ONE ARAB'S APOLOGY
By EMILIO KARIM DABUL
September 12, 2006 -- WELL, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn't help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.
The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.
Well, I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that
Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like
myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable
for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large.
Yes, our extremists and our culture.
Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read the Koran, Mr. President. There's enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.
There's also enough there for someone of a different mindset
to find a path to enlightenment and peace. Still, Rushdie
had it right back in 2001: This does have to do with Islam.
A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic in the name of God
is still a Christian, at least in his interpretation, and saying otherwise doesn't negate the fact that he has spent a goodly amount of time figuring out his version of the one true and right thing to do.
The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day.
And, while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their
attitudes toward Jews weren't that much different than
Mohammed Atta's. No, they didn't support the Holocaust, but they did believe that Jews were trouble in many