| As the date September 11th is approaching, I look back at this tumultuous year. Running through my mind over and over again is what I was doing the night of Monday, September 10, 2001. It was a relaxing night. Almost too relaxing……eerie in a way……..When I woke up Tuesday morning, I had no idea what I was about to see on television: in just a short hour, my life, along with 280 million other Americans, was about to change forever.
Freak accident. Yes, that's what we first thought. Only to stand corrected minutes later. How? Why? In the name of Allah? I could not believe it. My religion had been hijacked. All my life, I interpreted Islam as a religion of peace. Enjoin good and forbid evil. In one morning, I saw evil enjoined in the minds of 10 hijackers. Everything clearly thought out in their minds, 10 individuals took the peaceful sacraments of Islam and sabotaged the identity of the Muslim. My identity.
Did you know, Osama bin Laden, that as a result of proving your quest, Afghanistan would be annihilated? Did you know that the Taliban would not turn you over and fight till the very end? Did you know that millions of Afghans would be killed, displaced or stuck in refugee camps? Did you know that Hamid Karzai would be handpicked by the U.S. Government to fix this mess? Osama bin Laden, because of what you've done, my American flag is flying high in Kabul.
You must have had a grand plan, Uncle Osama….a five finger special in the form of instant gratification: Buy puts. Sink the stock market. Destroy the Taliban. Hamid Karzai and Cathy Beamer will be honorary guests at the 2002 State of the Union address. Pervez Musharraf will be Bush's new best friend. And how kind of you…..a sixth bonus: the launching of Ashleigh Banfield's career.
It was a one in a million chance that such a sophisticated plan would work. Did these 10 individuals not realize that their acts would decimate the hard work of the American Muslim? The American Jihad is going to be tougher for me and my Muslim peers. We’ve gone not one step forward, but 1,000 steps back. I now have to be suspicious of my Muslim brother sitting next to me on an airplane. If my plane crashes, I firmly believe that my name will not be listed as a passenger.
As I stood at Ground Zero on the night of October 20, 2001, inhaling the fumes, listening to the bulldozers and stepping over mounds of dust, a chill ran up my spine. How will we ever explain to the families of the victims that Islam is a religion of peace, tranquility and morals?? This question keeps my mind spinning.
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Jamila Zafar, staying home to take care of her princess.
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