It was Tuesday morning on that
sunny day of Sep. 11 2001 when one of the teachers at my school
in Montreal stormed into my office. “ Did you hear what happened?!!!”,
“one of the World Trade Centers Tower Twins in New York city was
hit by a commercial aircraft”. I turned on the TV. , in few minutes
my office was packed with the teachers and some of the students.
Is it an accident? Or a deliberate act? The answer was so fast to
come; another passenger jet struck the second twin tower of the
World Trade Center. Our eyes were glued to the small screen, is
it another American movie or is this real?!!!
Here, we are witnessing the most powerful nation in the world experiencing
the unimaginable destruction, death and misery. In these very counted
minutes, the one super power nation that is equipped with the most
sophisticated kind of weapons that could destroy the whole world
in few hours, and that has the strongest secret intelligence agency
was overpowered with small knives and box cutters.
While I was still physically in my office with others watching the
indescribable collapse of the Twin Towers in NY, and my feelings
were in high alert, the tape of my memory rolled years back to the
days I was living in Beirut under the Israeli invasion of 1982.
The roars of the Israeli jet fighters flying over spreading death
and devastation in every corner of the city. Thousands of innocent
residents and whole families perished under rubbles and ruins of
tumbled buildings that were hit by huge rockets made, unfortunately,
The sound of the phone ringing woke me up. Concerned parents worried,
the media is reporting Muslims and Arabs, all the Muslims and the
Arabs, are accused of being behind the tragedy of NY. The campaign
of “Islamphobia” is on almost every TV and Radio channel. I was
bombarded by questions from the students, what is going on? How
could this happen in North America? Why is the media accusing Arabs
and Muslims of being the “Terrorists”? Why is the media focusing
on the religion and the ethnicity of the “suspects”? What kind of
reaction will we be subjected to? etc. Many question marks with
no satisfactory answers.
“Flashback” moments insisted on coming back to my head. This time
it was Palestine. Fifty-Three years of suffering and anguish of
the whole Palestinian population under continuous occupation. A
population that has being subjected to all kinds of atrocities,
economic hardship, massacres and destruction of the fundamental
nature of its humanity. The images of the massacre of Sabra and
Shatila refugees’ camps will never fade away. Justice should be
served for the victims of NY, moreover, the same kind of justice
should be served to other innocent people as well, who are the victims
of occupation and oppression for decades, the Palestinians.
In this unfortunate period of our lives, we as Muslim Community
in Montreal join our society at large in their grieving for the
loss of those innocent people that were killed in NY and other cities.
It is rare moments in our modern history where the innocent people
have to perish from Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, North Ireland, Rwanda
to USA and other places of the World will join the list in the short
coming days if any kind of war is declared as the media is reporting.
It is regrettable to have this kind of human unity only in blood
shedding and misery.