As I watched videos of my fellow Americans dancing in the street in Times Square last night I had very mixed emotions. We’ve all been affected and many of us have lost friends and family members due to the ‘War on Terror’. The tragedies of 9/11 were unspeakable and we must never forget the lives lost. However, I believe to understand the full picture, we need to keep a global perspective. Americans are not the only ones who have suffered.
While terrorism is never justifiable, we need to examine what else might be going on in the larger picture.
We as Americans have been directly and indirectly involved in the suffering of many other nations Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, need I go on? Have we been just in our treatment of Muslim nations? What are the consequences of our relentless presence in Arab nations?
Followers of Radical Islam look at our actions as a reason to be upset. Bin Laden himself quoted many past American actions for cause of his anger. But are we listening?
Some Americans have seen 9/11 as the BEGINNING of the story. This is far from the truth. The attack on 9/11 is one small piece of the larger picture.
Even though Obama says “America is not against Islam.” It is hard for those who have suffered as a result of our military to understand our words when our actions have contradicted this statement.
When I asked my Pakistani friend what she thought of this statement, she shared with me:
The statement is making it on the waves but there are people who are so devastated after losing their friends and families in drone attacks in past decades and their minds are kinda shelled to make any sense of it. They just want to know why it took so long to set forward this operation while the public BELIEVES that all the agencies knew all along where Bin Laden’s hiding. We are a nation of very accomplished and educated people but some of us have fallen for the Jihadi propaganda and news channels that come up with more conspiracy theories than real news. Many refuse to see the truth because it does not fit into our anti US/ West narrative that kinda redeveloped after the failure of Bin Laden’s capture hence resulting innocent killings all over the world and mainly in Pak/Afghan. I just hope that the “America is not against Islam” statement makes its mark and get through those minds the way it is meant and not make them retaliate in a negative way.
The picture of Americans dancing and rejoicing has now been spread around the world. What kind of reaction can we predict from radicals who will see these images?
We as Americans need to individually engage and educate ourselves on what is causing this anti-Westernism. The stakes are too high to make assumptions. We need to look at the big picture of what we have done, and reevaluate our personal positions to ensure that we are not fueling an unnecessary fire.