What Have We Learned?

We can agree that September 11, 2001 was a terrible day in US, indeed, world history. But can we agree on anything else?

What are the lessons we have learned from 9/11? Is it to be more suspicious of others, or try to be more understanding? Is it that most practitioners of Islam are decent people, as President George W. Bush had suggested several times, or is it, as an increasing number of Americans feel, a religion they just don’t like, so much so that a Florida minister says he was called by God to threaten to burn Korans, despite admitting not even knowing what’s in it, and inspires potential copycats in at least three states?

Taking off the table the Islamic cultural center in Manhattan mislabeled as the “ground zero mosque”, the lesson seems to be to have no more mosques anywhere in the country. Murfreesboro, TN is about 890 miles from Ground Zero, yet someone set on fire some of the construction equipment at the site of the planned mosque there recently. Other facilities from Wisconsin to California have also run into difficulties. And I won’t even get into the “Obama is a Muslim” thing.

Meanwhile, we are concluding, it appears, the war in Iraq, except for the 50,000 left behind to continue training the Iraqis. This war, built out of post-9/11 hubris when we seemed to have forgotten Afghanistan altogether, was one I openly opposed at the time. It WAS a good opportunity for some to bash the French, who like many of our major allies, also opposed the conflict; “Freedom fries,” indeed. The separate question of whether it was “worth it” remains at best open, as long as there is no operational Iraqi government.

But what do you think are the lessons of 9/11?
Jaquandor calls for a National Read a Qur’an Day TODAY, which seems like an inspired idea.

0 thoughts on “What Have We Learned?”

  1. The lessons include: frightened people stop THINKING and will collectively obey an inspirational leader who promises to protect them; that they will attack anyone who challenges that obedience; and that enemies can become enemies by association, rather than because of anything that they have actually done. In my opinion, the American Experience since September 11, 2001 has been a disappointing one of how easily our Ideals can be abandoned by so many, and how close to the surface prejudice and bigotry always lies.


  2. I haven’t any problem bashing the French because they behave illogically and ignore history. Their meddling in world affairs and colonialism is part of the issue.

    They have an ongoing issue with disaffected Muslim youth who riot and terrorize- yet are unwilling to deal with the problem. There is a long list of things that could be addressed but I’ll focus on the topic of the post.

    I am not in favor of this Islamic center for a variety of reasons- but they have every right to build it. There is no doubt that Muslims face some severe challenges here in the U.S. Some of the problems stem from ignorance and some of them from history and the role of Islamic fundamentalism in the world today.

    I don’t have great answers or solutions. But then the imam of the proposed center says that we need to build it because of what could happen elsewhere if we don’t, well that is a reason to reconsider.


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