As Muslims we look back with sadness at what happened on September 11, 2001, it was undoubtedly an evil and criminal act of monstrous proportion. Muslims the world over have nothing to do with such an act of hate and destruction that drove the 9/11 bombers. Our prayers today are for the three thousand innocent lives lost, and thousands of other innocent men, women and children who have since lost their lives elsewhere as a result of the senseless wars unleashed in its wake.
On this anniversary, we recall with regret that this attack has been used to falsely accuse our cherished religion of Islam – a religion of humanity, being a target of irrational anger and hate, setting a global course of retaliatory action with little respect for human life, national sovereignty and rule of law. Terrorism is a crime and the perpetrators are not representatives of any faith, colour or race.
A lot has changed in the last 10 years but one thing remains the same: ordinary Muslims have continued to live by the values that have always made them decent, hard-working and community-oriented citizens. These were the values shown at the recent riots, where Muslims joined with people of all faiths and none to restore normality in our communities.
It has been a sad decade but has ended with grounds for optimism. It began with wars, more terror and even more lives lost. But it ended with Muslims in the Arab world demanding peace, democracy and the freedom to live their lives without fear and intimidation. The Arab Uprising was the best repudiation to the terrorists of 11 September 2001.
As we express our sympathy and solidarity to the families of all those who have lost their lives and suffered in 9/11 and since, let us honour their memory by rejecting the divisive agendas and placing our faith on our cherished values of global justice, freedom, and equality. We must redouble our efforts to achieve enduring solidarity amongst our diverse communities.