I’ve alluded to my conversation with a Muslim man in a mosque before, and how it affected me greatly. I’ve never really given any detail as to the content of that conversation and visit to the mosque. After reading a post about how Islam is simply a violent cult, I feel that I must tell you about that conversation. But first I want you to remember something. Where were you when 9/11 became a terror for you, not an accident, but a terror? How did you feel? What happened in you when you saw the towers fall over and over? And when the people fell from the buildings? When you heard that the Pentagon was hit? Who did you think of? Did you know someone who was killed? Did you someone who could have been? Did you know someone who was deployed? Did you know someone who was killed in action?
As you pull away from those thoughts I ask you to employ logic, and to push away your anger for a moment. We’ve every right to enraged. Those were innocent lives, and if they weren’t innocent; they were lives. They were father, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins. They were Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists. But push your anger away for a second and think about these numbers, which are quite old.
Number of people killed in 9/11: 2,819 (This includes civilians, firefighters, police etc.)
Number of civilians killed in Afghanistan: Between 10,490 and 11,060 with 3,100-3,600 being in the first two years of our occupation.
Number of Iraqi civilians killed: 44,000- 49,000 (Strictly a media estimate which is often very low.)
Total documented civilian casualties in Iraq War: Between 110,000- 120,000
Now, in your mind compare the size of the US and Iraq & Afghanistan. Compare the rage. Imagine yourself in those shoes. Not just knowing someone, but losing family, losing your home, your child, and that being quite common. Put yourself there if only for a second. After all, they are innocent. Most of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. The war wasn’t brought there. Bin Laden was found in Pakistan. Yet, the war wasn’t taken there until these deaths were done.
The man I spoke with had family still in Lebanon. He said that his sister lived there and was enraged by the attacks. She said that she would raise raise her son to kill Bush. The man was so conflicted. He understood their rage and sympathized with it. But he was American and didn’t support such a thing. He understood their anger, but didn’t feel it was supported in Islam. He explained to us that in Islam the greatest punishment one can give someone for murder is absolution. If you can bear it, it will be a great torture. He explained that Muslims believe that if you punish someone in this life, then God will consider it resolved. Thus, to give the people no punishment is to ensure the wrath of God on them. He told us that his sister said that she couldn’t bear it, but he was pushing her to reconsider her thoughts.
The truth is we’ve no idea what we’ve done. If we think that the war on terror is going to end terror, we are wrong. Instead all it did is turn us into the terrorists to another people, and create the perfect breeding ground for radical Islamic terrorists. We allowed ourselves to become the terror and now we have expanded and grown the base of terror. We’ve solved nothing. That conversation with him helped me realize that there really are Muslim Americans, that we are in over our heads, and violence only breeds violence.