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A Message from the MWL President on the Anniversary of September 11

by Lena Al-Sarraf, MWL President

September 11, 2002 - an anniversary that marks an American experience of massive human tragedy committed by individuals who dared to act out a political agenda void of any reverence to values or appreciation of the sacredness of human life as God had intended.

It was an event that shook our souls, overwhelmed our hearts with grief and sadness and bewildered our minds. It was difficult to conceptualize that such an act could be committed with precise calculation and mastery, resulting in the loss of thousands of innocent lives.

It was a traumatic experience for every American who tried to cope with the enormity of the consequences and each American experienced the tragedy on different levels.

For some who lost loved ones - the loss was great and very personal. For others who lost a friend, associate or acquaintance - the loss was painful. For others, who lost their place of work or jobs because of the direct hit and the disintegrations of the Twin Tours or due to the events that led to a spiraling US economy - the financial loss was devastating. For others, who lost their civil liberties and became targets of hatred and prejudice - the loss was frightening.

There were signs of constructive healing - reaching out of Americans to their fellow neighbor. There was the heightened awareness of life’s vulnerabilities and limitedness and our mortality. There was an increase in spirituality and sense of togetherness with others in faith. There was an awareness of how vulnerable we were as a nation and possibly an increased sensitivity of the rest of the world’s sufferings. There were some signs of unity………

There were also signs of destructive behavior - some individuals reacting with emotion and violence and committing the unthinkable to cope with the tragedy - taking a life of another because of prejudice. There were also others who used the occasion to propagate hatred and scorn a whole religion as evil and offend its followers. There were those that used physical appearances to determine if an individual was a suspect and became a target for abuse and selective discrimination. There were bosses that used similar criteria to fire their employees - There was the Anthrax scare that killed several postal workers and created hysteria among the rest of the population ……….

As Americans, we need to stand together against oppression, tyranny and all that runs counter to reason. It is a battle against terrorism but also against using this tragedy as a podium to create division and strife.

Despite the destructive and dangerous behaviors committed by the few, we (as Americans) remain solid in our faith and maintain the conviction that Americans will not be racially divided by this event - that human life is sacred no matter who the individual (race, creed, color)………………….Human suffering is suffering no matter whether it is here in the United States or abroad.

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