As we all know, on this day in 2001, the United States suffered the worst attack on American soil in its history. Thousands were killed, even more injured, and countless lives were effected by this horrific act of violence. The question remains, what have we learned since then?
Since 2001, we as Americans don't trust anyone; thankfully this includes President Bush and his administration who have used 9/11 as a rallying cry to keep them in office. Republicans keep spouting off that they will make sure we are safe, and the Clinton administration failed in countless ways to prevent a tragedy such as this. But, that is not my point in all of this.
The main thing that we as Americans have learned is how to be even more ignorant towards others. Many see a Muslim walking down the street and assume they are a terrorist. Those from the Middle East are given extra pat downs at airport checkpoints because they of course could be carrying a bomb or other device. Mosques are vandalized, Arabs are discriminated against, and there is no understanding for them as individuals, nor do we even try to understand the Muslim religion, we just run away and taunt.
The reality of it is that Islam is a religion based on peace. Muslims are devout in their faith, and want peace in the world and not violence. Because of the actions of a few devout and fundamentalist believers in Islam. As is all religion, Islam is one that is subject to interpretation, and some will interpret the Koran in ways that suit their own personal agendas. This is no different from Catholocism, Judiasm, or for that matter any form of religion. I read things one way, you read them another. In the case of those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, they interpreted the Koran to preach violence and to eliminate those who do not believe the same as they do. What we have Americans have done is to condemn the religion because of the actions of a relative few and not the majority.
What can we do to heal? Learn, listen, and read. Read about the Koran and you will find verses saying Allah does not condone the senseless killing of others, he condones it. "Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) manslaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind." (The Holy Quran 5:32) " This is a message of peace and not one that said to kill over 3,000 innocent people.
We need to learn to learn, and to persue knowledge of what happened and why. Systematically discriminating against millions because of the actions of a few will not allow us to move on; we will simply keep living in the past.