Author:Lancaster, Pat
Position:CURRENT AFFAIRS - American Muslims and terrorists attacks


IT SEEMS THAT the events of 11 September 2001, horrific though they were, are gradually slipping into the collective global memory. Those who were in New York and those who watched events unfold on television on that clear September morning, thought they would never forget the horror and devastation wrought by Al Qaeda operatives that day--the anonymous bodies hurling themselves from windows, the ash-covered survivors as they emerged from the remains of the Twin Towers, the tear-stained faces of those gathered among the debris, hoping to learn that their loved ones had somehow, miraculously, survived. And, although we have not forgotten, our sense of desolation at the carnage and the waste of life, for most of us the ache of loss has dulled.

Of course, for the families and friends of almost 3,000 people who lost their lives in the attack the pain and sense of loss will never go away.

Remarkable to think that the name of Al Qaeda was largely unknown before 9/11 when currently, for most of the civilised world, it is a name synonymous with terror.

But something terrible did take place that September day; something that has already resulted in more dead than the attack on the World Trade Centre and something that shows no sign of dissipating--a fear and suspicion of innocent members of the global Muslim community.

The situation was undoubtedly exacerbated in the US in December by the appearance and confession in a Guantanamo Bay court, of five prisoners charged with planning and coordinating the 9/11 attacks. The prisoners, under the direction of their "leader" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has described himself as the "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks, announced that he and his compatriots had decided to dispense with "American justice" and to plead guilty to all charges in exchange for the death penalty and its swift execution for them all.

This, they said, would expedite the martyrdom to which their 9/11 actions had guaranteed them.

Although such a solution throws up a plethora of legal and constitutional problems, there is no doubt many millions of Americans would not be sorry to see the mortal end of the five accused, and that includes many hundreds of thousands of US-based Muslims.

As Sami Badr, a...

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