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Published:September 12th, 2011 10:20 EST
9/11, Urgency of Inter-Faith and Inter-Cultural Harmony

9/11, Urgency of Inter-Faith and Inter-Cultural Harmony

By Syed Talal Hassan Bukhari

9/11 was one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. Whatever the cause and reasons were, this incident changed the dimensions of world peace forever. Military intervention, unbalanced policies to fight terrorism has caused different cultures and societies to stretch back from each other. In my opinion, this was the worst terrorist attack ever to effect society as a whole. Interfaith and cultural harmony cannot be achieved in days; rather this is a process of centuries. Social ties cannot be built in months. Usually people of one ethnicity do not accept other ones immediately.

What was the basic mistake which triggered this dilemma? In my opinion, the very fundamental loophole lies in the counterterrorism policies. When the names of some terrorists (participated in 9/11 incident) came up with their ethnicities and religions, agencies and media started highlighting religion and ethnicity instead of telling that such criminal acts were individually being carried out.

Terrorists are individuals, they are not a nation, not a religion, not an ideology, and I claim "those who say that terrorists have some ideology, are totally wrong". If some organization owns such claims, then this will be termed as a brutal hunger to grasp the economic and social means to enjoy the power they have obtained. To grab a state`s control and to rule over the people is not an ideology. Rather, ideology has positive and vast contextual meanings.

In the US, people from different countries are stationed, and they are living as a nation. American culture represents almost all cultures in the world. An Arab, a Pakistani, an Indian, Spanish, a Chinese, when they get American residency, he/she now becomes an American. Now if you start to classify their origins again, it will cause the breakup in the social system. Criticism is a one step forward act to disrupt social equilibrium. It`s human nature, no one can tolerate anything against his beliefs and his origin.

These are simple points, when you disturb the basics, you are now on the way to disruption, that`s what actually happened after 9/11 and it`s happening throughout the world.

The beauty of American culture is that it is open for all religions and origins, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, in America, they are supposed to enjoy equal rights. But this is terrible to say that this equality is disturbed after 9/11. And all US citizens must eradicate this type of behavior seriously; otherwise their society is under a serious threat.

Why say a "Muslim terrorist"? Why say a Catholic terrorist"? Does terrorism have a religion? Terrorists are just terrorists. US citizens must clear their conceptions, all that which are being poured in their mind by agencies and media is not true, they have to observe things by themselves. If one or two persons are doing wrong, their whole nation cannot be termed as criminal, similarly most often, state policies do not reflect general public opinion.

This century, we are having a dream of one world united. This dream will come true only when we will eliminate all negative factors that divide us against each other. I am a Muslim, and I am under religious and social obligation to respect other religions and ethnicities. Do respect and have respect. When respect comes, hatred vanishes. We desire unity, the basis of which is mutual respect of each other`s beliefs and ethnicities. I have a firm belief that today, all human beings in this world are united on this criteria, rest are not humans but it`s our duty to revert them towards the humanity.

Why 9/11 is termed as a global terrorism incident?

It is disturbing the religious and social contacts. It`s up to us that whether we should be a target of this ongoing abscission or we should counter it. What is the counter? The gun? No, instead we have to minimize our gaps with each other, by knowing each other`s religions and beliefs, each others opinions, respecting each other`s values we can move ahead, hands in hands, together with one thought, one goal, let`s reaffirm our commitment towards global peace and integrity on this 9/11.

Let`s decide to love each other, lets decide to promote friendship, lets decide to strengthen interfaith harmony because it`s the only way to prosperity. There are other problems that mankind is facing, hunger, epidemics etc. We have to address them as well, but this can only be done by uniting each other, without any discrimination on any basis.