As the “Attack on America” nears its three-month anniversary, the war on terrorism continues and the holy month of Ramadan has begun for the religion of Islam. Ramadan is a month where practicing Muslims fast during daylight hours. This is a time for Muslims who fast for one whole month to cleanse mind and body. During the day there is no eating, drinking, smoking or sexual intercourse to be taken part in. The sacrifices and differences made throughout the month remind the Muslim people about just how valuable not only food and drink are to us as humans, but life in general. Ramadan is just one of the 12 months on the Islamic calendar, the months move back 10 days every year according to solar movement. Ramadan is recognized as the holiest month of the all the months because the passages in the Quran were delivered to Profit Muhammad during this time.
Although the war on terrorism continues, as the United States still attacks Taliban forces and cities in Afghanistan daily, the holy month of Ramadan signifies what Muslims are truly all about. No other religion has an entire month where they fast and abstain from a normal routine to cleanse their minds and bodies. Other attributes such as anger in the fast are noted as nullifying the purpose of it all. Meaning, while we cleanse our minds, we don’t want to ruin such a brilliant process by getting angry with the person in the car in front of us which just cut us off, instead, we are urged to release the tension and concentrate more on being a good influence to other people in this month. Unfortunately this is the same religion that has been branded within the last few months by many people as being “violent” and “causing conflict” around the world.
The one main point I was reminded of when talking to my father about the attack on Sept. 11 was that those were people who did it. Simply, people with criminal intent. Therefore, we can brand them as Muslims, yes, but then do we brand the inmates on death row as killers and criminals, or as being of certain religion. The point my father made was a good one: the religion of Islam does not change its teachings and followings. But humans are humans and if people do not follow their religion to what is says, then how can we blame the other people who are still faithful to the teachings of the religion? We all know that humans make mistakes, and quite often. The men who took part in the horrible actions on Sept. 11 were not following the teachings of Islam. Those men were seen drinking alcohol the night before in a bar, which directly violates the words of the Quran (the book of Islam). Islam’s teachings are totally different then the actions of the terrorists.
Another unfortunate point about the whole situation is that many people receive their knowledge through the eyes of television media. Television media has not done justice to the religion of Islam. I was having a conversation about the footage seen on the day of the attacks, the footage of people celebrating overseas in Palestine and Afghanistan, seen during daylight. That footage was shown two hours after the attacks, but it was impossible for that footage to be taped that day because it was still the middle of the night there. Furthermore, why and how would we have sent our news crews over there already? It was most likely old footage from the Gulf War.
The more we read and learn, the more we can give people a fair shake in this world. The more we read and learn, the more we realize that placing blame is never as simple as other portray it to be.