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My thoughts on 9/11

It's good to say that we will never forget, but it's more important to wisely implement what we remember. This is not a day to enact the kind of American pride that makes people feel justified in committing hate crimes, acts of prejudice, or cultural generalization. Muslims are not terrorists. There are terrorists of every faith and culture throughout the world, including American Christians, so if you truly believe in justice and serving God and Country, support your fellow Americans regardless of their differences AS WELL AS the troops who defend our freedom to do so. Freedom isn't free, but ignorance carries a very high cost.

That's why we were attacked in the first place; because extremists fostered a spirit of anti-Americanism in under-informed people who were easily swayed into believing that violence was the only means of eradicating the evil that they were told America represents. They bought the hype and acted on it. What do we do if we attack our Muslim neighbors, whether in name, body or principle? We buy the hype and act on it. We may not be crashing planes into their cities to deliberately kill thousands of civilians, but discrimination, vandalism, slander, assault, murder, burning of the Quran - these are all acts of terrorism, and if we do these things we are NOT honoring the memory of those who died nine years ago, nor are we asserting our strength and superiority over our perceived enemy. We are REPEATING the actions that make us perceive them as an enemy, thereby perpetuating the cycle and REINFORCING the extremists' perception of us as evil, and therefore worthy of annihilation.

Before you go thinking I'm an idealist who would stand in front of a tank and think I won't get shot at, I'm not an idiot. We do still need to be vigilant. There are still extremists vying for global attention by committing acts of terrorism on American soil, but not because they are Muslim. It is because they are deceived, and we are allowing ourselves to be equally deceived if we allow the actions of a few (and in comparison to the worldwide population of completely peaceful Muslims, they are VERY few) to guide our view of all Muslims. So yes, absolutely, vow to never forget 9/11/01. Keep it with you as a reminder of what uninformed judgement has wrought, and will continue to ensue if we continue to meet it with generalizations about an entire culture based on the despicable actions of violent men who do NOT represent their people.

I will spending the entire day in Manhattan, going about my business as an American in this wonderful melting pot of a city. I will remain vigilant as always, but I will honor the day by observing the lesson it has taught me, which is actually best summated in a Bible verse: " Judge not, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and in the way you measure it to others, it will be measured to you" (Matthew 7:2). This is what I will never forget.

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