Mourning 9/11. But What About the Rest?
As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, we are seeing documentary after documentary and constant mention in the media of the tragic events that occurred. Of course - it was a day of terror, 3000 lost their lives in a horrific manner, families were left torn apart. And the events of that day had a dramatically wider impact with the devastating backlash on Muslims still evident and in full flow today.
While every life lost is worthy of remembrance, we should also be taking the 10th anniversary as an opportunity to humble ourselves and look at other tragic losses of life in other parts of the world - those that aren’t deemed worthy of mainstream media coverage.
How about the thousands that have been - and are still being killed - in Iraq and Afghanistan? How about the orphans with no future in sight but poverty and destruction? Or those around the world facing the daily threat of illegal arrests, torture and humiliation? And the on-going ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? Where’s the remembrance of the genocide in Bosnia? The victims of carpet-bombing in Vietnam? The list is endless.
Why is it that we don’t remember the other deaths that occur? Because they’re not American? Do we believe that some lives are really more valuable than others? And is the terror inflicted on victims only recognised as terror if the perpetrators fit the right stereotype?
But surely the most important question is what are we doing to prevent any future deaths? After 9/11 America and Britain, in fact the whole of Europe, has vowed to crack down on terrorism – and our governments’ counterproductive policies have led to illegal wars, thousands of unfounded arrests and the demonisation of the entire Muslim population globally. What is the world doing to end the oppression of innocents around the globe, to end illegal wars, to prevent ‘Western’ extremism and to really make the world a safer place? And what are we as individuals doing to campaign for justice?
This year, rather than thinking you’re doing your bit for the loss of innocent life by simply participating in a 2 minute silence on 11th September, remember and do something for those who experience and live a 9/11 daily.