Thursday, November 5, 2009

Peace, Tolerance and Compassion

The big story coming out of Kent, Connecticut, this past week has to do with a grieving father pitted against town officials over the wording for a proposed memorial to the man's son who perished in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.

Peter Gadiel lost his 23 year old son James on that fateful day. James was an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald which had its offices on the 103rd floor of Manhattan's World Trade Center in New York City. For several years now, James' hometown of Kent, CT., has been wanting to remember and honor him with a plaque to pay tribute to his memory. And this is where things get sticky. Peter Gadiel is insistant that the wording on the plaque should specifically state that James was "murdered by Muslim terrorists." Fortunately the City of Kent town officials have balked at Mr. Gadiel's request.

I certainly understand and sympathize with Mr. Gadiel's grief, however I feel that his request is misguided. I also find it offensive, racist, indecent, unfairly prejudicial, inflammatory, and hurtful toward the millions of peace-loving Muslims in our world. This issue is about so much more than just political correctness. Labeling an entire group of people based on the actions of just a few renegades only serves to perpetuate hate. And perpetuating hate is not something that the USA (or any country, for that matter) needs to be doing. Understanding different cultures, respecting other religions, and tolerating those who are different from ourselves is key. We must teach our children these important lessons so that they hopefully might grow up to live in a world of peace, tolerance and compassion. Don't we ALL want this for our children?

I realize this is a touchy subject with very strong emotions attached, but I was shocked at the amount of insulting and hateful comments I read on several websites. I will not publish any comments that I find offensive, uncivilized or insulting toward Muslims.

70 comments:

  1. My reaction, as of now- I may change my mind, is that if the the community is erecting the memorial- they can veto the father's request. That said, the request was legit- his son WAS murdered by Muslim terrorists, and we are not required by law to be politically correct.

    That said, I think it would be better that the city CHOOSE to be politically correct.

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  2. I absolutely agree with you. Why tar an entire community with the same brush reserved for a few bigots and fanatics.

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  3. Peter's Dad needs to come to grips with the fact that the perpetrators of 9/11 were just a bunch of misguided youth who committed a horrible crime.Using the word Muslim to define terrorist is about as logical as using Christian to define the actions of Timothy McVeigh.

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  4. i'm glad that the officials didn't agree with Mr.Gadiel's request, i'm a muslim and i agree that not all Muslims are terrorists, yet i understand the man's anger and Prejudice. it's not easy losing a son !!

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  5. Hear! Hear! Good post Susie. This is similar to an argument I keep finding myself in with a long-time friend who seems to think its an all-for-one thing. I keep trying to tell him that there are extremists in EVERY religion, belief, group, etc... he continues to support groups that are very anti-Islam (and very ignorant from what I've found researching). If we hadn't been friends since long long long before 9/11... I'd quit being his friend. All I can do is keep trying to fix his brain.

    -Monica

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  6. Susie, I totally agree with you. I understand the father's grief, but the wording he wants is so wrong..

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  7. I don't think it's hateful to speak the truth. This young man was murdered (i.e. his life was taken from him by someone else), the people who murdered him were Muslims (this is not a racial slur nor does it mean other Muslims would condone the actions it's simply a fact) and the act was an act of terror (meant to bring fear to others). I don't see how these facts can be denied. Also, I don't understand why peace-loving Muslims should feel this is prejudicial towards them. A number of years ago there was a Christian man who killed an abortionist. It was stated in the news reports that he was a Christian. As a Christian myself I didn't feel as if I was being targeted nor did I feel that the statement was prejudicial towards Christians. I knew this was one mis-guided individual who considered himself a follower of Christ. It had nothing to do with my faith or with me personally.
    What truly scares me is to live in a world where facts cannot be stated for fear of offending someone else or being called a racist. If the people who had flown the planes into the WTC had been Christians or Jews I bet no one whould object to them being named as such.

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  8. Somebody sent me a forwarded message saying not to buy the Muslim holiday stamp because of what they did in 9/11. I told her to check history and see what all the other religions have done in the name of their way of doing things, and this includes Christianity. Instead of hating, we need to have understanding.

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  9. Hi Susie:

    It is so great to have a different and introspective view of the Muslim World. When I was sitting in the airport in Denmark watching the international news, I realized, as Americans, that we got such an altered view of what was going on in the world.

    Once when I was on expedition in the Amazon Rainforest, I visited a remote tribe, which later I was told by local natives that the tribe I visited was very dangerous.

    When I returned to base camp, everyone was shocked that I had entered their village. I made several return visits, taking photos of the Chief, his wife and children. He took me hunting with his blowgun, which I now have as one of my prized possessions in my home.

    We are often given such a slanted view of the world news, that it is difficult to grasp an accurate perspective.

    We rely on talented writers and artists/photographers, to portray the truth and share it with the world.

    Susie, you are such a unique person. God Bless You and keep you safe.

    Warmest regards,
    Bob W

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  10. You know, some times I am touched. This is one of them. The music and the text.
    xxoxo - Dixie

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  11. Unfortunately people are quick to condemn an entire group when only a few have done wrong…..very sad.

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  12. People are quick to condemn....I won't deny that but Americans often times will distort the truth of an issue just to make it less hostile, damaging, painful, etc.

    I don't think the father should blame all Muslims - it wasn't the entire Muslim community but it was "Muslim Terrorists" that murdered over 3000 Americans on that horrible, tragic day on 9/11 and I do not for one minute believe they were misguided youths either. This was a well thought out plan by people who were well trained and knew exactly what they were doing.

    You will never understand until the depth of his grief unless you yourself lose a child. U pray you never do.

    I am teaching my children to be tolerant and respectful of other cultures, religeons, lifestyles, etc., but wrong is still wrong and what they did was dead wrong.

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  13. "I also find it offensive, racist, indecent, unfairly prejudicial, inflammatory, and hurtful toward the millions of peace-loving Muslims in our world"


    Today we can go back and read things written about the Japanese after the Pearl Harbor attack. Today we probably wouldn't say them but it is foolish to forget what Americans thought of the Japanese on December 8, 1941.

    The father's feelings are real and understandable. His son was murdered by Muslims motivated by ideas that have been taught in Muslim countries for generations. The fact that only a small minority are terrorists doesn't mean that it is wrong to call that small minority Muslim terrorists. Calling them Muslim terrorists isn't racist (Islam isn't a race is it?). I would hope that slightly more diplomatic language would be used but the truth can hurt. Denying the truth won't make it go away.

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  14. I know I am running the risk of being "offensive, uncivilized or insulting" but I feel I must say what needs to be said.

    It is not that we (or me, in this case) are judging an "entire group of people based on the actions of just a few renegades only serves to perpetuate hate" but we are judging you, Muslims, collectively, by what you do. Look around you and tell me that Islam treats non-Muslims as they should be treated, or even as Muslims want to be treated in the West. Now take this thought and look at surrounding countries. Do you see discrimination? Do you see religious freedom? Have you heard of apostasy laws?

    No, Muslims cannot hide behind the fact that they personally are "peace-loving" when they consent to what other Muslims do, by their actions or inaction. Nor do I believe that you have the right to use words like "understanding, respect and tolerating" while living in SA. If I remember correctly, your own husband, the father of your children, thinks that people should be killed if they leave Islam. What does that say about him? What does that say about you? How does that fit in with the "teach our children" phrase?

    Susie, I like your blog. You have spunk. I have found you to be pretty down to earth, so I don't mince words with you. You must understand that things will get worse because there is a group of people that refuses to be honest about these things. Hitting the "delete" key may spare your feelings or those of the readers, but it does nothing to make this world better.

    You don't promote peace, tolerance and compassion by ignoring violence, intolerance and hate just because it is on your side of the fence.

    That is it for now. Hit delete or not, I really don't care. Like Scarlet, I don't give a damn.

    Kactuz

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  15. this is not labeling all muslims, this is correctly labeling THIS group of people who committed his atrocity.

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  16. In response to the comment from Sandy you could also say "male" terrorists ...

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  17. MASH message for Peter Gadiel:

    Dear Mr. Gadiel,

    You said: "Muslims have to acknowledge that it was their co-religionists who committed this act in their name." We couldn't agree with you more. Please know that there are Muslims who are disgusted with Kent officials' cowardice. Without acknowledging what happened on 9/11, there is no way forward. Germany acknowledged the Holocaust and other atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis in WWII and Germans became a better people for it. We would like to add our voices to your demand that "Murdered by Muslim terrorists" be added on your son's memorial plaque.

    Respectfully,

    Muslims Against Sharia

    http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2009/10/father-of-911-victim-fights-to-have.html

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  18. Thanks for all the comments.

    I think we can all agree that "Terrorists were responsible for James' death." Saying this on the plaque would be enough, without adding the word "Muslim." To me it is unnecessary and inflammatory.

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  19. why does he have to say muslim terrorists, do we say catholic killer ,one someone of that faith murders someone??
    Saying murdered by a terroriste is enough,why created more hatred.

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  20. 8 years on this father has not evolved from the initial anger of grief. He could learn from Daniel Pearl's father who set up a foundation to foster understanding and peace among Muslims and Jews. It would be more eloquent and accurate to say "Died tragically on 9/11 in the X Tower of the World Trade Centre" or some such. Using "terrorist" is superfluous and politicizing, and saying "Muslim terrorist" is inaccurate. Muslims agree that these men were misguided and not acting according to Islamic principles.

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  21. Personally myself, I think 'terrorist' is sufficient. However, I do wonder if there is a middle ground here - would 'Islamic extremist' be any less offensive than 'Muslim terrorist' or pretty much on the same level?

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  22. While it might be perceived as inflammatory I agree with Liberal American Muslim and Jay Kactuz. If the young man had been murdered by "right wing Christian fanatics" I think that would aiso be appropriate to call it by name. If we don't name it we can't move forward to change it. The Germans DID finally name it and in fact have laws in place to protect against it happening again. I don't think anyone with a reasonable amount of common sense would blame Muslims as a whole for these terrorists actions. In the direct aftermath of 9/11 our church preached about taking care to not take out frustrations on innocent Muslims...Muslims for whom this was a tragedy too, who could never agree to such a thing. I don't personally know of anyone who was hateful or mean to Muslims.( I am sure there were instances; I am saying I know of not one single one personally) I DO KNOW non Muslim people who reached out to Muslims to let them know they understood it wasn't the entire religion, but some crazy fanatics who did this to America. But it is due to a twisted Muslim ideology that 9/11 happened. I think it is better to confront it for what it is and try to tackle the problem. If we can't get a handle on terrorism and the way they twist Islam for their own personal agendas it will continue to haunt the world and overshadow innocent and peace loving Muslims. Is that fair to them to have to live with that? I don't think it is. And I don't think it can REALLY change until Muslims themselves take the bull by the horns to do everything in their power to help rid the world of this awful scourge of terrorism in whatever way they can.

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  23. The men who flew a plane into the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 and men like Bin Laden should never be considered Muslim in my mind. They are fucking crazy men who rule by fear, twist the messages of the Quran for their own selfish needs, do not accept changed, and do not accept that people are different.

    True leaders rule with love in their heart, seek to change the world for the better, and will listen to another points of view. True leaders put the needs (and wants) before their own needs (and wants).

    One day this man who wants to have a plauqe inscribed with "mudered by Muslims" will one day come face to face with his fear. One day he will be humbled to realize that not all "Muslims" are terriost or crazy fucking extermists. One man in my home town did. His wife and daughter were one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. He was angry, but what did he do? He reached out and got to know several Muslims in our small community and his life was better for it. His life was enriched, he became a true leader among the Christian community, and he forgave.

    This man sounds like he has a lot of anger about what happened to his son. Does he not realize that he is not the only one who lost a loved one? How about the woman who lost her husband after only a month of marriage...she had to learn how to overcome her fears. Forgiveness is the only way to go and embracing your fears can enrich your life.

    Ghada Alamin

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  24. This is to Jay:

    If we apply your same standards, well lets look at the US. How many people have they killed in the 20th century. Well, let us forget Japan which they killed 250,000 civilians because it was a war. How about Vietnam 1.5-2.0 million. Central America in the 80's maybe 100,000. Iraq maybe 500,000. Afghanistan lets say 40,000. Or how about the Native Americans or the slave trade. So are we to label Americans as mass murderers or a people with the most barbaric culture. I think most rational people would not and they would distinguish between the actions of their government and people.

    Your comments on Saudi Arabia are simply specific to that country and its laws which is not a true representation of Islam.

    Talking about tolerance, what country in the 20th century has invaded the most countries. Last time I looked it was the US not any Muslim country. Maybe before you preach to others about justice and tolerance, take a look in your own backyard and start there first.

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  25. If the plaque reads "Muslim Terrorists" that is not the same thing as it reading "Muslims"

    @Carol,

    It could be labeled "male" or many other things. But these particular terrorists labeled themselves as Muslim, and their rationale was grounded in that faith- albeit a very twisted version of it.

    @Chiara- I heartily approve of how Daniel Pearl's father has channeled his grief. However, that doesn't mean we can fault others who are less productive.

    And not all Muslims agree these terrorist were misguided. Muslims Terrorists are still slaughtering people (usually Muslims) in the name of faith.

    @J Kactuz ""Nor do I believe that you have the right to use words like "understanding, respect and tolerating" while living in SA."

    Luckily that is not your right to decide. Those of us living in KSA can use whatever words we can get away with. And many peace loving Muslims have taken stands against terrorism. It is not as sensational as a good bombing and it gets less press coverage. But I'm sure someone like you is perfectly capable of finding out about it since you have access to a computer. You need to do your homework.

    Conclusion: This father has the right to ask for the plaque to read as he likes- since what he wants it to state is the truth. And the city paying for it, has the right to be politically correct, if they deem it better for the community as a whole- as they represent a community, not just the father.

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  26. If the plaque reads "Muslim Terrorists" that is not the same thing as it reading "Muslims"

    @Carol,

    It could be labeled "male" or many other things. But these particular terrorists labeled themselves as Muslim, and their rationale was grounded in that faith- albeit a very twisted version of it.

    @Chiara- I heartily approve of how Daniel Pearl's father has channeled his grief. However, that doesn't mean we can fault others who are less productive.

    And not all Muslims agree these terrorist were misguided. Muslims Terrorists are still slaughtering people (usually Muslims) in the name of faith.

    @J Kactuz ""Nor do I believe that you have the right to use words like "understanding, respect and tolerating" while living in SA."

    Luckily that is not your right to decide. Those of us living in KSA can use whatever words we can get away with. And many peace loving Muslims have taken stands against terrorism. It is not as sensational as a good bombing and it gets less press coverage. But I'm sure someone like you is perfectly capable of finding out about it since you have access to a computer. You need to do your homework.

    Conclusion: This father has the right to ask for the plaque to read as he likes- since what he wants it to state is the truth. And the city paying for it, has the right to be politically correct, if they deem it better for the community as a whole- as they represent a community, not just the father.

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  27. I agree fully with Jay, Deb, Oby and anyone else that says it is fine to speak the truth and the truth should not be hidden. He WAS killed by Muslim terrorists (I would think differently if it just said 'killed by Muslims')and the Muslims that find that fact offensive should be the ones reaching out, NOT the grieving, angry father. More than anyone else it is the Muslims that need to be reminded that it WAS Muslim terrorists and while I teach my children to be tolerant and compassionate to EVERYone, THEY need to make sure that their children are being taught the same! They can't sit around saying Islam is peace while their children are sitting in the masjid being taught to hate the infidel.

    Does anyone think that US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan PhD. was just a misguided youth?

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  28. With all due respect to those who will disagree with me, 8 years since losing your child most likely will not ease the pain or create an evolution of peace and understanding. I pray that I'll never know that pain.

    That said;

    In light of the tragic events that took place in Fort Hood TX yesterday, and the honor killing in Arizona, using islamic extremist or muslim terrorist is only appropriate. Ignoring the truth will not make it go away. If the murderers name was Eli Goldstein he would surely be connected to Judaism.

    The facts clearly demonstrate muslims (not Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or atheists) are creating terror and murdering innocent people, including fellow muslims.

    Lack of tolerance, understanding or interfaith education on the part of non-muslims will not alleviate the problems plaguing the islamic world.

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  29. well said Sam!!!!

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  30. There is NO NEED to even put the word 'terrorists' on that plaque. Terrorist is such a subjective word and if we decide to use it once here, then can we not simply put it EVERYWHERE? I mean doesnt every 'group' label the enemy group 'terrorists'?
    Cant we put on every grave of Afghanis murdered by the American army? Surely they perceive their kin to have been murdered by a coalition of Western terrorists?
    Lets also allow all the mosques and schools and hospitals and private homes in Gaza city to display plaques 'scene of massacre by Yellow Star terrorists'. Wouldnt that be ok?

    My opinion is that to even WANT to use the word 'terrorist', to grave it in stone for all to come across and reflect upon, is an INTENDED POLICY OF SOWING HATRED into the hearts of others. This father is a sick man who must find another way of dealing with his hurt.

    I wont even comment on how lowly I think he is for wanting to include the word 'Muslim' in his subversive project.
    Marya

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  31. we all know the fact that they were muslim. but when you put up a plaque, WHY do you need to include the word muslim?

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  32. It makes me a bit sad that there is even a debate about this. I agree with alot of the posters here, that this man's father is clearly grieving and angry about his son's untimely death. And I mean to take nothing away of the facts. They are what they are, but the fight to add to the plaque "murdered by muslim terrorists" is horrifying to me.

    The gross act of adding such superfluous information appalls me for the following reasons:

    1. 9/11, September 11, World Trade Center and any other term associated with the events surrounding this tragedy are synonymous with extreme acts of terror. I understand that this man is grieving, but the fight to add the tagline that he was killed by muslim terrorists is unneccesary and inflammatory.

    2. It invalidates James Gadiels entire life to only his death. I find it incredibly sad that instead of a celebration of life, Mr. Gadiel is so wholly focused on his sons demise. When the public looks upon this memorial, they won't see the life of a young man, but the events surrounding his end.

    There are so many instances where people who have lost have tried and succeeded in turning tragedy into positives. I would hope that Mr. Gadiel can start the healing process, which tagging his son's memorial with hate mongering slogans is not conducive to, and channel his energies into something positive, before his obvious grief destroys him.

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  33. the day they are allowed to do this they should also add other relgions, when there is ashooting spree that kills innocents, they never put killed by christian mad man etc, i dont agree with putting the religions, as these type of people are crazy. :(

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  34. Should Iraqis bury their dead with the plaque "Murdered by Christian usurpers/terrorists"?

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  35. Lets be fair and apply one standard. Most muslims would agree to the term muslim terrorist if we apply it to the graves of all the civilians killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. I am sure the relatives of civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan would very much like the phrase "killed by American terrorist" or "killed by Christian terrorist" on their relatives grave site. Or how about label the US forces in Iraq as the "terrorist invaders", for last time I looked no one invited them to come invade, kill, occupy and destroy their country.
    You cannot have one standard for your loss and not apply it to others.

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  36. I would not have a problem if that abortion doctor that was killed by a Christian Extremist Terrorist had a plaque in his honor that stated that fact. That way, when people would see that plaque they would also be reminded of how religion can become EVIL when it is taken to the extreme.

    As far as what the plaques might say for the dead Iraqis, well, most of them too would need a plaque saying that they were killed by Muslim Terrorists!

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  37. i'm maronite catholic...and could not honor a meorial that was so hateful! there are good in bad in all relgions!

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  38. I think 'Muslim terrorists' is unfortunate because it sounds like it is a normal Muslim thing to be a terrorist.

    I think if the inscription were more carefully and precisely written, it would be fine and even useful... to wit:

    "Killed by Islamic extremists."

    Islamic extremism is one of many evils in the world, and it is politically healthy to name all such evils precisely and clearly.

    Similarly, to say Timothy McVeigh, abortion doctor killers, and the like as Christian extremists is useful.

    Extremism in religion is an evil.

    I am bothered by what I see as the excessive politeness here, because it has the effect of denying the evil of Islamic extremism - and so many thousands have died. It does dishonor to their memory, to deny the cause of their death.

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  39. I agree that this man was murdered by men who are considered terriost, but what about the other 1000's of people who were murdered on that plane? Should America just put up a plaque where the World Trade Center was with the inscripition "Killed By Muslim Terriost"? Is this even morally correct?

    How many people in this country are acutally murdered by "Muslim Terriost" on a daily basis? Does anybody realize that the word terriost applys to more than just fucking extermist religious fanatics? Am I a terriost because I wear hijab or because I pray? Am I a terriost, because I choose to believe in only one God?

    The Muslim community can only reach out so far to people who are grieving from the acts of stupid extermist and the rest is up to those who want to learn. Until you have acutally lost someone in a terriosm attack, you have no idea what goes on inside of someone. You can try to understand, but you never will until it happens to you. So...please...keep in mind that your life can change in an instant. Mine did because of a stupid act.

    Ghada Alamin

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  40. Jill (the Chinese reader in Holland)Nov 7, 2009, 6:16:00 PM

    Dear Susie,

    I remember i might have asked before, but I can't find that particular blog anymore, where you talked about your nephew, that once he turned a grownup person, you can no longer give him a hug....
    How do you actually greet each other? i mean when you meet say the father or brother of your husband, or just a male friend of your husband, how do you then greet them?? handsshake? or just nodding?... thanks!!

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  41. Anonymous, I would agree with you to say "Killed by Islamic extremists." but I think you have to leave in 'terrorist' as one can be an extremist but that doesn't automatically mean they are terrorists and also, not all terrorists are Muslim. So 'Islamic Extremist Terrorist' then?

    And Ghada, Until you have actually lost someone to Islamic Extremism, you have no idea what goes on inside of someone. You can try to understand, but you never will until it happens to you. The prevention of THAT, IS up to the Muslim community. It should not be a hardship to ensure that families and lives are not torn up by extremist ideology running unchecked in their communities.

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  42. Sandy--"8 years on this father has not evolved from the initial anger of grief." INITIAL anger is manifested in this type of insistence on targetting the perpetrator rather than focussing on the son lost. Daniel Pearl's father rapidly moved beyond that to transforming his grief into a positive in his son's name. I agree that he is an exceptional man. However, while the loss of a child never stops hurting, a prolonged grief reaction is abnormal, and would be better dealt with in other ways than a hatefilled plaque. Normal grief, ie the major sypmptoms of a grief reaction resolve in 6 months to 2 years, and there has been ample opportunity through formal ceremonies and material support for therapy to help most families through this tragedy and on to more constructive uses of their grief. The Jersey Girls come to mind. Their initial grief was well channelled into activism and they have moved on while not forgetting their loss.

    Ghada Alamin--you seem to have an excellent handle on this. I am sorry for the loss you suffered.

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  43. Wow..... so much to think about...I truly am not sure if I have a definitive feeling about this. I see several prospectives. The comments are just as thought-provoking as well. Wow..... I find myself having a debate with myself over this.

    Susie, I apologize for not commenting earlier. I've almost totally forsaken my computer as of late...the weather has been glorious and I am outside taking it all in..... I miss you and think of you so often. Wish I could meet you at Nando's again for so much fun and laughter. What a blessing it was to spend time with you..... I miss you.

    Take care...even though you are half-way around the world, you are close in my heart. Love you.
    Carol
    VB

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  44. Chiara- I don't disagree. I don't think that what this man wants is healthy. But we can not legislate how people grieve. It is his right to ask.

    But as I said it is the city's decision- and I hope they don't do it because it is not productive.

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  45. Yes, he was killed by muslim terrorists, who were not, by the way "youths". But just bear in mind when you decide how to word a public plaque, that in response, there will soon be plaques popping up all over the mid-East, "here lies so and so, murdered by a radical Christian" and accompanied by a quotes from Ann Coulter.

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  46. I know there are extremists in every religion and that religions is responsible for wars and atrocities. If muslims are asking for tolerance, compassion and understanding. . . are they willing to give these same things to others? It doesn't seem so. Certainly not compassionate to let young girls die in a fire rather than look upon their uncovered hair. Certainly not tolerant of women's human rights. Understanding of the western way of thinking? Not so much. It always amazes me that those who have suffered discrimination often are the first to discriminate against others.
    Just some ramblings.

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  47. Susie - this is a great post on an important topic and one which many folks feel very passionate about. The truth of the matter is that the people responsible for 9/11 - and this father's loss - were and are Muslim Terrorists. If calling them that makes some people uncomfortable, well then I suggest they vent their anger and disgust at the Muslim Terrorists, not the father.

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  48. In Spain we do have terrorosts too, located in the North, from the Vasc region.

    The thing is that even when we say the Vasc terrorists, we all already know not all Vascs are terrorist, we don't need to specify every time, we all know.

    The description never tries to be offensive, they are from where they are.

    Another thing is that would be easy to call them instead of a pplace or a community by their name.

    Instead of Vasc terrorists, ETA, instead of Irish terrorists, IRA, instead of Muslim terrorist, Al Qaeda or the group to which they belong, that specification could make things easy, because accomplishes the father's will of stating the truth of who killed his son, and at the same time no once could feel included in that description but whois from that group, nor the city/region/country/community they belong to.

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  49. All Political Correctness aside, what do the majority people think of when one says the word "terrorist" in the United States? Islamic extremists are usually the first to come to mind. Now while this may indeed be a fallacy in terms of numbers, or maybe not, these Muslim extremists have certainly impacted our American society in a devastating way.

    One another note, aren't "Muslim Terrorists" and "Islamic Extremists" pretty much the same in terms of meaning? To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about the father and his plaque. To me, it is clear that this father will probably have a distrust/dislike of Muslims from here forward, just as the majority of Palestinians have a strong dislike/distrust of Israeli's. Whether either side is right, is just a matter of opinion.

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  50. Helene, where have you seen these killings by Christian terrorists attrubuting their deeds to Ann Coulter? Have I missed something, I must be totally out of the loop.

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  51. Queen: Did it ever cross your mind that maybe I have an understanding of what goes on, but was taught to not harbor hate. I see the world at 80% positive and 20% negative; and that as people we have to be responsible for our own actions.

    The one thing that I was taught growing up in a liberal Christian family was this: "God gave His commandments to govern his people, but He gave them there free agency." Queen, I would like to talk to you more about what you stated in your comment.

    "The prevention of THAT, IS up to the Muslim community. It should not be a hardship to ensure that families and lives are not torn up by extremist ideology running unchecked in their communities." - I would like to know further what you mean. I can be reached at: GhadaAlamin@gmil.com

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  52. I took a history course last year that talked about recent history like 9/11 and even sooner than that (this prof considered 'yesterday' as part of his history course). He referred to the 9/11 terrorists as 'Islamic extremists', so that's why I am wondering if this term is any better than 'Muslim terrorists'. There are extremists in any religion who warp scripture so badly you can barely recognizes it, so I would be fine with the term, 'Islamic extremists' much like I would call the Westboro Baptist Church bunch 'Christian extremists'. These guys certainly don't speak for the rest of the Christians on the planet, much like the idiots who drag Islam through the mud with their stupid acts certainly don't speak for the large majority of Muslims who are awesome, great people.

    I recently left a part-time tutoring job because of school commitments, and most of the people I tutored were immigrants and refugees. I seriously loved helping the Muslim students the most, as they are friendly, hard-working people who truly appreciate your help :) They're the ones I'm going to miss the most, too :(

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  53. Puca--an interesting comment, and I agree that identifying the group responsible rather than the ethnicity or religion is most accurate. I always separate in my mind, ETA and Basque, IRA and Irish, Al Qaeda, and Arab/Muslim/Saudi etc.

    I don't think that those who have suffered are destined to hate the whole group. Hate is a Self destroying emotion.

    Ann Coulter is very good at hate speech but right now all that comes to mind is her rage at Canada not sending troops to Iraq (we are fighting in Afghanistan since that war started, specifically Kandahar); her comment about Canada being a country the US allows to exist, and her insisting to a CBC interviewer that Canada sent troops to Vietnam, no matter how hard he tried to get her off the hook she insisted on staying on--telling her Korea yes, Vietnam no, individual Canadians served with US troops in Vietnam but no Canadian Forces troops, etc. She promised to get back to him with proof she was right--we are all still waiting, including the Canadian Vietnam vets who served in the US armed forces, and do not qualify for vet benefits.

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  54. Well, hum, it's not subtile, on the other hand his son was really murdered, and it really was by a terrorist attack, and they really were terrorists who were muslim.
    So what's the problem?

    If muslims are that upset by hearing or reading the truth, they should clean up their community so muslim terrorrists don't get the funds and the support they need to make these attacks.

    After all, fundamentalism, in any religion, is based on the communities of those religions. And the fact that the normal believers will not speak up and protect their own re4ligion and community from fundamentalsm, and twisted ideologies end up in terrorism and murder.

    So don't complain if you see the truth written on a monument: fix the ummah.

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  55. Let's not forget that the 9-11 terrorists not only proclaimed themselves as Muslim, they also considered themselves to be way better as ''moderate'' muslims.

    I think therefore that the comment ''they were not really muslim'' counts.
    A religion is as a religion does.

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  56. Sorry but i totally diasgree with you, you can't hide the truth James Gadiel was murdered by a bunch of muslim terrorists. I'm fed up with all this p.c. crap that doesn't call things with their names, MSM tries to hide the truth by given any exuse eg. they seldom call honor killings by their rightfull name. The same is happening with the killing rampage in Fort Hood and Obama is saying not to jump to an easy conclusion.

    GRanted the majority part of muslim around the world are peacefull but sadly there are a minority that is hailing right now the killer of fort Hood as an hero!

    I don't think the request is racist since muslim isn't a race

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  57. I wonder what is written on the Oklahoma memorial, since Timothy Mc Veigh was an good old American boy and no muslim! no mention of religion , I am certain....

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  58. No reason for the Oklahoma Memorial to state religion. McVeigh did commit his act while shouting Allahu Akbar in any language.

    That said I do think the Ft. Hood situation will be more a matter of a someone going postal (and I'm not very sympathetic to that either). But no doubt the situation overlaps. He is getting support and pats on the back from people who identify as Muslim.

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  59. Yveline--good point:

    We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.®

    The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created to honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The Memorial and Museum are dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of violence, informing about events surrounding the bombing, and inspiring hope and healing through lessons learned by those affected.

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  60. Chiara,
    Interesting.'The Memorial and Museum are dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of violence, informing about events surrounding the bombing, and inspiring hope and healing through lessons learned by those affected.'

    So, this memorial for a 9/11 victim should talk about Islamic extremism, explain how it happens, where the terrorists train, who supports it and what to do to prevent it?

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  61. Perhaps in the Mc Veigh case since it was not done in the name of religion we could call him an American traitor. As I recall it was because he was unhappy with the government. That would seem to be relatively equal to something like Muslim terrorist. It identifies his nationality (American) and his action (traitor). I see no problem with that. IF he did it because of some funadamental Christian ideology then call it that.

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  62. Would everyone that supports the Muslim terrorist be stated on the memorial also support American terrorist written on the graves in Iraq and Afghanistan or on the graves in Vietnam? Most rational people would agree that invading, bombing, and occupying their country, and jailing and killing its inhabitants is terrorism, for terrorism is usually defined as the use of force or terror for political forces. 9/11 was a terrorist act just like the above invasions and occupations.

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  63. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all terrorists are Muslims. Some Muslims would like to believe the Holocaust never happened.
    Terrorists DID blow up the World Trade Center. THESE terrorists were Muslims.
    Muslim terrorists blew up the World Trade Center. They DID KILL Mr. Gadiel's son. He is speaking truth and how HE feels is how he feels. You don't get to rewrite history.

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  64. The Queen--apparently not. The only incription (at the Survivor' Tree) other than the trade marked on above (repeated on 6 doors) reads:

    The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.

    Those who look in the reflecting pool are supposed to see a face of someone changed by "domestic terrorism".

    No religious terrorism or the role of Christianity in the bombing is mentioned.

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  65. The BIG difference between Mc Veigh and 9/11 terrorist and other recent terrorism is that he DIDN'T use the religion as an motive for his act, he didn't yell Parise the Lord or something similar he was fed up with the us goverment...on the other side many muslim kamikaze while blowing themselves up they cried Allah Akbar (or something similar), so IMHO i don't see anything wrong by using muslim terrorism. I'm sure some of you won't agree with me.

    It's important that we must respect other religion and culture but i'm wondering why in some muslim countries this isn't happening why they tech that christians and jews are pigs in madrasses

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  66. Chiara, perhaps there is no mention of religious terrorism or the role of Christianity on a memorial in Oklahoma because religion DID NOT play a part?

    Previously you said: The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created... The Memorial and Museum are dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of violence, informing about events surrounding the bombing, and inspiring hope and healing through lessons learned by those affected.

    Yet this grieving father, according to you, is just supposed to put a plaque that says, in your words:'It would be more eloquent and accurate to say "Died tragically on 9/11 in the X Tower of the World Trade Centre" or some such. Using "terrorist" is superfluous and politicizing...'

    Why the difference?

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  67. The Queen

    First, let me apologize that in the first comment I made on the Oklahoma bombing there should have been quotation marks and a reference:

    "We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.®"

    "The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created to honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The Memorial and Museum are dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of violence, informing about events surrounding the bombing, and inspiring hope and healing through lessons learned by those affected."

    which are both from the Oklahoma bombing Memorial and Museum site
    http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/

    It seems to me clear that the emphasis in the inscription is the 1st quote and the one above about the Survivor Tree, and the stated purpose of the Memorial and Museum are a focus on the victims and the lessons to be learned and less on the bombing itself, although it remains to be seen how they describe the context.

    It seems to me that the most analogous plaque would be of the type I mentioned, one that emphasizes the victims, and gives only the basic context.

    Sandy--I certainly understand the father's response, I just think he doesn't have total rights over a public monument. It would be best to have agreement all round but his rights as a grieving father are superceded by the broader group. Hopefully he will come to greater terms with his grief and lose the anger or rechallenge it more positively.

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  68. Well, as I've stated it is up to the city to decide what they do- and I think it is better for the community they do not honor the fathers request. But he is not requesting something that is not true. I hope he finds some peace.

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  69. "why does he have to say muslim terrorists, do we say catholic killer ,one someone of that faith murders someone??
    Saying murdered by a terroriste is enough,why created more hatred."

    I am not sure the plaque should mention their religion, but because I don't think it will be helpful as Muslims are a minority in the US. who since 9/11 are painfully aware of what happened then and therefore don't need to be reminded of it, and because it might stir up undue negative feelings against that minority. For that reason I think it probably isn't a good idea. But this argument above in quotes is not a really valid argument against doing so.

    Every day random / spontaneous or premeditated acts of violence are committed by individuals each hailing from some faith or another. But those acts have nothing to do with their religion. There is a difference between a random person belonging to a religious group committing a crime like robbing, or murdering or raping someone for motivations unrelated to their religion, and a group of people bonded together by a common faith, committing an act they believe to be ordained by that faith in the name of that faith. What Osama and his henchmen do, they do in name of their religion and many people, also of the same religion, either openly or not so openly cheer them on. (my Muslims in laws in Toronto told me that many Muslims there were celebrating and cheering after the 9/11 attacks)

    Not all Christians participated in the Crusades, but Muslims will never let it be forgotten that the Crusaders were CHRISTIAN, and Muslims also like to talk about the JEWS who were bad to Mohammed, though not all Jews participated in those acts either. So why does it only become "irrelevant" to mention the religious affiliation of those behind a violent act done in the name of a religion, when the religion in question is Islam? It seems Muslims are asking for a different standard to be applied to them than to others.

    I think all groups, Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc. should acknowledge the extremist elements that exist within their communities and the harm they are capable of bringing about should they be allowed to continue unchecked, instead downplaying their existence or brushing the acts they commit under the rug with comments like "well they aren't 'true' followers of (insert name of faith here)if they did that" or "not all all (insert name of religious group) behave that way" or "well (insert name of another religion) did so and so to us back in (insert date in the past)"

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  70. nice post. thanks.

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