It is one of the best news items Muslims have had in a decade, we are delighted that an evil era has come to an end with the death of this evil man Osama Bin Laden. It brings a sense of justice and relief to nearly 3000 fellow Americans.
Indeed Muslims were not only victims of his terrorism, but were also subject of harassment by several governments around the world in Airports as well as employment and ordinary life acts. The Sikh community also became a target of the mistaken identity. With his death, we pray that the Taliban mind set and the oppression of women in Afghanistan also comes to an end.
President Obama’s statement was profound, he literally stole the sentiments and words of Muslims around the world, “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” As Muslims, we welcome this.
I recall that dark Tuesday on September 11, 2001, I was called in to manage the emergency situation on Radio station AM 1150 and handle the crisis. My first goal was to make sense out of the chaotic incoherence of the day and move forward purposefully. I was on the air from 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM on AM Radio 1150 and 950 simulcasted at times.
The Spiritual leaders from all faiths and traditions were called in to pray and share their wisdom for this moment. They were from the traditions of Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Zoroastrian and other traditions. Area Mayors, community and business leaders joined in as well.
The fog was clearing up; Osama bin Laden was our enemy and we had to get rid of him to bring justice; Muslims had nothing to do with Osama, nor did they authorize that terrorist; and a declaration of war against Osama was made on the Air.
By the end of the day a clear sense of direction was developed, a sense of Unity had emerged on the Radio, multi-faith prayers were arranged and fund raising had begun. That historic day, I made a commitment to dedicate this day and unite Americans of every faith, race and tradition on the day every year and thank God we have been doing this.
People were responding to my calls to donate blood, my late wife Najma was driving around and reporting from the Blood centers and called in to tell us to stop the announcements as the lines were too long and that they could not handle it any more for the day.
September 11, 2005 gave birth to Unity Day USA - 14 faiths were represented at the event with 650 plus individuals attending with 8 Mayors, FBI Chiefs and DOJ attended the event and the Fire and Police Chiefs were honored. The civic Officials proclaimed it as Unity Day USA. It was well covered by the media.
I am working on making this day a national day of Unity and I want my fellow Americans to know that Muslims are committed for the well being, peace, prosperity, security and unity of America.
Indeed in a luncheon meeting with Congressmen Pete Sessions, Ralph Hall, Kenny Marchant, Paul Johnson and others, congressman Sessions suggested to designate the event on Sunday before 9/11 every year. Even the former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had jumped at the idea.
Bin Ladens death brings a closure to the reign of terror that began September 11, 2001 and we plan on a big celebration this year all over the nation.
# # #Mike Ghouse is an interfaith Speaker, thinker, futurist, writer, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a firm belief that the purpose of religion is to bring harmony to an individual within and create a balance with what surrounds; life and matter. If we can learn to respect and accept every which way people have come to worship the creator, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. He offers pluralistic solutions to media and to the public on complex issues of the day and is available to speak in a variety of settings such as schools, seminars, conferences, and places of worship, or the work place. His work is indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
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