This is the first 9/11 anniversary that I have given any thought to since 2001.
As a 12 year old the only thing I knew about Islam was that the Muslim/Jewish conflict came from Ishmael and Isaac, Abraham’s sons (and this is a historical stretch – so that shows how much I understood about Islam).
As a 22 year old I am now living in a Muslim country and I understand a few more things about religion and international conflicts.
This week I met a woman from Hamburg, Germany. She is of European descent but has been a practicing Muslim for three years. She told us that in Europe it is increasingly common for people to applaud events such as the Oslo, Norway incident earlier this year by a man displaying anti-Muslim racism, and the man in Germany who stabbed a Muslim woman in public.
Additionally, another Muslim friend told us: “The World Trade Center bombings were the worst things to happen to Islam,” because not only did it target civilians, it caused the ensuing international Islamaphobia. Our German friend added: “These people are causing problems for us.” She said people look down on her because they think she is a Muslim immigrant, or worse, suspect her of being a terrorist. And all because she wears a head-scarf.
This international finger-pointing wearies me. My American friends blame Muslims for their fear. My Muslim friends blame America for their fear.
Ignorance causes so many problems.