Penjihad's Blog

"To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

Remembering 9-11, How can I forget?

NEVER FORGET!

I remember 9-11 as if it happened yesterday. I came downstairs after awakening and turned on the TV like I always did. For some reason, the TV was muted as I saw the scenes. I was not wearing my contact lenses so I could not see with clarity but I saw the aircraft hit one of the towers. Still dozy, I assumed it was some special effects scene, which is what I told my wife as she came down. Then the sound got turned on, I put on my contacts and with a shock, I realized this was real; someone had hijacked aircraft and they were crashing them into buildings. With a sick feeling, I saw the buildings collapse, judging from the size of the towers, I assumed there must have been at least over ten thousand people killed in the collapsed buildings.

Then I learned that the hijackers were Muslims and their purpose was presumed to be “Islamic”. I cursed the people involved in the slaughter as I do to this day, May God hold them responsible and keep them in Hell for the horrors they perpetrated on innocent people!

A few people called me and asked what kind of response should Muslims make?

How can one respond, thoughts and prayers? It would be foolish to say anything that could mean that we, as Muslims, were collectively assuming any responsibility for the heartless, thoughtless, inhuman and definitely un-Islamic, actions of a few.

As the day unfolded, I realized that the decision to respond would ne with massive military resources and that Muslims would indeed, be held accountable.

In the, months and years that followed, the sympathy for the victims and their families transformed into concern for Muslims and fear for the Muslim families that were (and still are) being targeted as “terrorists” by the President, Congress and by all US agencies, most notably, the FBI. We were suspects and targets of unrelenting persecution. Within a year, under the direction of John Ashcroft, the US Attorney-General, the FBI had “detained” or jailed, over 14,000 Muslims in all jails…City, county, state and all.

I remember at one time there was a Congressional hearing in which Ashcroft admitted there was nothing material against the Muslims being held, but that he looked upon them “as pieces of a mosaic” and that some patterns will emerge from them. Nothing ever did, but most of the Muslims held, had their lives destroyed in the time they were “detained”, some for years, without charges or trials. They lost jobs, finances, their homes and in some cases, even their marriages.

There was mourning across the nation and across the world. In Muslim-majority countries, people marched in support of the victims and condemned the terrorist actions of the people. With tears in their eyes, Muslims were seen showing solidarity with the American victims.

Muslims mourning 9-11

In the US, there were efforts to compensate victims, memorials were built. It was as if Muslims did not exist as humans, Muslim survivors of the attacks were denied support in the face of the solidarity shown to other victims of 9-11. It was as if Muslims could not exist among the virtuous; only among the evil ones. Even newspaper cartoonists ignored Muslims as among the innocent. We were never recognized.

No Muslims

Radio talk shows and TV programs pivoted to focus on Muslims and Islam as the focus of all evil, even school books were re-written to show Islam and Muslims in as terrible a picture as possible. The FBI planted paid “informants” in Mosques and other Muslims communities, who were actually agents provocateurs tasked to find vulnerable, impressionable Muslims, incite and motivate them to violence so they could then be arrested by the FBI with great fanfare. A massive industry was born, with the sole goal of proving Islam and Muslims to be evil, but done disguised as “Anti-Terrorism Training”.

“Islam=Terrorism”

The nation’s Police sucked it up; there were no safe places in America to be a Muslim. Even many Churches and Synagogues got into the act, venting their hatred against Islam and Muslims by inviting self-declared “experts” on Islam AND Terrorism, to explain to their congregations why a Muslim cannot possibly be a good American. Targeting us Muslims, still remains a good source of fundraising for many of them.

Personally, I had people call me all sorts of names, “traitor” being the least of them. I was accused of being “a Sleeper-cell leader”, an “Islamist”, “Terrorist”, “Terrorist Sympathizer” and that I belonged in Gitmo. Friends turned against me, joining the accusations of being a terrorist, one threatened me with implied shooting claiming, HE was afraid for his family from me. There were other incidents where people threatened to shoot me just because I am Muslim. It became so serious that I feared someone would shoot at me while I was in the car with my kids. I was pretty sure they would miss me but I was equally certain they may injure or kill my children. I proceeded to train my 11 year-old daughter and my 7-year old son to unbuckle and fall on the van’s floor if I yelled, “Get down!”. I almost purchased a gun to protect my family then reason prevailed and I decided not to join the gun-nuts. Most Muslims went quiet, dressed more “American”, they lived in constant fear for themselves and their families, not from the local civilian, but from the agencies such as the FBI, The Police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Not far behind them were other agencies, even the USDA (Department of Agriculture) got in on the Muslim-hunting game. For the same “crime”, Muslims were imprisoned for as many as 17 years, while non-Muslims doing even more, were praised for their heroic work.

The chronicles of individual attacks and humiliations to Muslims are so many that it would take books to write them. But this should suffice for now.

Today, on the 20th anniversary of 9-11, it is time to rip off the collective scab of the pain of the attacks and feel it afresh; that is the patriotic thing to do. In the meantime, one might assume that targeting of Muslims, the persecutions and the hate-industry would have finished by now, sadly, not so. Bush Jr, opened the gates and lit the fires of Islamophobic hate, making it a Across America, Anti-Semitism has been declared a hate-crime, racism against Blacks has been declared a crime but Muslims have to beg to get the Police or the FBI to recognize violence against Muslims as such. Islamophobia has yet to be even defined; it is met by an indulgent shrug.

In my own country, agencies and administration still consider me to be “The other”.

Today in America, it is a mark of patriotism to target Muslims, Obama did not move the needle down. Trump actively fueled it, generating active hate towards Blacks, Muslims and everyone from, as he termed it, “Shithole countries”. Biden has yet to show any signs that he recognizes the threat to Muslims.

September 9, 2021 - Posted by | FBI, Islam, Islamophobia, Muslims, Terrorism, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Van: Penjihad’s Blog Verzonden: vrijdag 10 september 2021 07:32 Aan: plamp@hetnet.nl Onderwerp: [New post] Remembering 9-11, How can I forget?

    penjihad posted: ” NEVER FORGET! I remember 9-11 as if it happened yesterday. I came downstairs after awakening and turned on the TV like I always did. For some reason, the TV was muted as I saw the scenes. I was not wearing my contact lenses so I could not see with cla”

    Like

    Comment by plamp@hetnet.nl | September 10, 2021 | Reply

  2. Jeff, Well said! Thank you for pointing out that attrocities against many “othered” groups have been designated hate crimes, but not crimes against Muslims … Salaam!

    Like

    Comment by Damani Johnson | September 13, 2021 | Reply


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