A decade has passed since that fateful day; however 9/11/2001 will forever remain etched in our memories. We all vividly remember the exact moment when we first heard about this grave tragedy and how in the ensuing days it changed the course of dialogue in the country. America will never be the same, as the scars of this grave tragedy have marred the fabric of our being and we are still in the process of calibrating ourselves in a world that has changed forever post 9/11.
For Muslim American, this tragedy impaired them twice – overwhelming sorrow and grief as their country had been attacked; moreover to witness their faith being tarnished by the perpetrators of these heinous left them distraught. Incredibly, their fellow Americans overwhelmingly understand that no faith condones bloodshed and that such barbaric acts are solely driven by an ideology of hate.
As the process of healing continues, Muslim Americans moved beyond rhetoric to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. ‘Muslims for Life’ organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community nationwide aimed to collect 10,000 units of blood, to demonstrate that Islam upholds the sanctity of life. The goal was met last week and many blood drives are still in the pipelines. By giving the gift of blood, these Muslims sent a clear message to the terrorists that they shed blood on 9/11/2001; however, Muslims offered their rebuttal by donating their own blood that will ultimately save 30,000 lives. This solemn tribute was overwhelmingly supported by all Americans, as this is in complete harmony with American values of promoting peace and collaboration.
The month of September has significance for the country. It could not have ended on a better note; Anwar Al-Awlaki, the venomous Imam who inspired the Time Square bombing conspirator, Faisal Shahzad and the Fort Hood Shooter Nadal Hasan was killed in Yemen today. Al-Awlaki was responsible for mushrooming terror cells within the country by inciting disillusioned Muslim Americans to turn their wrath against their own country. He was the dreadful face of home-grown terrorism. He is dead, however, his legacy still thrives in certain corners and it will be some time before it is completely eradicated. This responsibility rests with all Muslim Americans. They must join hands with Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and forcefully, unapologetically and plainly reject terrorism in all forms. They owe it- not only to their faith but also to their homeland.