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September 11

September 11th, 2009 by Madeleine

Today I reflect, as do many, where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about the attacks on the World Trade Tower. Like my parents generation’s remembrance of where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was assassinated and their parents remembrance of the news of V-Day this was a moment in time that is burned in the minds of those of us who were old enough to remember.

I was asleep. Our son Noah was just 2 weeks old and the phone rang at about 4am. I recall angrily thinking ‘who in their right minds phones parents of a 2 week old in the middle of the night’ as Matt stumbled to the phone. His father was ringing from overseas and his first words were “I’m alright.” Matt says it took him a few minutes to work out that it wasn’t that he’d missed something his father had said in sleepy stupor but that when he’d woken up an hour earlier hearing Christian, then aged 6, moving around and had found him in the lounge watching ‘some war movie about New York’ that it wasn’t a war movie that he’d turned off when he sent Christian back to bed.

When Matt came into the room and turned the lights on he didn’t give me time to throw anything at him for being woken me up for the 5th time that night because what he was saying just didn’t make any sense.  I went from sleep-deprived-anger to what is he on about? Something about the World Trade Towers? Some business thing his father was doing? Hang on, hijacked planes? What? Why do I have to get up right now? He had to pull me out of bed and take me to  the television to get it to sink in. Then I was wide awake and it was some time before I wanted to sleep again.

When I reflect on that day eight years later one thing that never fails to stun me is the way some leftists seem to back radical Islam and excuse their actions as that of victims, minimising the role of their religious ideology. Frequently I hear Matt inform said lefties that secular media often fail to understand religion or religious history. This failure to take religion seriously as a motivating force in peoples lives, coupled with Marxist critiques of religion, mistakenly reduces religion to economics. This thoroughly discredited error leads otherwise intelligent people to explain away religious terrorism as simply the “sigh of the oppressed creature.”

The evil we saw on this day eight years ago should have shaken everyone from this naivety. I am not buying into the Hitchens-Dawkins, ‘religion-is-evil secular-is-beneficent myth;’  secular ideologies also lead people to commit atrocities. However, 9/11 reminded us that there are people out there who want to engage in the random killing of  innocent men women and children and believe it a religious duty to do so; this is scary and those who don’t get it need to wake up.

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15 responses so far ↓

  • It’s been said a million times, but I’ll say it again. There are plenty of people who see the actions of this small group of fanatics as being reflective of Islam as a whole, that sort of stereotyping can also lead to the deaths of lots more “innocent” people.

  • I was a student back then. Playing video games till very late. My flatmate was watching CNN and saw the first plane hit the tower and shouted to me that there’s a plane accident. Short while later he said, wait, there’s another one. From then on, for the whole month, everyday 24/7, CNN, BBC, and pretty much all the news channels were covering the attack and nothing else.

  • It’s sad that eight years on Christians still feel the need to use September 11 as a way to push their own religion and encourage hatred of Islam. It’s quite repulsive. And they’re no better than the people who celebrated the attacks.

  • Lilly, I see very few Christians encouraging hatred of Islam, but I do see many encouraging a cold, hard look at the facts. I personally know 2 christians who have looked Islamic terror in the face, and seen the photos (of one of them) in a remote church in Pakistan that was torched by a violent Islamic mob.

    (Many Islamic countries don’t even have churches, and many that do forbid the rebuilding of those damaged by such attacks.)

    And the fact is that 9/11 is not the first, and far from the last deadly attack by Islamic terrorism. There is a site that counts these, and the counter is up to 14,000 deaths.

    Various media have infiltrated mosques, and discovered that there is some very violent preaching going on. When attacked by the left for this, those same media have almost begged to know where they can find a church preaching like that – they’d love to attack them but they simply don’t exist.

    Given the wide disparity between christianity and Islam in this regard, why exactly would I not want to promote christianity over Islam?
    .-= My last blog-post ..Never Forget =-.

  • “There are plenty of people who see the actions of this small group of fanatics as being reflective of Islam as a whole”

    I think you are confusing “the whole” with “what the majority of the leadership actually privately thinks”.

    There is no question whatsoever that the majority of Muslims are peaceful. I have seen almost no one publicly identified as Islamic leadership who is ready to condemn all acts of violence perpetuated under the banner of Islam, and I’ve seen none that consider that violence a more important problem than people’s reaction to it (i.e. so-called islamophobia).
    .-= My last blog-post ..Never Forget =-.

  • Andrew, as far as I can tell nothing in the post above states that the actions of Bin Laden are representative of all Muslims. What was said was that the terrorists were motivated by a religious ideology and believed God had commanded them to randomly kill innocent people in this way. I think these points are uncontroversial.

    Lilly, I see you ignored what was actually written, made your own generalizations about what you thought we must say ( on the basis of what you perceive others have said) and then tried on the basis of that generalization to accuse Madelaine and I of being the kind of people who celebrate terrorism. Ironic.
    .-= My last blog-post ..September 11 =-.

  • Andrew

    I just wanted to emphasis a point you’d missed, if you’re accusing me of accusing you of being amongst those who’re doing the stereotyping, you’re reading something that isn’t there.
    No accusation intended it was more a clarification, especially given Lilly’s comments.

    Lilly stated It’s sad that eight years on Christians still feel the need to use September 11 as a way to push their own religion and encourage hatred of Islam. It’s quite repulsive. And they’re no better than the people who celebrated the attacks.

    that sounds like she is saying Christians are analogous to people who celebrate terrorist attacks and they are motivated by hate.

    Oh, and I think you just spelt your wifes name wrong. 😉

    Yeah, but it was a typo not a spelling error,

    But I note the “wifes” with no apostrophe in that comment. I doubt your suggesting I am polygamous 🙂
    .-= My last blog-post ..September 11 =-.

  • I just wanted to emphasis a point you’d missed, if you’re accusing me of accusing you of being amongst those who’re doing the stereotyping, you’re reading something that isn’t there.

    “…to accuse Madelaine and I of being the kind of people who celebrate terrorism.”
    I note that Lilly never accused you and Madeleine “of being the kind of people who celebrate terrorism.”

    Oh, and I think you just spelt your wifes name wrong. 😉

  • “And they’re no better than the people who celebrated the attacks.”

    There is no way to seriously engage someone who has a moral compass as thoroughly dysfunctional as this. I may as well try to reason with a person who thinks that she is made of cheese.

  • I stand by what I said earlier.

    You had NO connection with September 11. You didn’t know anyone involved. You were never in danger. Nobody in your family was ever in danger. You have no ties to it other than that you answered your phone and like everybody in the world watched it on TV.

    Yet you’re inserting yourself into a tragedy. That’s repulsive. Especially to people who really did lose people on September 11. Eight years on there are still Christians on the other side of the world who feel the need to use the deaths of others to push their own beliefs. It’s frightening and sickening.

    September 11 isn’t yours. If you feel that Islam is scary and you want to rally against it and convert Muslims to your brand of religion then by all means do that. But exploit September 11 victims by using their deaths as a cover for your aims.

  • Lilly, I stop and pause on more dates though the year than just September 11 (see the related post link) to commemorate people I never met but whose resilience, courage and perseverance in the face of evil speaks to me across oceans and time.

    If you have ever had someone close to you die you’ll know that you should not ignore the anniversaries of such tragedies, even if you are a stranger, because the persons most acutely feeling the loss feel it more when they perceive that the world just went on, forgot and no one paused on their loved one’s behalf.

    The way you write seems to suggest that the buildings just fell down and the planes had engine failure and I am twisting the some 3,000 deaths into something it is not.

    Lives were lost on September 11 because of an evil that remains a threat to each and every one of us and that evil must be resisted – especially by Christians who are more often targets by groups like this around the world.

    This is especially dear to me as our neighbours, members of the Korean Church in New Zealand training as missionaries had their pastor and several close friends kidnapped and executed by the Taleban only 2 years ago. Our community, we were living on a bible college campus, had to pastorally support the families directly affected through this time and they needed and wanted support from everyone. There is a missionary walk on the college campus which has plaques of past students murdered for their faith by muslims.

    My post was an attempt at empathy, at solidarity, at truth, at a commitment to continue staring evil in the face and resisting it. I wasn’t expecting a string of Muslim conversions to Christianity in the comments. If anyone was trying to use September 11 for their own purposes it was you trying to knock my faith – I mean, what do you say to the blog owners when you find similar posts to mine on atheist sites?
    .-= My last blog-post ..Darwinian Evolution, God and Ockham’s Razor =-.

  • There is no way to seriously engage someone who has a moral compass as thoroughly dysfunctional as this.

    Exactly! Thank you Glen

  • “especially by Christians who are more often targets by groups like this around the world.”

    And there you go again. It’s all about you. And your beliefs and how you cling to your victim badge.

    Terrorists were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center. I have no idea why you think I believe the buildings ‘fell down’. Why would I think that?

    I never suggested you ignore the day. Just that you don’t use the deaths of others to push your agenda.

    Too much to ask obviously. Hijack away….

    (Oh and I don’t care about Atheist sites or any other sites. I care about people pretending to be involved in an event they weren’t involved in in order to attack any religion – Christian, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu whatever. You’ll find most other September 11 families don’t like people like you using their loss as a gain.)

  • It is clearly too much to ask for you to take me at my word.

    I am not trying to “gain” anything I am trying to remember to be vigilant to show solidarity and empathy. We are not alive if we don’t hear news of horrific events and have some reaction to them and we are fools if we don’t remember and when they are big events that are annually commemorated we show indifference if we do not show solidarity.

    Further, I am as entitled to oppose the teachings of Islam as you are to come onto my blog and oppose my faith and put words into my mouth and tell me what my motivations really are.

    As long as we do not live under the likes of sharia law people can freely choose their faith or not, speak publicly against another’s faith or lack thereof and convert to whatever belief system as many times as they want.

    So Lilly, psychoanalyse away; use my words and my experiences to push your own agenda and keep accusing people of doing precisely what you yourself are doing; using people’s reactions to an evil event to crusade against religion.
    .-= My last blog-post ..September 11 =-.

  • Lily, you wrote:

    > You had NO connection with September 11. You didn’t know anyone involved. You were never in danger. Nobody in your family was ever in danger.

    So we should not condemn an evil act if our family nor us are in direct danger?