9/11 – they too served, and shall not be forgotten

September 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm 3 comments

32 names, some being people I knew personally – family friends, the husband of an old schoolmate – Shabbir Ahmed, Tariq Amanullah, Michael Baksh, Touri Hamzavi Bolourchi, Abul K. Chowdhury, Mohammad Salahuddin Chowdhury, Jemal Legesse De Santis, Simon Suleman Ali Kassamali Dhanani, Syed Abdul Fatha, Mon Gjonbalaj, Nezam A. Hafiz, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, Zuhtu Ibis, Muhammadou Jawara, Sarah Khan, Taimour Firaz Khan, Abdoulaye Kone, Abdul Ali Malahi, Nurul Hoque Miah, Boyie Mohammed, Ehtesham U. Raja, Ameenia Rasool, Mohammad Ali Sadeque, Rahma Salie & unborn child, Khalid M. Shahid, Mohammed Shajahan, Gary Shamay, Nasima Hameed Simjee, Michael Theodoridis, Abdoul Karim Traore, Karamo Trerra and Shakila Yasmin – form a part of a larger list – one that is, perhaps surprisingly, no better known and confirmed, despite nearly a decade of intensive investigation.

It is the list of people who died in the space of a few short hours, in the attack that has come to be known simply as 9/11. It isn’t widely known or remembered, I think, that in fact no-one knows each and every name of the persons who died in that attack, so even the fraction of the listed names above may not be fully correct, and in fact is very likely not fully exhaustive.

The names above share one characteristic, one that makes it little known, little publicised, and sadly, little remembered, in their chosen nation – the United States of America.

These men and women ranged from 23 to 69 years of age when they died, but for one you may have noticed in the middle of the list above – an unborn child, killed when her pregnant mother ended up a passenger on one of the commercial aircraft used as an airborne missile in the attack.

They worked as executives in some of the fine offices of the World Trade Center, in software companies and in investment banks, they worked in the restaurants and provided maintenance services, they were housewives and students, they were civilians like most of us, caught up in the crossfire of a battle, one in which they were not even asked to take part – people who were just going about their daily lives. Like so many millions of people, they had made America their home. They had contributed to its economic and community development.

Today, their families feel left out, they mourn on their own, they are hurt that somehow their loved ones’ lives, and more importantly, their deaths, go unnoticed and unsung.

Let them never be forgotten. For they were Americans. And they were Muslim.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

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  • 2. Vickram Crishna  |  September 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Perhaps no-one has put this attitude more poignantly than the poet John Donne, who meditatively wrote in 1624:

    “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…” It later was recast as the famous poem ‘No Man Is An Island’.

    Only a couple of days back, when Bollywood star Salman Khan dissed the media uproar around the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, he was vilified for pointing out (correctly) that candlelight vigils are only held when elite people die, and not for the hundreds of others killed in the attack, and in so many other attacks that take place, in India and around the world.

    Yet there can be no bigger media uproar globally than for 9/11, and (almost) nowhere do we read that some of the innocent people who died were Muslims. When one clearly misinformed media hungry priest threatened to burn copies of the Holy Book, even the President of the United States had to respond: did he say one word about the fact that the terrorists who claim religion as a justification for their villainy wantonly killed people of their own faith?

    Was there any compassion in the heart of the Floridan priest for the families of the victims who mourn alone? We all know how insular the average American can be: at least show compassion for other Americans, if you claim to speak and act on behalf of a compassionate faith, never mind people who die in far-off lands?

    On Facebook, another of your contacts, Khurram Iqbal, has also put it well, quoting the Quran when he comments:
    “Islam is a Code of conduct and doesn’t ask you to kill innocent people.
    There are few people who kill Innocents using name of Islam, and then we, who, feel religion is responsible for this killing by saying, we are first human and then Muslims.
    A Person who killed one person without reason, actually killed whole humanity. (Quran)”

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  • 3. Mark @ Israel  |  September 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Whether we like it or not the government has forgotten 9/11. Is justice served for all the victims after 9 years? I don’t think so. We should not forget the victims of 9/11 because in many ways or the other they became part of America’s existence. They were victims of political maneuvering founded on a very egocentric interest of the few. We need not to also forget that the government is lenient in responding to the needs of the victims of 9/11.

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