This coming September 11th will be the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. That event, of course, instantly launched the United States into a new era of wars in Islamic lands abroad, and fear, hatred, and oppression of Muslims here in America that is still very much with us today.
The tenth anniversary will no doubt be the occasion for heavy media attention and an intense flurry of memorials, speeches, editorials, and demonstrations. The effect could be one of fanning the flames of prejudice and distrust. Or, it could be a day of honest dialog, mutual forgiveness, and reconciliation.
We’ve seen where hatred gets us. Let’s try something different.
Note: I am writing this addendum in September 2016. I originally published the above post on April 22, 2011 in another website I had just created: 9-11-11.org. I had woken up one morning with the realization that the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was just five months away. Since the attacks had sparked a lot of suspicion and prejudice against Muslims, I felt inspired to start a movement that would mark this anniversary with peaceful events, bringing together Christians, Jews, and Muslims in particular, along with anyone else who felt inclined to join in.
I titled that new blog “9-11: A National Day of Reconciliation.”
This effort culminated in two events on Sept. 11, 2011. I joined a group led by Gail Anderson of the Minnesota Council of Churches to plan a large event at the state capitol, “Minnesotans Standing Together”. In a separate effort, I joined with two new acquaintances, Isaac Kaufman and Matthew Rodreick, to organize a commemorative interfaith walk around Powderhorn Park, which drew about 30 participants.
After the anniversary I maintained the 9-11-11.org blog for several years, with posts and news items focused mainly on countering Islamophobia. That blog has been dormant now for a long time and has virtually no audience. I’m going to shut it down, but I want to preserve some of the content that I think still has value. So I will be copying some posts from that now-extinct blog into this one.