As we approach the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States of America, we had a myriad of angles on how we wanted to approach our sentiments about the events that occurred on that day. We, by no means condone the horrific acts that these extremists carried out on American soil, regardless of the reasons. Yet, in the same sense, we do not feel that we should racially profile every Muslim and hold them responsible for the mass murder committed by these demonic individuals.

We feel this way because we do not believe that every African American should hold every Caucasian or Anglo-Saxon American responsible for slavery, bigotry and extreme racism. We feel this way because we do not believe that every Jewish person should hold every innocent German who had nothing to do with the Holocaust responsible for the atrocities that occurred during that time. We feel this way because we do not believe that every surviving victim of the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing should hold innocent family members of the American terrorist who detonated the bomb on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building responsible, for what Timothy McVeigh did. In other words, every race, family and creed has its share of extremists and demons. They create a rippling effect of pain that permeates throughout everyone whose lives are affected by these horrific events.

God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. This does not mean that we are not to be cautious and observant of what’s going on around us and in our households, but that we are not to walk around anxious, overly paranoid or complacent. One of our readers brought to our attention a heart-warming, thought provoking website called My Fellow American Project.” Somehow, as we near the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is unfortunate that we continue to see a rising climate of suspicion, intolerance, fear and inequality that is imposed on Muslim-Americans that is truly unfortunate. We see Muslim men, women and children shunned, mistreated and alienated simply because they are Muslim. We realize that not everyone will embrace the message of equality and justice for all, but it is an injustice to innocent people, real life human beings, to be subjected to unwarranted torture simply because someone in their pedigree imposed something so vile and destructive on other people just to make a statement.

Clearly, regardless of who you are or where you came from in the United States, as a citizen you have the freedom of choice, which is something many people in other countries do not have. Callousness and taking revenge out on innocent people is highly unacceptable. The mistaken identities of certain ethnicities that may have common characteristic traits resembling members of the Muslim community have had extreme violence or “prejudicial-profiling” imposed on them. Again, Muslim or not, violence is violence. It is tragic that we let the actions of a few extremists create tension, friction and division among God’s people and thus turn some of us into a new breed of vigilante extremist and terrorist.

By no means are we delineating from the importance of the lives lost during that fateful September 11th day, or even discounting the celebration of their memory, lives and legacies. Our hearts ache when something of this magnitude knocks at our doorsteps, whether it’s a few feet away or hundreds of miles away. The one thing that we love about America is that we are braided with an amazing tapestry of strength, culture and resiliency. Retaliation to simply harm innocent people who did nothing to you for the simple reason of paying someone/anyone back for what someone else did is deplorable.

Let’s step back and take a good look in the mirror at who we are. We cannot change the way other people behave, think or what they believe in. We only have control over ourselves and that has its limitations. We will find many unsavory and unethical injustices carried out by many individuals in our own families that harmed and created a rippling effect on people connected to the people that this injustice was inflicted on.

We are not being mild-mannered about terrorism at all. Let’s just make sure that we are not persecuting innocent people for the sinister wrongdoings someone else did, just to say that you got the “big payback!”

To the surviving family members, friends, colleagues and co-workers of those who lost their lives as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we pray for your continued strength and encouragement as we approach this landmark event. We can’t forget the images that plastered practically every television, newspaper and every home page on the Internet of the Pentagon, the airplane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and especially those of the Twin Towers in New York. However, the unity and love that we shared for the rest of that 9/11 day and the day after, is the type of compassion, love and support that we should implement every day of our lives. May God Bless You!

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