Muslims Against Terrorism - A Muslim Perspective On N.Y. & D.C. Terrorist Attacks


Syed B. Soharwardy

Founder and President

Muslims Against Terrorism (M-A-T)

Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC)


September 15, 2001

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon did not only shock the Americans or the western world, these attacks have put the entire Muslims of the world into a very defensive position. From Morocco to Indonesia all Muslim governments are stunned by these terrorists’ attacks. The Muslims living in the western world were concerned about the backlash. The terrorists have committed a great evil against Non-Muslims and Muslims alike. They have not only spilled the blood of innocent people, but in doing so they have also splashed that blood on all Muslims. Majority of Muslims believe that Muslims could not commit these heinous crimes because of the sophistication and precision in the planning and execution of these terrorist attacks. In the midst of the attacks on WTC and Pentagon, people are being led to believe that this kind of operation has been launched by someone from the dark corners of the world putting the whole American intelligence apparatus at bay. Don't the world understand as to who exactly are the real beneficiaries of this episode. On the other side, who will be suffering the most from these terrorist attacks? Yes, America was attacked. Thousands of lives and billions of dollars in property and business damages were lost. But the losses for Muslims are very severe as well. Following are some of the losses, which the entire Muslim nation (Ummah) will face after these attacks.

  1. The world focus on the new Palestinian Intifadha has vanished. Now whatever Israel does in the occupied Palestine is no more important for the western world. Palestinian cause is no more the centre of world's attention.
  2. The freedom movements in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Kossovo and Macedonia will be affected very badly. Any support to these movements will be seen as support to terrorists. The financial and material support to these movements will end or will be at minimum. Thus causing these movements to die.
  3. The Islamic political parties in Muslim countries will further be oppressed or banned all together by the very authoritarian governments in most of the Muslim countries.
  4. Potentially, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iran and few other Muslim countries will be dragged into what is called war against terrorism. Either, these Muslim countries will be directly attacked by the US and NATO forces OR the intelligence organizations of USA will penetrate so deep in side these countries that they will try to create civil wars in these countries.
  5. The activities of Muslim organizations in the western world especially in North America will be watched with microscope. Many Muslim organizations have already canceled or delayed their fund raising activities to support local mosques and Islamic schools.
  6. The hostilities and hate crimes against Muslims living in the western countries are already on the rise and when USA and NATO forces will strike against Afghanistan and potentially some other Muslim countries these hostilities and discrimination against Muslims will increase. It may cause loss of lives and property damage.

Islam is a faith of peace, justice and service to humanity as well as a civilizing force for humanity wherever it is introduced and established. Even though Islam forbids violence, especially against innocent and defenseless people and even though Islam has been in the west for centuries, Muslims are still left defending their faith from hatred, contempt, and ignorance as if all Muslims are responsible for the sins of a few. Everyone knows that many people have and will use religion (inappropriately) and Scriptural verses (out of context) to justify their otherwise evil behaviour. For example, many white supremacist groups use Biblical verses to rationalize their racist beliefs and behaviours and many have very Christian-sounding names for their churches and organizations. Why are they not referred to as Christian supremacists, Christian fundamentalists, or Christian extremists? We live in the age of information. Considering all the information, groups, and other resources available to western world, Muslims should not have to justify, defend, or apologize for the noble faith of Islam. There is no cause, justification, or reason for violence or terror in Islam. Islam, like the truth, speaks for itself.

As far the Osama bin Laden is concerned, the investigation against him is in the early stages and it is not conclusive. He is just a suspect. There is a procedure in any court of law that it follows and without that no punishment is given to the suspect. Majority of the Muslims feels that the greatness of character counts to a great extent. Osama bin Ladin should present himself to Americans who want him and say that I am ready to face the charges. He is a
single person and a single person's interests are not more important than the interests of entire Muslim nation and a Muslim country. He should have greatness of character in this time.

A very unfortunate situation with the present Muslims is that they do not have a leader or leading organization, which can help them in making critical decisions. There are two leading Muslim organizations, OIC (Organizations of Islamic Countries) and World Muslim League (WML) but both of these organizations have become very ineffective. Muslims around the world realize that the United Nations is in fact United States and there is a big vacuum for the Muslims to be heard on the worldwide level. 99.99% of Muslims around the world are shouting and telling the western world that they are too Against Terrorism. They have also been victim of terrorism, hate and discrimination in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Kossovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, India, Burma, USA, Canada, UK and many other countries but the voice of 1.5 billion Muslims falls on deaf ears. Do we know why?