In two days, the world will remember that day in which everything has changed, in which relations between friends turned into suspicion and in which yesterday’s ally became today’s enemy. Are we in a better or worse state? Was the Sept.11 tremor of any benefit for the Arab and Muslim world or did it deepen its rifts and increase its divisions?
The day after tomorrow will be the 11th anniversary of the day that switched the logic according to which the world was run so that it had become a black and white place, on in which it is either good or evil. Each party used to paint anything with the color it chooses according to its interests and ideologies so that the black became white and the white became black. Consequently, chaos prevailed and the world became the ideal stage for all types of political and intellectual absurdity.
I would like to ask those behind the Sept. 11 attacks and those who took advantage of them a few questions. I do not expect the answers to put my mind to peace, but at least to show me if we are better off than before or not.
I ask leaders of al-Qaeda who kill civilians to take revenge on states: Was the Islamic nation you are calling for established? Do you feel safe now after Arab revolutions staged by average citizens managed to topple tyrannical regimes while you only made statements from your caves?
I ask Americans: Is your homeland safer now that you invaded other territories and killed innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan? Is your economy in a better shape now after the series of arms deals you struck in the region? Was the Sept.11 tragedy an excuse to punish the world for the mistakes of one single vindictive group?
My beloved homeland paid the price of the recklessness and immaturity of some of its citizens and it is innocent of what they did like murder in the name of religion and terrorism in the name of justice, for they are in no way linked to those noble principles.
But there is always a beam of light in the midst of darkness and some lessons are only learnt when put to practice. All the corruption that lay hidden has now come out and we are now aware of our weaknesses and close to remedying them.
The Sept. 11 attacks have undoubtedly changed the world, but isn’t it time for the world to get over that day and put an end to this state of political absurdity?
The writer has worked as a reporter and editor in several Saudi newspapers and is the founder of themedianote.com, a website focusing on Arab media issues. He currently works at the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting in Doha. He can be followed on Twitter at: @alghaslan. This article first appeared in Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan on Sept. 9, 2012