who focuses on it or talks about it. Oh wait I fibbed…my neighbors daughter who is coming to visit her mom flies home on 9/11 and the daughter expressed a bit of nervousness about it. Her mom told her not to worry about it.

    Or maybe I guess we are never supposed to mention it ever again? Not sure…but in my world it is not a huge issue.

  35. Well Lynn – I don’t spend my life watching American news any more than I spend watching Canadian. I do tend to get my news more from international news broadcasters such as BBC World and Al Jazeera.
    Anyway, my whole point is that it’s fine to remember but not hype it. I guess I’m still boiling over the colouring book issue and that’s a prime example of what I’m talking about. Fear mongering and generating hatred.

  36. Wendy…it would depend on which side of the fence you sit, but I agree that it is a problem with the gov’t. I think both sides need to get their proverbial heads out of their proverbial butts! LOL!

  37. I’ve seen more coverage of Hurricane Irene (and now TS Lee and Katia) the last couple of weeks than 9/11 stuff.

    I didn’t realize people in other countries had to hear our news so much. I do see why that would be annoying if they were forced to listen to American stuff on their channels. If they don’t like all the 9/11 hooplah, by all means go watch something else like I do! 🙂

    *off to watch an Al Jazeera special on Bahrain that a Syrian friend sent me on Facebook this morning*

    Lynn, Oil of Olay 😀 I remember when my grandma used to wear that and when I’d kiss her, I’d come away smelling like that stuff. 🙂

  38. I certainly agree with that, Oby!
    Susanne, I don’t know if you get Al Jazeera TV – I’ve heard that it’s not available in the USA??? Anyway, they have the most wonderful and interesting documentaries on different subjects around the world. They have many focused on womens issues. They’ve had excellent coverage of what is happening/has happened in Bahrain. The Bahrain gov’t is trying to get some of Al Jazeera’s stuff snuffed.

  39. No, I don’t get it, but I watch some specials online. I “liked” them on Facebook and get quite a few news stories that I find interesting. Thanks for letting me know about the other stories. I may try to find them now! 🙂

  40. @oby,

    we didn’t move back 🙂 yet just considered it since thats always been home and we have a hosp there….9/11 made us not v comfortable raising kids here, i thought it was a impulsive decision & disuaded F, but 10 yrs later even though this is home , family is in india 🙂 so we’ll go back in hopefully 3=4 yrs, once my daughter isin college then we are free , we’ll go back and forth i guess… asw we get old we want to go back near family .not that india is v peaceful, but somehow F feels safer there . personal pref i guess.

  41. Wendy…

    I know it must be possible to get it here because one of my daughter’s classmates is partially Egyptian and her father who is egyptian regularly watched it. At least that is what they told me.

  42. @Wendy – ‘I guess I’m still boiling over the colouring book issue and that’s a prime example of what I’m talking about. Fear mongering and generating hatred’

    It is unfortunate that you would allow one thing to color the other (hehe I’m so punny!). That coloring book has nothing to do with the 9/11 Memorial or it’s validity. The ‘country’ is not promoting that coloring book nor are they making it a mandatory reading in schools. Parents can make a choice whether or not they think that it would be a good idea for their children. I haven’t seen the coloring book to judge whether or not it is ‘fear mongering’ but even if it is it does not automatically mean that any commemoration on the day would be the same. Perhaps you should reserve your judgement on the anniversary program until you have seen it. I highly doubt that you will find any fear mongering or hate speeches at the ceremony.

    ‘This anniversary has been discussed ad nauseam almost constantly since last year’s anniversary…’

    So, if you don’t watch American TV where are you seeing all this? BBC World or al Jazeera?

  43. oby, of course we get al Jazeera here. Can you just imagine how THAT ‘fact’ would have come out in a conversation? LOL and Wendy wants to talk about Americans fear mongering and hate speech. Too funny!

  44. Btw in Australia for the past 2 weeks its been 9/11 coverage non stop. and every year its the same deal..altho not as much as this year of course as its the 10 year anniversary. I guess the countries involved in the wars and those that are close allies to america will have non stop media coverage.
    Wendy has some really good points.

  45. Lynn, Wendy, Oby, et al. :
    First of all, let me say that I’m an American who DID have to worry about being raped (or at least my mom did) while I was growing up. Once we were followed around inside the local mall, where rapes were known to occur. So no, not all Americans are completely sheltered throughout their lives. Luckily, we were always okay, but I had friends that were molested, physically and emotionally abused, later joined gangs, etc. I never had to witness a murder, thankfully. Although I know of at least a few people personally who witnessed a robbery. (One of the places being a local pawn shop- and anyone who will rob a pawn shop where they sell legal weaponry and keep it BEHIND the counter are just plain CRAZY!!!) So yes, this sort of thing does still go on in the US; it just doesn’t get as much publicity.

    While I agree that it isn’t healthy to dwell on things in the past, at the same time 9/11 had an odd effect of uniting the whole nation together under one cause. (I’m not going to get all political and talk about the various countries the US invaded in the “war on terrorism”.) Maybe this is why it is brought up every year? Because it’s kinda like Memorial Day in that everyone in the nation can share a moment of silence, no matter religion?

    I imagine it can also be leveraged for a reason to invade other countries and to garner support for the “War On Terrorism”. It may also help the majority of Americans feel like something had been done for those that lost loved ones. I honestly don’t know, but for whatever reason this type of mentality seems to work for the U.S. I don’t pretend to understand the average person. I have a hard enough time figuring myself out! LOL.

    I have to agree with Wendy in that there is pain and suffering that goes on around the world, some of which have caused far more deaths than 9/11. And yet, they get practically NO publicity. Why is that?

    As for news watching, I simply don’t. It’s basically entertainment nowadays and I’d rather be watching cartoons (which I do watch). 🙂

  46. Just did some research and Al Jazeera is available only in a handful of cities. It is just now in New York with Time Warner. Other than that it is available on Satellite. There is a growing demand for the channel in the USA so hopefully everybody will be able to get it on cable soon. Apparently people have been writing in to their cable and satellite carriers to ‘demand AJE’.

    Lynn, the colouring book has everything to do with 911 and the remembering of it. The scary thing is that many parents would opt to give their children a colouring book of a tragic event. 😦 As to ads on TV – my husband was just watching something on TSN and there was an ad for coverage of the 911 memorial program and the leading picture for the ad was a plane hitting a tower. What more is there to say???

    “oby, of course we get al Jazeera here. Can you just imagine how THAT ‘fact’ would have come out in a conversation? LOL and Wendy wants to talk about Americans fear mongering and hate speech. Too funny!”

    Have fun with your sarcasm and silliness, Lynn. When words fail it’s a good cover.

  47. StrangeOne – I’m sorry about your near rape experience. I also had that. I was speaking more about the women of the Congo where right now it is estimated that there are at least 48 women raped every hour – a war against women. Just watched a documentary about a victim who has started a home and farm for other victims who are usually thrown out of their homes and villages for being raped. We North Americans simply do not have any idea …… unless we’ve been there.

  48. ‘I have to agree with Wendy in that there is pain and suffering that goes on around the world, some of which have caused far more deaths than 9/11. And yet, they get practically NO publicity. Why is that?’

    If they get no publicity then why do I know about the Nakba Day ‘celebrations’ and why do I know about Ashura and Holocaust remembrances? Again, what does other’s ‘pain and suffering’ have to do with 9/11 or how we might choose to remember/honor the victims?

  49. ‘Have fun with your sarcasm and silliness, Lynn. When words fail it’s a good cover.’

    Then it seems you should brush up on yours because your words are failing. 😉

    ‘We North Americans simply do not have any idea …… unless we’ve been there’ Seriously? Why do we have to have been there to understand the depravity of war and the depths that some people will go to for their own personal reasons? THAT is why we have historical museums and memorials. Never Forget. I’m curious what you might think about the ‘Killing Fields’ memorials in Cambodia.

  50. I was just thinking, do they still have Titanic Memorial Ceremonies on the anniversary of it’s sinking? If not, when did they stop?

  51. Lynn,

    ‘If they get no publicity then why do I know about the Nakba Day ‘celebrations’ and why do I know about Ashura and Holocaust remembrances? Again, what does other’s ‘pain and suffering’ have to do with 9/11 or how we might choose to remember/honor the victims?”

    The holocaust remembrance is also a piece of WWII, which the US was involved in.

    Ashura is a religious day observed around the world.

    I did not realize that Nakba Day was the name of the day, but I am also aware of this day of remembrance. With how much publicity the Gulf region has gotten in recent times, particularly Israel and Palestine, I would expect this. (And BTW, I do not understand why the formation of “Israel” was ever allowed in the first place but now that it’s in existence, what do you do?)

    What about South Africa where there is a high rate of rape? What about Congo as Wendy mentioned? Why don’t we hear more about the “War On Drugs” currently going on in Mexico and the US? What about Somalia and Sudan? What about the Kosovo War and bombing by NATO in the 90s? What about the war in Madagascar? What about the terrorist attacks in Turkey? What about the crime in America’s own ghettos? Then there is all other sorts of corruption going on around the globe that I won’t even get to, which can have a negative impact on people, environments, trade, education, food and water sources, etc. What about all the people around the world without clean water? What about the drought going on in Africa right now? What about the conflicts that happened in Indonesia including random car bombings? And I could go on and on and on…

    The point is not what does it have to do with other’s pain and suffering- just that pain and suffering is a part of life. Terrorist attacks are not limited to 9/11. Terrorist attacks that happen on US soil should not be the only ones that matter. I don’t really care how people choose to remember the victims. That’s their business. I don’t have a problem with a memorial being built if it helps those who were affected somehow. However, I do have a problem with the ethnocentric attitudes of many Americans. Sometimes, I get sick and tired of the “bubble” (sometimes a “bubble” within a “bubble” within a “bubble” within a bubble”- LOL) that is the United States. But then again, I imagine a lot of people around the world are blind to other cultures and countries. It’s not just the US, but it is most certainly easier to be this way when one lives in the US. (Okay, okay, maybe North America in general.) It’s easier simply because of how self-sustaining and large the US (and North America in general) is.

  52. Wendy,

    “StrangeOne – I’m sorry about your near rape experience. I also had that.”

    To be honest, I didn’t even know that it had happened until about a decade later! LOL. Thank goodness my mom figured it out! I don’t consider it near rape because none of us were assaulted.

    Unless, of course, you’re referring to what happened to me in England, which was a bit of a different story and which I would consider “near rape”. I am sorry to hear that you had to go through something like that, too. 😦

  53. ‘Terrorist attacks that happen on US soil should not be the only ones that matter’

    But who says that that is the case? I don’t think that is true at all.

    It seems that all I ever see on the news is about the famine in Somalia and what (non-Somalis) are doing to help alleviate the suffering there. Do you really think that I, or anyone, would expect them to care about 9/11? Absolutely not. But my point is that just because there is other serious suffering in this world does not mean that we can’t take the time to honor OUR dead.

  54. Here’s just ONE example of how Americans are not so oblivious and/or unconcerned about the suffering of others.

    http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/donate/solar-cooker-project

  55. @Strangeone – ‘Ashura is a religious day observed around the world’

    Yes, I know that. My purpose in bringing it up was to show that even non-Americans get fixated on things from the past. At least the 9/11 commemoration is an event where the people who are participating were actually personally connected to the event. Unlike those who whip themselves bloody in deep mourning on Ashura, we Americans are usually pretty subdued and solemn in our remembrances.

  56. Let me interject something here…Lynn has a point about many remembrances around the world happening year after year and no one thinks twice at it. Is it because it is AMERICA that the world feels they don’t have a right to remember their moments of heartbreak. That somehow we have no right to what the rest of the world does? Perhaps we are too privileged or maybe they feel we are too ignorant and as long as we have a place in the world of prosperity we have no right to feel we should remember…or more interesting, is it because 9/11 was done in the name of religion and that makes people uncomfortable?

    But here is my take on that…it was done in the name of a hate ideology no different than Nazism was a hate ideology. The only difference is that Nazism is not a religion…BUT they did target people of the Jewish religion (among others). I don’t think that the people who carried out the task or plotted 9/11 are representative of all Muslims… just as Nazis were not representative of all Germans. Should we not talk about the Holocaust because it makes Germans uncomfortable? I am not saying 9/11 is anywhere near the Holocaust in terms of scope, killing or suffering in terms of human life. I am just trying to say that the same hate ideology that allowed the Holocaust to happen is similar to the hate ideology that allowed 9/11 to happen.

    And I can’t help but wonder if Chrisitian radicals/terrorists/extremists perpetrated 9/11 in the name of God would anyone in the world even care that we remember it?

    Just wondering…

  57. Lynn & Oby,
    LIke I said, I think it is perfectly fine to have a day of remembrance. However, people dying in terrorist attacks happens all the time, and typically they are done because of a hate ideology. To think that this is a one-time thing that doesn’t happen anywhere else is to be delusional. However, most people prefer to be because they feel safer that way.

    People don’t want to know about the hurt and suffering in the world, ESPECIALLY if it happens in their own backyard. At least, that has been my experience. For example, when I have told my friends about living in the ghetto, most of them didn’t want to hear about it. Yet, it’s a part of my life and I have good memories there. So I can’t always talk about my past with everyone, which sucks because it is what it is.

    People would care that we remembered it simply because it happened on U.S. soil, and as much as most Americans don’t mind hearing about
    the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., they don’t want to hear about all the crime that goes on in their own area because then they wouldn’t feel as safe. They don’t want to hear about the gang-rapes, the drug-violence, people who hide in the bathtub because they just heard another drive-by shooting. They don’t want to hear about the children whose parents never taught them proper hygiene. They don’t want to hear about the people who can’t afford fruits and vegetables because it costs too much (so they live off ramen, cheap meat/dairy, etc.) and they make just enough that they don’t qualify for food stamps. They don’t want to hear about the people who can’t get dental care because their job doesn’t offer a dental care plan and they can’t afford to pay the cost of it themselves. (Waiting lists for free dental care places are super-long!) They don’t want to hear about how all this happens within the US. They’d rather hear about how it is happening in another country so that way, they feel less responsible and emotionally attached to the situation.

    If anything, I think the world is more respectful of the U.S.’s wish to have a day of remembrance for 9/11 because it happened on US soil in the WTC buildings. My experience has been that most people in the world are very interested in and respectful of Americans, no matter how they may or may not feel about US politics.

  58. I was at work, and got a call from my daughter in Europe. The second tower had just been hit and so the news was beginning to use the word ‘terror’. Turned on the TV and watched until both buildings went down.

    The fact is that we in the modern world, in most places (with some exceptions in Africa, MENA, Pakistan and certain parts of Mexico) have it pretty good today.

    Most people have no sense of history and how often violence has taken an innocent people and cruelly destroyed them. If you lived anywhere up until the 1700s you either had very little or you were at the mercy of a tyrant. You would be a victim of class, famine, disease, or violence, both local or imported.

    I often think of the people of india in the path of Ginghas Khan, or the people of Baghdad in 1258, or Europeans in the 30 years war, the French in the path of the Germans in 1940, or the American Indians watching the Whites cross the plains, the inhabitants of Jerusalem or Constantinople surrounded by invaders, and so on.

    These people knew change was coming and that it would not be good – and there was nothing they could do about it. They were not kings or generals, just innocent people who would pay with blood and suffering.

    We in the modern world have no concept of history and the pain that has usually been the lot of mankind. We are very fortunate.

  59. Ah, ten years ago, I was on W14TH in NYC. Still, to this very day, it is hazy too me. ( I had bizaare dreams there afterward) Smells no longer trigger memories, so that is great progress.I lost friends and co-workers. I still cannot believe that it has been ten years.
    The irony now is that at the moment I am in ME, (Kurdistan-near Erbil) working on development project. I feel rather than divide peoples of world, help them constructively, so that is the healing process for me really.

  60. @Strangeone – ‘To think that this is a one-time thing that doesn’t happen anywhere else is to be delusional’

    I don’t think that anyone thinks that way at all. Why do you think that they do?

    To those who think this ‘celebration’ and CONSTANT talk about 9/11 is an arrogant ‘American Thing’ take a gander at this. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/july7

    Lori, I don’t understand what it was you expected from your friends who didn’t want to hear about your ghetto life. What was it, exactly, that you wanted them to know and why? I grew up in Detroit. By the time I left it there were only a few houses left on our street. The rest had been burned down crack houses. At the time, that was the only way to move the crack dealers out since the police couldn’t do anything about it. Do you know what kind of fun it is to come home late at night to have about 6 ‘crack monkeys’ sitting on the curb of your parking spot? What would you have done in that situation? Anyone wanna guess what I did? LOL Yep, I steered right at them with NO hesitation and you wouldn’t believe how FAST they could move with a little red Gremlin coming straight at them! So anyway, yeah people get tired of living with that kind of thing so they burn them out.Hopefully the people that set it on fire didn’t do it while you were sleeping and unable to get the hose out to protect your home from catching fire (because the fire department will not likely make it there to put the fire out since there are SO many of them burning all over the city). I had a friend who’s sister got raped walking to school. Another felt like she was in a combat zone on her way to catch the bus to get to school she would almost ALWAYS have to fight her way through. She was quite the scrapper that one. LOL Anyway….So what? Right? Lots of people in the world live WAY worse than that and they don’t have the ability to get out of it like we did. But I don’t think it is fair to say that no one cares. If no one cared then movies like Precious and Slumdog Millionaire would never have been made. I was talking to my sister today and she was complaining that they are going to be taking away her health care and she is going to have to pay for it herself to the tune of a few hundred dollars a month. She was not real pleased when I pointed out to her that she has a LOT to be thankful for and that she should be glad that she HAS the means to pay for it even if it leaves her in tight finances.

  61. @Jay – ‘We in the modern world have no concept of history and the pain that has usually been the lot of mankind. We are very fortunate’

    Yes we are very fortunate. But I think that the fact that we know this means that we DO have some concept of it. No? I mean why else do we do as much as we do to try to prevent repeats of these horrific events?

  62. Are we really in that much of a changed world today or is it that modern technology allows us to see how history either repeats or seems to stand still?

  63. We are in a changed world and modern technology has helped prevent some of history from repeating itself. Could you imagine what could have been if someone in Auschwitz had had access to YouTube like people do today? Would there have been an ‘Arab Spring’ if there was no internet?

  64. An interesting article on Al Jazeera about the colouring book.
    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/americas/2011/09/06/colouring-books-colouring-young-minds

  65. Wendy, the problem is that Hopper, Aljazeera and other Muslims will not only focus on this coloring book, but will editorialize on its effect on children – yet totally ignore their own ‘educational’ literature and, most of all, the Quran.

    Do you not think the hideous portrayal of non-Muslims in those texts has no effect on Muslim’ attitudes? Is it bad for infidels to publish a few thousand copies of a silly child’s book that has unkind words about Muslims, yet just fine and dandy for 100s of millions of Quran to inform children that non-Muslims are “lower than animals in the sight of Allah”, not to mention the traditional cursing of infidels by Imams in the mosques.

    Why can’t we see just once, somewhere, a Muslim that will change these things? Muslims have no ability or desire to reflect on Islam, and that is why there is no hope…

  66. @Wendy – What part about that article was the most interesting to you?

    This was the most interesting part to me:

    ‘CAIR declined, as Hooper says, because it is clear when a “group has an agenda,” which in this case was to “smear Islam”, it’s pointless working together.’

    Then the idiot admitted that he never saw the letter and he is ‘assuming’ that the person who got the letter from the publisher did some ‘research’ and found their agenda and THAT is why they never responded. BULLSHIT!! How can he sit there and make a claim when he doesn’t even know what the hell he is talking about?

    I would like to see the whole coloring book before I make judgement on it but so far I have not seen anything that I think is false or misleading. They are complaining because the called the 9/11 highjackers Muslim extremist radicals (or whatever it was they used to differentiate between your average Muslim and the extremist Muslim). What? Should they have just called them ‘Muslims who hate America and what we stand for’?

    Bottom line, like the Palestinian parents who put their children down in front of a TV with a Jew hating Mouse (Farfour), American parents should be able to choose what they want their children to see. No? If that father is concerned about his kid reading this and thinking poorly about himself then the solution is pretty simple. DON’T buy this coloring book for them. BUT, I would hope that this father who is raising his American Muslim child, WOULD teach him the difference between him, a nice normal Muslim, and a radical Muslim Extremist. If he doesn’t teach him that then I think HE is the irresponsible parent.

  67. Just because somebody else does something hateful it justifies ‘so called intelligent and free’ people to do the same??? An eye for an eye???
    I don’t care what others do and because I’m not American I shouldn’t care what they do but unfortunately much of the world thinks of Canada and the USA as one and the same so I am saddened by this.
    I have said before and I will say again that it is no way to teach children history. It is disgusting in my mind and the mind of many others.

  68. I live in a conservative area of the US (which means we are the most hateful and racist 🙂 ) and I never heard about this coloring book in the paper or local news or elsewhere UNTIL I saw it on Muslim blogs. It’s kind of like the guy wanting to burn the Quran, the more people talk about it, the more free publicity he gets. Same with this coloring book getting free advertising. Isn’t the best thing to ignore these people and not give them their fifteen minutes of fame?

  69. Wendy, I don’t think that this coloring book is anywhere CLOSE to an eye for an eye. But I think that judgement of it should be held until we have seen the whole thing. It would be nice if we could hear from some parent that chose this coloring book for their child and see what they were thinking and how their child felt about it. I think it must not be that bad or we would be seeing more pages of it. So far, the worst I see is that it doesn’t speak in flowery words about the people who did this horrible act but it DOES make it very clear that they are NOT normal Muslims. How is that wrong? But I think it is CLEARLY wrong and VERY hypocritical for that idiot Ibrahim Hooper to pass judgment and make accusations of an ‘agenda’ as he did. Do you not agree?

  70. I am very interested to learn how American (or any nationality for that matter) Muslim teaches their kids about 9/11. Do we have any Muslim parents here that would like to share?

  71. Susanne…

    Your comment made me laugh…I need to get out from under my rock because I had not heard about it until Wendy mentioned it on this blog…then I had to look it up and the article I saw did not have deep details…so how did anyone find out about this? Where is it being publicized? And if it is an independent publisher…I kind of put him in the same category as Rev. Jones the infamous quran burner. Who would know about it if people didn’t make so much noise about it…

  72. @Oby – Exactly! Anyone can create any thing and even if this coloring book IS offensive or something, so what? Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. I find the Quran offensive but I don’t complain about IT being published and I even read the thing so if I were to complain at least I know what I’m talking about 😉 The people complaining about this coloring book haven’t even seen it!! LOL

  73. @Lynn, Obby…
    keep it coming! it’s getting more interesting to read the discussion! =)

  74. @lynn,

    I’m not muslim, but F is, what is so difficult about 9/11 to teach, my kids were 7 and 9-10 when it happened. that;s quite old enough to understand the diff between good and bad. of courcse they know their dad is muslim and that the large group called muslims hold people good and bad, just like in an dentire school there are good and not so good kids, just like there are people free and people in jail .

    The koran can be interpreted many diff ways just like any holyy book, they are taught to intepret in a way that doesn not cause harm to others and gives them a sense of peace and values, just like they are taught to interpret the bhagavat gita and taught that mindless rituals have no purpose and all it takes is pray with an open heart and clean mind.

    and No 9/11 did not cause then to pick my religion over f’s !!! fro somereason people think my children are so idiotic to let the actions of a few speak for a whole group of people. They choose to follow a particular religion because they prefer it, they are exposed more to it, the grandparents who influence them are from that religion and basically i have more time than F to spend in their religious upbringing…

    I don’t think it is hard to explain religion i think it’s a harder task to make the kid a satisfied, humble and compassionate human being even in times of crisis.
    how we raised them – only time will tell 🙂
    so far they stay iin school , keep their nose out of trouble and look to be achieving their dreams in their chosen careers and on the way to a independant life — can aparent ask for more??

  75. I just watched a program on NOVA called “Engineering Ground Zero”. Maybe you can find it on the internet or your local channel.

    Excellent!! It was a show documenting the rebuilding of the WTC in that area and the memorial.

    For those who are worried it is too sensational i don’t believe it is. I missed the first 10 minutes or so, so I can’t speak about that but the rest of the program spoke almost exclusively about the architecture, engineering and building that went into it…very very interesting. For example, they wanted concrete that could withstand another enormous impact but such a thing did not exist. They had to actually invent concrete like that. The original concrete could withstand 5000lbs/sq inch of force. This concrete is 16,000lbs/sq in.! more than twice that of Hoover dam. Also fascinating is how they built it to be a “bunker” like strength but made it visually very appealing. The architect spoke on how he tried to incorporate strength and yet make it creative, modern and still incorporate some of the geometry of the old WTC into the new one. I am really into scientific stuff like this so I found it very interesting.

    The creation of the Memorial was done with a great deal of care and respect not only for the families of the lost ones but with the future visitors in mind. The show spoke about the thought and care and planning that went into the Memorial.And Mayor Bloomberg said more or less what I said…it isn’t only for Americans, it is for the world to come and visit and reflect. It is to be a gathering place for many nationalities to sit in the park and feel peaceful. He said they specifically tried to make something good out of something bad. I guess you do have to be American to understand that sentiment..It makes perfect sense to me.

  76. Radha…

    “I don’t think it is hard to explain religion i think it’s a harder task to make the kid a satisfied, humble and compassionate human being even in times of crisis.
    how we raised them – only time will tell
    so far they stay iin school , keep their nose out of trouble and look to be achieving their dreams in their chosen careers and on the way to a independant life — can aparent ask for more??”

    If my kid does that I will be one satisfied mommy!

  77. @radhaa – Your kids don’t really count since they lived through the event and there is very little chance that they don’t already know the facts. I’m just asking because that Muslim man that was talking on the video was talking about his kids being hurt in some way by being told that it was crazy Radical Muslim Extremists that were behind the event. I’m just curious what parents of the Muslim kids who are maybe 7 or 10 now and don’t really know the facts teach them.

  78. @radhaa – ‘I don’t think it is hard to explain religion i think it’s a harder task to make the kid a satisfied, humble and compassionate human being even in times of crisis.’

    I agree! That’s how I raised mine too and I was pretty successful. Then the damned RELIGION came into the picture and I couldn’t make her understand it and all of a sudden all that compassion that I’d nurtured in her was only for those who shared her faith. To HELL with the rest of them even if they gave birth to you and/or nurtured you from their hearts sacrificing everything else to make a good home for you…But I’m not bitter, uh uh 🙂 LOL

  79. Perhaps someone should let this guy know about the coloring book? lol

  80. good points, Lynn. Sometimes though the use of today’s technology has allowed for too much graphics but at the same time, it does keep people informed and informed quickly.

    Grass roots actions are becoming easier and easier through the use of social media and social media is making a significant impact with the Arab world for sure.

  81. I agree that it is important to see the understanding of 9/11 through a child’s eyes. This is not limited to American Muslim or Muslim children either. Many times children are better at building bridges than adults.

  82. Carol…

    ” Sometimes though the use of today’s technology has allowed for too much graphics but at the same time, it does keep people informed and informed quickly.”

    I was thinking that exact thing today…20 years ago before social media this coloring book story would have gotten no traction and probably a minimum of buyers. But because everything is immediate now, some guy in the far reaches of the world can find out about it and it can take on a major life of it’s own becoming way bigger than it deserves. These sort of things would fall through the cracks and most people would be none the wiser and no one offended and it would have probably burned out quickly.

    Now fairly stupid things are getting so much attention and it is not only exhausting people from being in a constant state of arousal(generally offended), it is pitting people against each other. So now the “Americans” (as in the nation) are idiots who hate muslims and would buy this book when in reality without social media 99% of the country probably would not have known about it much less buy it.

  83. Oby — exactly!!

  84. But Oby, I don’t think we, or Muslims, have any reason to be upset about this coloring book. I don’t see any evidence that it contained any hate mongering what so ever.

    To those that think that it IS offensive is it because it talks to kids about something horrific when children shouldn’t have to worry about? Or is it because it said who did it? Or is it, as I suspect, because it does not list all the ‘very valid reasons’ that these people have for hating us?

  85. There’s quite a few interesting things in this article. I was surprised to hear that young, single Saudi men are now out living on their own rather than with family. I guess they could have some couch surfers over for the night.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/09/07/140247658/post-sept-11-saudi-arabia-modernizing-slowly?ft=1&f=1001

  86. I know that comic books and coloring books have been used very successful to help explain complex issues. I’ve only read about the coloring book and have not seen one so I can’t voice a statement about it.

  87. On 9/11 I was in my office in Jeddah, my first day back at work after summer vacation. It was in the afternoon and my boss called my extension to tell me to log on to the news as a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. I thought it was some strange joke but was stunned to see if for myself. We all watched the news for hours and the majority of my workmates (from throughout the Muslim world) were appalled and horrified and some asked me if they could donate blood at the US consulate for the victims. Over the next day I received many emails, calls and sms messages of sympathy. I suppose these dear people thought that by reaching out to me they would send their condolences to the American people. It was a sad time for everyone I knew.

  88. Lynn…

    I think a coloring book can be a very good tool to teach children about a variety of subjects. It reaches them in a way that is not threatening and comfortable. So I do think it can be a useful tool.

    This coloring book is of a very traumatic event and as such I think they have a responsibility to make an extra effort to take care. If one wants to use it to explain the events of 9/11 I think the parent AND the coloring book manufacturer need to be clear about the difference between Muslim extremists and mainstream Muslims who themselves were hurt by 9/11. I don’t think it should be sanitized, but I also don’t think it should be brushed with a broad brush. For example (and this is conjecture as I have seen only a few pictures of the book via Wendy’s link and I can’t read any of the print) if the terrorists are going to be distinguished as Muslim extremists then there has to be a counter balance to show Muslims who are praying on that day or the grief that average Muslims felt just like the rest of Americans. This will help distinguish between those with a political hate ideology and those who do not have any such ideas and show that the IDEOLOGY does not equal all muslims.

    The one picture with Bin Laden behind his wife did bother me. I think that is too inflammatory for children. It made me cringe in the same way that I do when I see shows on these anti government militants teaching their children…very small children to use a weapon. It always strikes me as irresponsible. The picture shows a bullet heading toward Bin Laden…that is far too graphic for me. If they want to mention it (and I feel it is not necessary) there are many other ways to take the moral high ground and express that idea.

  89. Yesterday I watched Frontline. It was about how people’s religious beliefs were challenged on 9/11 and now 10 years later where are they…had they reconciled it…some had and some hadn’t and some had not had their faith shaken to begin with. I thought it was a very sensitive show that talked about both sides of faith…on one hand it propels people to do expansive, wonderful and courageous things and on the other it can also be used as a catalyst for great destruction. What is faith??? Obviously, it was against the backdrop of 9/11 but it wasn’t anti islam. Islam was mentioned lightly, but it was more about faith in general. The one thing that did bother me is that (I think) in an effort to avoid sensationalism and blowback they barely had Muslims participate. I think this was a mistake…I really wanted to know how a Muslim might feel that someone of their faith had done this. I think their perspective was especially important and yet it was in the show only in a small way.

    Having said that there were two people who said something that I found very interesting. One was a priest who said when he heard of 9/11 he was not at all surprised at who (meaning religious extremists-not necessarily muslims) had committed it. He said “religious passion is the most powerfully destructive force on earth.” I thought that statement quite true…how much suffering has been done on earth through the ages due to religion?

    The second was a professor of Middle Eastern Studies. He said that one of the problems that faces contemporary Islam is that jihad has been redefined in a very destructive way. He said jihad traditionally meant a struggle against a combatant for the greater good of the community. To give your life in the service of trying to help your community was considered a good thing. He didn’t give the happy answer that it is an internal struggle with oneself, but called it what it is…a war with combatants. He said the problem is that now in modern Islam that line has become blurred and Jihad that ends in martyrdom (they can’t call it suicide because that is expressly forbidden in Islam) is considered the ultimate way of getting closer to God. Sort of like your personal ticket to the front of the line…He said this reinterpretation has made the line between true combatants (those in hand to hand combat with you) and ideological combatants (basically innocent people who have done nothing to Muslims but who represent an ideological enemy Ie: people in WTC aka “Americans” or the West) very fuzzy and has allowed this idea of jihad against anyone other than yourself (or faith) to be able to be justified. I thought that was a very interesting comparison.

    Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic studies (I think) said several things: He said as a Muslim you cannot look at yourself with any kind of integrity unless you can honestly confront the fact that “this remarkable amount of ugliness” aka 9/11 was committed in the name of the Islamic faith. That is a starting point he said.

    He said well before 9/11 there was the blowing up of the Buddha statues, the oppression of women, and the decision to have Christians and Jews wear distinctive marks in Afghanistan, imposed by the Taliban. Bin Laden was the representative of puritan extremism within Islam and that they want control and to be the ONLY representatives of Islam. They want to tell you what God wants and what Islam is…period. He said that while few in the Muslim world are as arrogant or self righteous as Bin Laden what he finds dangerous is the type of thinking that would allow one to think that they speak decisively and authoritatively for God. He said the problem is that this type of thinking is widespread in contemporary Islam. He says this is feeding the intolerance in the Islamic world.
    He went on to talk about the importance of the autonomy of the individual and conscience and the acceptance that the law does not necessarily embody morality, but that morality must always examine the law and shape the law. He did not say Shariah but I am assuming that is what he meant. He was advocating ijtihad… although he did not say that,that is ultimately what he was saying.

  90. And that is why I personally do not want anything to do with any organized religion. One can have faith and believe in God without the interference of men.

  91. @Oby – ‘I think they have a responsibility to make an extra effort to take care.’

    Actually, no, they don’t. It is the PARENTS that have that responsibility. But, the coloring book calls the terrorists that did this ‘freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists’. If they had just simply called them ‘Muslims’ then I might see CAIR having a legitimate gripe about it.

    The coloring book is not about Islam. It is about a horrific event in our history that was perpetrated by ‘freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists’. The truth is ugly but it would be a greater disservice to education to ignore it.

  92. @Wendy,
    I agree with everything you said- and thank you for taking the time to post it. I wouldn’t have had the time or energy.

    I was in Jeddah when the attacks occurred. They changed my life- but of course not in the super dramatic way it did for others. It created a challenging time for my American/Saudi family. With the result that my kids are probably less comfortable in the US than they would have been. It makes me sad- but they are safe and have a strong family support in both countries. It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims. Not just initially but even now so many nurse their hate. The anti-Americanism wasn’t as bad in Jeddah- though there was some, and neither location was as comfortable as before. It surprised me, but it is what it is. I’m grateful I don’t live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine or Iran.

  93. @Sandy – ‘It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims’

    I disagree that it became socially acceptable to to express hate towards Arabs and Muslims. Why do you think that it did?

    I have intentionally had the TV on to try to see why someone might have a problem with a commemoration of this horrible event and can you believe that I have not ONCE heard the words Arab, Muslim, Extremist, bin Laden or al Qaeda. But rather inspirational stories of survival and hope, of strangers helping strangers, of strength and carrying on as well as remembering and honoring those whose lives were lost on that day and what their loved ones have done to cope since that day. For the life of me I don’t see how that can be seen as a negative.

  94. I, too am grateful I don’t live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine or Iran but I would also add Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to that list. 😉

    Oh, I forgot to ask, would you agree that it IS socially acceptable in KSA to freely express hate towards Americans and non-Muslims? If 9/11 had happened in KSA by Americans how many American flags would have been burned? How many rallies with thousands upon thousand shouting ‘Death To America’ would there have been. There was not ONE rally in the US calling for death to Muslims or Arabs.

  95. Say what you like Lynn. The atmosphere was worse for us as Arab/Muslims in the US than it was for us as Americans in Saudi. I have seen people yell a women in Hijab (who were clearly white Americans) minding their own business simply because they were wearing it. I know many people who had bad things happen in America. None of them even remotely implicated in any incidents of any kind. Several of them American but obviously with the wrong sort of name.

    I don’t know if there would have been rallys in Saudi Lynn and neither do you. I do know that US military has been here and they have killed plenty of Arabs in neighboring countries and there haven’t been demonstrations.

    And no it is not socially acceptable to freely express hatred towards Americans and non-Muslims. Does it happen sometimes? Yes. But no-not acceptable.

  96. And I bet you have seen MORE women out minding their own business NOT wearing hijab in Saudi and they get yelled at too, don’t they? 😉 But THAT yelling IS sanctioned by the government. When they do it here they can be prosecuted for a hate crime or intimidation. Do you REALLY want to make a comparison? LOL

    ‘And no it is not socially acceptable to freely express hatred towards Americans and non-Muslims’ I guess not to YOUR American face but others have different stories. Perhaps, Sandy, you have forgotten the REASON why there is such security at compounds for Americans and other Westerners who live in Saudi Arabia. 🙂

  97. Sandy, demonstrations are not allowed in Saudi Arabia but I think that an exception would be made if an event like 9/11 happened and Americans were the ones that did it. Don’t you think?

  98. Lynn,
    I am simply sharing my experience. Make of it what you will. Based on many things Saudi treats people worse than does America. But the change post- 911 made it worse in many ways in the US. That is my only point. The other comparisons are irrelevancies to my point about my experiences which have gone on for MANY years. And no- I doubt very much they would allow demonstrations.

  99. Actually, you weren’t just sharing your experiences. You made a false accusation against the US when you said ‘It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims.’

    False and/or exaggerated statements like that how we end up with so many Muslims (who have never stepped foot here) believing that the US is at war with Islam. Do you think that that is productive?

    It is no secret that I am no fan of Islam (the religion, not the people) and my opinion is based on facts. But when I hear people say things that are blatantly incorrect about Muslims, Islam, Saudis, whatever, I will correct them. EVERY time.

  100. I’ll say it again because it’s true: “It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims.’

    THAT was my experience. I do not think I had a false or exaggerated experience. You are free to believe as you choose.

  101. No, that is a statement about American society. If you were talking about your experience (which would have been limited as you were living in KSA for the last 30 years,if I recall) you would have talked about specific things that happened to you personally that made you come to that conclusion. But to claim something as ‘socially acceptable’ based on a few personal experiences is as wrong as me going around telling Americans that Muslims want to steal your children from you.

  102. You’re welcome to your opinion and judgement Lynn. I don’t agree with it. Nor am I required to provide more specific examples. People can decide for themselves if they think what I say is credible or not. Though for the record I said it was “socially acceptable” for “some”.

  103. Sandy and Lynn,

    Excuse me but the Question needs to be turned around, kind of like this: Why is it so common for Muslims to express hate towards non-Muslims. Lynn says it is rare but I assume she is limiting it to her associations. In so many areas of Islamic society (government, schools, media, mosques, stc…) the vile language directed at non-Muslims never ends. It is a two way street. Muslims continually complain about how they are perceived by Non-Muslims, yet never ever consider the consequences of the hideous and negative portrayal of non-Muslims in Islamic communities, and particularly in the Quran and hadith. Can one argue that this has no effect on Muslim attitudes? I

    The fact is that the hajib makes women an easy target – they are the visual of Islam. Note also that Muslim men pretty much exempt themselves from this burden. How convenient.

    Sandy, when I see a Muslim, I think of the Quran and what it says about non-Muslims. I think of how you people treat others where you dominate. I think of the how little Muslims respect others. Is this wrong? Do you think that a Muslim should be exempt from the associations linked to Islam? If you wear the veil, you do so because you believe in Allah and want to please him (or because your husband, father, brother, government, Imam, etc… makes you wear it). At that point you have demonstrated your subservience to a god that I find disgusting, based upon his fickle inconsistent nature and predilection for torture and defamation of people for, oh horrors, not believing in him and his prophet – another person of dubious morality based upon islam’s own writings.

    Since 9/11 nothing has changed. Muslims have not changed – they have not reflected on the dogma that lends so easily to terror and suffering. They blame their problems on others or a few “not real” Muslims. Non-Muslims also have not changed – many want to believe in a fuzzy feel-good just-like-us Islam and many others see Islam as a dangerous ideology that that contributes more than its fair share to the pain, discrimination and death we see in our world.

    Sadly I don’t see any middle ground and most people will be forced to take sides. The future will not be nice. The only hope (my opinion) is that Muslims will change (you know – respect others, support freedom of speech and religion, equality of all people, end the blasphemy and apostasy laws, and recognize that non-Muslims have the right to criticize Islam, Allah, Mohammed and Muslims). Oh wait, we are doomed.

  104. @Jay -‘Lynn says it is rare but I assume she is limiting it to her associations.’

    Actually, Jay. I didn’t say that. Sandy was the one denying it. I wouldn’t, I’ve read the Quran and I know how Muslims are instructed to feel about non-Muslims. 🙂

    Sandy, thank you but I know that I am welcome to my opinions and judgments, just as you are. I wasn’t the one making any judgments though.That was you, and it wasn’t on ‘some’ it was on ‘so many’ and it sounded inflammatory and even borderline hate mongering-ish. I was just trying to draw your attention to that because I know how much you HATE that kind of thing. 😉

  105. Just because somebody else acts badly is no reason for me to act badly. Just because KSA might not treat non-Muslims with as much respect as one might like is no reason that others from another country should treat Muslims badly, etc. etc. etc.
    Lynn, you often turn and point your finger at ‘the other guy’ and basically say ‘well, they do it so why shouldn’t we’ as a reason for something happening in the USA. I know those aren’t your words but that’s what it boils down to. If the USA and Americans are such great wonderful people then they shouldn’t lower themselves to what others do. I know I’m exaggerating here but don’t turn something around as to what ‘the other guy’ does. It accomplishes nothing.
    I hate when Muslims insinuate that I should convert. In fact I hate that they even dare ask me what my religion is or if I believe in Got but I put up with it. Because some Muslims do something I consider very rude and non of their business is no reason for me to act in a way I don’t like.

  106. @Wendy – ‘Lynn, you often turn and point your finger at ‘the other guy’ and basically say ‘well, they do it so why shouldn’t we’ as a reason for something happening in the USA.’

    That’s not true at all. I am not excusing any behaviors, I am saying that the accusation is not valid. There IS a difference. Too many times I hear people that have never been to the US saying things like the US is at war with Islam etc and I think that it is BECAUSE people like Sandy go around making statements like she did. You yourself made a statement of fact that al Jazeera is not allowed in the US when that was not a fact. Where did you get that info? From someone who was trying to paint the US as Islamophobic is my guess. I think those same people would also say that Americans were happy for 9/11 as it was ‘Golden Opportunity’ to freely bash Muslims. That just bugs me because I think there are more Americans that defend Muslims and their civil liberties than those that bash them.

  107. Al Jazeera was NOT allowed into the US. People lobbied and complained and got their cable companies to start carrying it. It is still not carried everywhere in the US. Here are three reads for you, Lynn.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/demandaljazeera/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jazeera

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/30/al-jazeera-english-us_n_816030.html

  108. Our teacher was talking about 9/11. Mostly I was 2 by then when that happened, i didn’t know about the crash. But were the hijackers killed in the crash too?

  109. Were those hijackers killed in the crash?

  110. @Lynn- it’s your “judgement” that it bordered on hate-mongering. Your judgement that “BECAUSE people like Sandy go around making statements like she did.” that people think “the US is at war with Islam.” Whatever. As I said you are welcome to your opinions and judgements. I”ll try to let you have the last word- since its so important to you- though if you say something particularly insulting I may respond. Or I may not if I think you’re just trying to make a splash.

    Jay, I often talk about the way Muslims treat non-muslims. This post was about how 9-11 affected us- the readers of this blog. So in this thread that is what I addressed. You consistantly embrace the type of Islam that the terrorists do as the “true Islam”. I have many times explained that I (and many others) see it differently. I don’t judge people on their faith but on their actions. I totally believe in the separation of church and state, and I am a Muslim. So you’ll have to deal (or not) with the fact that all those things can co-exist in one person. Oh. And I have at times worn hijab- or not. My choice.

  111. “It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims.”

    I agree with you, this has been the trend in Finland (and elsewhere in Europe) also.

  112. ‘Or I may not if I think you’re just trying to make a splash’

    Oh, have I ever done that before? Ridiculous!

    And thanks(?) for the empty gesture of giving me the last word. We both know better. You are always promising it to me but you rarely follow through. That pisses me off because it does mean SO much to me. 😦 I hope you really mean it this time.

  113. Perhaps we need to define ‘socially acceptable’?

  114. Lynn,
    I know at some point you had asked something about what it was about me living in the ghetto that my friends didn’t want me to describe.

    For some, it is when I mentioned how I found it funny that a neighborhood kid tried to get on TV by jumping in front of a murder crime scene. The funny part was that the kid wasn’t put off by the crime scene because it wasn’t uncommon there. He was, however, intrigued with the idea of being on TV.

    Other times, just mentioning what it was like to share a bathroom with 9 other people and/or sleep in the living room on a recliner (also on the floor in my room by choice because I wanted the extra space to dance in and the bed I was offered would have consumed the space). Just things like that some of my wealthier friends found disturbing. Or having ramen as a staple in my diet (10/$1 special anyone? 😛 ), but to a lot of people this isn’t so bad.

    I don’t remember what else you’d asked me, though. Sorry! I’ll try and find your comment later. I’m off to bed now! Take care! ❤

  115. Today, I heard someone make a racist comment towards Arabs about “flying planes into buildings”. Made me want to lecture him for a good half hour on how being Arab or Muslim does not make them any more or less predisposed to acts of terrorism. grrr…..

    How do we work towards changing this mindset in others? How do you help others see their prejudice for what it is?

  116. @StrangeOne
    You can’t do anything about it. I don’t know what would it take to change the mid-set of others as you have said , Same as you can’t change the fact that it’s Muslim or Arab who had flown planes into buildings ten years ago!
    Yes, you can lecture him for a good half hour or you can take the whole day if you want … or weeks , or months ,years. It has been ten years to date…. still the world haven’t forgotten yet. We have moved on.. but will never forget. I don’t think not being able to forget of 9/11 tragedy would make me a prejudice.

  117. Actually, I am not surprised that due to 9/11 there was some anger against arabs/muslims. That is a no brainer. Hard to hold the anger back when you see images of people cheering and joyful that thousands who were not in combat with them were killed in such a horrible way. I don’t think up to that point there really was much thought given to Muslims in the USA. People just looked at them like any one else for the most part. They had no reason to look at them with suspicion. I think they assumed they were like most everyone else.

    The flip side of that coin…Let’s face it… the Arab world is pissed off at Americans that they are in Iraq/Afghanistan. Would you expect them not to be??? One could argue that not ALL Americans are in Iraq/Afghanistan so they should be angry at ONLY the military that is there, but that is not the case. There are people that hate Americans in general who have nothing to do with the military presence. The same with people here who see Arabs/Muslims as a threat due to the terrorism they see when they had nothing to do with it.

    There were many people in the MENA who were happy to see 9/11 happen. They felt we deserved it and had it coming….no less or more than some Americans were glad at first to see the strike back that the USA did in retaliation for 9/11. (although at this point if you took a poll support for the war is very low.)

    The trick is to remember that not ALL Muslims are responsible for 9/11 or are happy about it and not ALL Americans are OK with the war.(plus we don’t get to vote on it so it is a bit out of our hands) It might be the people I hang out with but I know very few people, if any, that would say that they categorically hate muslims. They are worried about terrorism perhaps, but they don’t look at the average Muslim as a threat. Could I be wrong? Yeah, sure, maybe I am. I think there is suspicion and acrimony on both sides for some people, but most people WANT to believe and do believe that the majority of Muslims are OK and not a threat.

    I think Jay is right when he says this about Americans….they really do believe or want to believe warm fuzzy thoughts about Muslims. So, though there was some backlash I don’t think it is widespread.

  118. About a year ago I might have thought as you do, Oby. Something happened on a forum with people I know that changed my mind. There were discussions with who I thought were like-minded Canadians and then the racism started to come out. There was fear of Muslims in general – not trusting them and actually wanting a stop put to immigration of Muslims to Canada. This shocked me because Canada is generally more open and broad-minded. One thing I learned is that these people who I thought were like-minded got their news from CNN and Fox – both who, IMHO, can be very fear-mongering. Fox doesn’t make any bones about it but CNN is more subtle. I could go on and on. I also listened to a radio program on CBC yesterday talking about the ‘dislike/fear’ of Muslims in the USA and it seems it is very real, very strong. This latest threat will certainly not help the situation. I will be very happy to see September 12 and onward in more ways than one.

  119. that is very interesting Wendy…as an aside, why are Canadians watching CNN and Fox…even I think in many ways American news is somewhat focused on the USA. My husband reads international newspapers on the internet to get his news. I would think a Canadian, unless they are particularly interested in the USA would watch something other than CNN or Fox…even I don’t watch Fox.

    Maybe there is a growing dislike/fear. I can honestly say I don’t see it in my particular group so that might color my views. I don’t see it around me outside at the stores. No one has ever said anything to me recently even in passing about Muslims. There are a LOT of muslims where I live…a huge somali community among others and I have yet to hear anyone nonmuslm insult them or say anything nasty. I am thinking if it was as widespread as it is made out to be somehow, somewhere I would witness it for myself or bump up against it or overhear it and I simply haven’t…honestly.

  120. As I say – I thought these people were like-minded. It took a long time for these attitudes to show up then it slowly started to come out. They all know my husband is Muslim and from Africa as well. As to why they are watching CNN???? It is hyped I guess. We don’t watch it. They are watching Fox because they want to hear stupidity I suppose. 🙂

  121. I wanted to post this here for people to view…this is a recent poll by the Pew report that came out at the end of August…I actually found this encouraging and was happy to see the results…what is interesting is that the poll says that Muslims themselves think that nonmuslim Americans are either friendly or neutral to Muslim Americans (80% thought that.) This is more in line with MY personal experiences of Americans vs Muslims. I jsut don’t see waves of hate and I am thrilled that those polled agreed with me. More than that it shows they are content overall in the USA. Interesting demographic. Maybe satisfaction would be higher in Canada…don’t know.

    http://people-press.org/2011/08/30/a-portrait-of-muslim-americans/

    http://people-press.org/2011/08/30/muslim-americans-no-signs-of-growth-in-alienation-or-support-for-extremism/?src=prc-headline

  122. @Strangeone -‘Today, I heard someone make a racist comment towards Arabs about “flying planes into buildings”. Made me want to lecture him for a good half hour on how being Arab or Muslim does not make them any more or less predisposed to acts of terrorism. grrr…..’

    What do you do to change their mindsets? You said you wanted to lecture them. THAT is what you do. Why not? Sure, one lecture might not change their mindset but at least you did your part.

    @Wendy – You were on a ‘forum’ of like minded people? What kind of forum was it and why did you think they were ‘like minded’ and what, exactly made you change your mind? Did the discussion perhaps go on to Sharia Law and how the Muslims in Canada were pushing for it?

    @Oby – ‘Actually, I am not surprised that due to 9/11 there was some anger against arabs/muslims. That is a no brainer. Hard to hold the anger back when you see images of people cheering and joyful that thousands who were not in combat with them were killed in such a horrible way. I don’t think up to that point there really was much thought given to Muslims in the USA. People just looked at them like any one else for the most part. They had no reason to look at them with suspicion. I think they assumed they were like most everyone else’

    I agree with you. I also live in an area heavily populated with Muslims from all over the world and there are no problems here. As a matter of fact, I heard that the mosque here was guarded by non-Muslims after 9/11. Not fire bombed but GUARDED.

    My children were in school on 9/11 and they had no idea what was going on. They could have had a normal, peaceful day but NO, my daughter was traumatized by the fact that she knew that SOMEthing was going on because, as she said ‘all the brown kids were being picked up and going home’. Remember that I raised a compassionate kid who I had taught to stick up for the one’s that seem to need it. So all these ‘brown kids” parents automatically assume that their kids will be in danger so they take them out of school making unnecessary drama? Really? Who is the fear mongerer there? Then my daughter’s friend who up til then had reluctantly worn hijab got permission from her fearful grandmother to not wear it anymore and of course my daughter was all up in arms about the fact that her friend can’t even be herself anymore because people are so mean. But that was NOT the reason she wasn’t wearing it anymore. That was the EXCUSE she was able to use so that she wouldn’t HAVE to wear it anymore. But see how it all gets turned around? It isn’t about what the terrorists did, or why they did it, it was about how HORRIBLE the Americans are that the kids aren’t even safe to be in school or wear their hijabs. But that was all just BULLSHIT made up in the minds of those fear filled people.

    ‘The flip side of that coin…Let’s face it… the Arab world is pissed off at Americans that they are in Iraq/Afghanistan.’

    But they weren’t IN Iraq or Afghanistan on 9/11 when they cheered at the planes hitting the buildings.

  123. *It made me sad that for so many in the US it was the golden opportunity, and socially acceptable to freely express hate towards Arabs and Muslims.*

    That was not my impression. Actually, the ”Zeitgeist” at that time was quite positive towards Muslims and Islam. Muslims and Islam were welcomes in Europe and given every opportunity to practise their faith and build mosques etc.
    Even in Hollywood movies (I find them an interesting yardstick) there were muslims and they were portrayed positively. For instance in the movie ‘Pitch black” the Imam, is the wise and likable character and one of the (very few) survivors.

    It’s after 9-11 that a lot of people started to think differently about Islam. Not to mention in my own country where it is very very rare to have people killed in cold blood in the street, yet a movie maker was killed in cold blood in a cowardly way by a Muslim, who claims to represent Islam and is convinced he did a good job.
    We have news stories from the middle east like ”The girl of Qatif”. And much more.

    All these things certainly now make the reputation of Islam and Muslims a bad one.
    But you can’t really blame ”the west” for that.
    Muslims should blame other Muslims for their bad behavior. Muslims should weed the poison from their own ranks. The fact that they are so unwilling to look at, and solve, their own problems makes their position only worse.

  124. @Aafke, I am merely speaking about the difference 9-11 made in my life. And actually after 9-11 I was always quite comfortable as a Muslim in Europe- sometimes more comfortable as a Muslim than as an American. No doubt the reputation of Islam and Muslims is largely their own doing. But it doesn’t excuse some of the behaviors and hatreds in response- or if it does- certainly doesn’t make it comfortable to be a Muslim at times in the US.

  125. Lynn…

    Hmmm…that is interesting about the “brown kids”. If they had not had any reason to fear before why were the parents taking them out of school? Why would they automatically assume that people would go after them?Maybe this fear was part of their mindset BEFORE 9/11…that the nonmuslims were not to be trusted and so when 9/11 occurred they assumed that people would take it out on them.

    But see, here is the thing…MY experience was that people did not hold all muslims responsible. I lived in the deep south then, which is certainly more conservative and racist than other parts of the USA IMO…and people talked about “those radicals”. They did not lump all Muslims together. Even THERE where people are much more xenophobic and that attitude can be expected more than elsewhere (sorry Susanne) I didn’t hear that people were upset with ALL muslims. I don’t think that there were that many Muslims there and even then they were somewhat supportive of them. That is why I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this “huge amount of fear and hate” about Muslims…I just don’t see it.

    Having said that MAYBE privately, in the recesses of their heart people feel hate and fear, but they are not expressing it out loud that I can see anymore than they did before which as I said was little in MY experience. Maybe they talk about it on a website where they are anonymous. That might be true, but are they ACTING on their feelings? Are they trying to have Muslims rights taken away or limited?

    To be honest I think it is the reverse…I think a Muslim would be less likely to seek out a nonmuslim for a friend than the reverse. I think Americans in general will befriend many different types, but I think Muslims tend to associate with other muslims. That might be because they do have this fear that they are not accepted or are hated…but the Pew report that I linked says that is not the case.

    The majority say they think Americans are OK with them.

    “But they weren’t IN Iraq or Afghanistan on 9/11 when they cheered at the planes hitting the buildings.”

    Yes I know that is true…I was using the example to show that anger on either side would be normal…they cheered when it occurred because they were already angry with us over a myriad of issues, support of Israel being only one IMO.

  126. @Oby – ‘that the nonmuslims were not to be trusted and so when 9/11 occurred they assumed that people would take it out on them’

    Right, but WHY? Because that is how THEIR people handle things? I think it is as insulting (and clearly dangerous, at least to the psyche of children) that they would feel that way just as it is insulting to assume that a Muslim is a terrorist just because of their religion.

    ‘But see, here is the thing…MY experience was that people did not hold all muslims responsible.’

    Mine too. But 10 years later people keep spreading those rumors and that just creates more fear and hatred. BUT, it isn’t like the terrorist attacks and threats ended after 9/11. They keep happening yet people STILL don’t blame all Muslims but the lies and exaggerations about the hateful Americans still get hyped up.

  127. I have to say that I am wondering if nonAmerican media is hyping 9/11. Up until a few days ago I had seen very little on TV concerning 9/11…granted I was not watching Fox, but more mainstream tv. Yet Bella Vita said that in Australia it was “nonstop” and Wendy said it is all over in Canada. I am assuming that they are being honest so the only conclusion I can come to is that international media is making a bigger deal of it than we are. In the last day or two maybe three, I have seen shows on 9/11… that is absolutely true…but two weeks ago? pretty much nothing and throughout the year…nearly zilch. So where is this “nonstop” 9/11 info coming from? It almost seems as if nonamericans are more interested in it than Americans.

    I mention this to address your point Lynn…Yes, it is insulting that muslms would automatically assume that the nonmuslims would persecute them the same as they are insulted that muslin=terrorist. But maybe they felt that because that is what they are taught…that nonmuslims can’t be trusted and so they don’t. We are not part of the ummah. I am not muslim so I can’t say for sure I am only speculating… why this big huge fear when as I said no one I know blamed all Muslims and limited it to a few radicals…almost universally. And if it didn’t happen in the deep South I think it even less likely in other parts of the USA. Were some muslims hassled due to 9/11?…I am sure they were, but my experience is that a great deal of restraint if not support for Muslims was shown overall by the majority. So back to the question at hand…IF the international media is giving 9/11 more attention than we were (now there is a lot on TV about it a few days before the anniversary…I am talking a few weeks ago) then it would make sense that they think Americans are hating them. And that heavy coverage in their countries would certainly sway someone to believe that. And IF they are watching Fox or some other show that is heavily focused on it WHY are they consuming that? Why not go to more mainstream channels/news?And I will bet that if the memorial service is aired internationally many people will be glued to their TV’s watching it even as they gripe about our obsession with 9/11.

  128. anyone was here during 9/11? An american nurse claimed that during this time saudis were in festive mood!! i dont believe it…She was at some where in ryadh. I found the column a few months ago but i dont have the link right now. . .

  129. Lynn, it was not a political forum but a group of people who were in the tourism business.
    BTW, Sharia law was stopped because of a protest from the Canadian Muslim Congress who said they came to Canada to get away from Sharia law. You should check your facts a bit further.

    Oby, I’m happy to hear that but if it’s like what I’ve discovered people say one thing but think another. 😦

  130. Well of course you are right Wendy..we can never know what actually lurks in the hearts and minds of people. But that is a universal truth I think. Many Muslims might say one thing to nonmuslim faces and feel an entirely different feeling in their hearts and vice versa. I guess there is no way to know unless they tell you or act on those feelings. Perhaps we can hope that everyone’s heart and words are in the same place but if not we can at least hope that they don’t actually act on their feelings…no matter whether nonmuslim or muslim.

  131. Wendy, what facts do I need to check? Was it the Amish that were pushing for Sharia Law?

    Of course we can’t tell what people are really thinking. Good thing. I don’t care what people think as long as they keep it to themselves and live and let live.

  132. “as long as they keep it to themselves and live and let live”

    Thanks…said better than I and what I was trying to say about not acting on feelings.

  133. Puddinggirl,
    I know what you mean. I’ve run into prejudiced people before, and if I can politely (and sometimes not so politely) point out that they are being prejudiced, I try to.

    Lynn,
    Based on the situation, I didn’t think an argument or lecture was going to really help change his view any. As I was figuring out what to say, he realized that his comment upset me, and so I let it go. If the situation had been different, or if I had known him better, he would have most definitely gotten the lecture!

  134. Lynn, why do you have to have snarky answers? You want to completely ignore the fact that it was a Muslim group that got the law stopped. Canada can be stupid with it’s laws sometimes by bending to far to be nice. That’s a fact and thank goodness it was a Muslim group that said no.

  135. Why do I have to have snarky answers? I don’t know, I can’t help myself sometimes when I see absurd remarks like the one you made.

    Was there something wrong with me questioning how a group of seemingly ‘like minded’ people might suddenly show their ‘true prejudices’. I could easily see a discussion about the Sharia debate popping up. The outcome was not relevant to what I was saying so why would I mention it? I HAD the facts that I was talking about so what was your point in telling me to ‘check your facts a bit further’ if not to be cheeky yourself? Hmmm?

  136. Here’s an interesting video about how Muslims feel in the US.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/video/americas/2011/09/2011910163514661675.html

  137. Wendy, thanks for the AJE link. It was interesting seeing/hearing that perspective. At least if this poll is to be trusted, they are optimistic about their future.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/02/muslim-americans-are-most-optimistic-religious-group-study-says/

    I guess if things are so bad now, they can only get better, right?

  138. […] 2011: Reflections from 9/11 had an active discussion with 138 […]

  139. […] Coolred38 witnessed the reaction in Bahrain: I stood in the home of a very close friend in Bahrain watching the towers go down. They were Bahrainis and they cheered as lives were lost. I was absolutely shocked to see this reaction to wanton murder… « Saudi Arabia:  Reflections from 9/11″,  September 5, 2011,  American Bedu […]

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