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Imagery of Islam after September 11th

17 September, 2003 16:55
Imagery of Islam after September 11th

The conference attempted to have the following questions answered:

  1. Although different Muslims and Muslim communities have condemned the September 11 event, why the actions of some non-Muslim groups are still considered as a product of Islam?
  2. How the verses of the Holy Quran and different narrations of the infallibles support the balanced and moderate view representing the image of Islam?
  3. What is the best way to have a cultural confrontation on the representation of the true image of Islam? 

Dr. Khajavi Lecture: 

September 11th

 First I would like to mention that it is a great honor for me to have a contribution here beside a re-known scholar, Dr. Nahavandian. Who is a perfect example of a top quality professor and a multi faceted academic. Among his qualifications, he is also a great policy maker.

 I was invited to this program just a few hours ago; therefore, I can only share my personal feelings with you about the topic very briefly. 

 No doubt that the September 11th was a tragedy, a horrible act of terror, which shook the whole world including Muslims’ world. It was definitely an evil act. No real Muslim would do such an inhuman and horrible thing. And everybody knows that this tragedy was created by desperate terrorists with sick minds.

 We consider ourselves as victims of 9/11. Among the victims there were many muslims, both in World Trade Center Buildings and in the . We show respect to all the victims and their families in the aniversary of 9/11.

 However, there are lots of crucial issues to be discussed here. I just would like to highlight some of them.

 One is that just a few terrorists who happened to be from Middle Eastern background committed this criminal act. How many were they? 20-50-100-200 with all their cells and personnel.

The question is how on earth a few number of terrorists can represent all the Muslims of the world? It is ridiculous that 1.2 billion Muslim population of the world should be hold responsible and liable just because the terrorists of 9/11 happened to be demographically from a Muslim background.

 This is irrational, unconstitutional and it is bias. It has to be stoped.

It is against the principle of “presumption of innocence”. You cannot hold someone responsible as a result of somebody else’s criminal act.

The legal precedent and concepts of all

 If one wants to expand such a line of thought, the whole world will collapse. Imagine, What would happen if one wants to link let say for example the Oklahoma bombing committed by Themithy Mcvein to Christianity. Wouldn’t the whole world laugh at such an idiotic analogy? I think we have the same situation after 9/11.

 The horrible and unfortunate events and comments that happened right after September the 11th and have continued even to the present time were unbelievable.

 Although the tragedy of 9/11 did not have any thing to do with Islam and Muslims, it proved that the knowledge of general public in the West is minimal about Islam. And that is why so many people have shown interest to know Islam and start reading about Islam.

 I’ll give you a few examples about the negetive comments and attitudes we witnessed:

 A few days after 9/11, we heard that the president of the United States impression of the 9/11 was the theory of “Crusade”. Everybody was stunned, even the advisors of the president for such an immature comment. Of course, it was corrected and the president apologized for such a comment and right after that he invited the leaders of Muslims communities for a feast of Ramadan and showed respect to Islamic culture and community. But the damage was done.

 We also witnessed some awful comments from some extreme religious leaders, senators, and so on… Evangelical leaders, …) that linked the 9/11 to the teachings of Islam and unbelievably even to prophet of Islam. I can not forget the interviews shown on TV with some of these people who were saying that the prophet of Islam was just an advocator for war and terror.

 Of course, these comments were confronted by some American scholars from different perspectives, but the general impression was hostility against Muslims and anybody with a Middle Eastern look even if they were not Muslims felt such hostility especially in the United States.

 Right after the 9/11, many Arabs with different religious backgrounds, even I remember that there was a person who is a head of an Arab-American anti-discrimination Association, which by the way and according to himself is an atheist; they all felt that they are victims of 9/11 as well.     

  I personally believe that the United States is engaging in an unnecessary confrontation with an unknown and imaginary enemy. I believe the Western intellectuals and scholars are not consulted on these issues. There are hundreds of Muslim scholars in the United States that can contribute in the process of familiarization of Americans with Islamic culture, values, spirituality. I believe that the general public in the West do not have a comprehensive understanding from Islam.

 To conclude:

 After the 9/11, many things has changed: the geopolitics of the world, the global economy, international security, avaiation industry and international air transport, it looks that the whole world is falling apart. It is not a good feeling.

It looks like things are getting out of hand.

Some of the American policy makers detected this problem and tried hard to bring the stability back to the United States and as a result to the whole world.

I believe that the trend after 9/11, which was hostility against Middle East and Muslims was not a healthy one and has made the situation worse.

 Who will benefit from the militerization of the world?

Who will benefit from ruining the walls of trust among nations?

Who will benefit from supresing other nations in the name of waragainst terrorism?

 These are startegic questions.

  and I think in a long run no one will benefit from such confrontation and hostility. In a short run it might look that one side is winning, but in a long term the international community will suffer.   


Imagery of Islam after 9,11-2.ppt



Date : Thursday , Sep 18 th2003 (shahrivar 27th 1382 ) 6pm to 8 pm 
Place : Avenue: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies , Adjacent to ASP Towers, 64th St., Kordestan Highway, Tehran, Iran


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