AFTERMATH OF THE "9-11" TERRORIST ATTACK
EVENTS AFTER THE SECOND WEEK
Here, we will collect some of the off-beat developments that you otherwise may not have seen on regular news outlets.
Second week after the attack:
Internet religious activity:
Yep.com, a division of WebSideStory, monitors Internet traffic in dozens of categories; one of these is religion. They monitor the number of visitors to this site's most popular essays. During August, they rated our site, ReligiousTolerance.org as the most-visited religious web site on the Internet. We had averaged about 6,000 visitors per day.
After the terrorist attack, we sank to second place; the most-visited site was the Rapture Ready Message Board. 1 Apparently, a lot of people were interpreting the terrorist attack as a prelude to the end of the world. The rapture is a concept followed by many conservative Christians that Jesus will return towards the Earth. Born-again Christians, both dead and alive, will float through the air to meet him in the sky. We observed a remarkable change to our essays which dealt with end-time predictions. They rose from a position of relative obscurity to become our most popular essays.
A week after the attack, the British web site "About Islam and Muslims" has become the most popular religious site on the Internet according to Yep.com. 2 A lot of people appear to be curious about the religion of Islam. This site is second. The traffic to our most popular essays has doubled since August. The Rapture Ready site is third.
Eight days after the attack, some New York book stores, like Strand Bookstore Annex and Trinity Bookshop remain closed. 3 "Many are already putting up displays of titles that might help customers; others have memorialized the victims and their families and friends in touching ways. Sales have been erratic, and titles about the World Trade Center towers and terrorism have been popular." Barnes & Noble noted "that books with religious or spiritual content enjoyed the greatest sales increase in the days following the attack." 3 Operations manager Jonas Johnson at Powell's, in Portland, OR, noted that their "Middle Eastern section" He also observed that "at one point, half the customers in the store were clustered around the Nostradamus books." A sales associate in WaldenBooks in Watertown NY remarked that their entire stock of Nostradamus books dissapeared quickly on the day of the attack.
A bookseller at Books Inc., in San Francisco, CA, commented that many of the books in demand are either not released or on back order. 4
Sikhs appeal for understanding:
The Khalistan Affairs Centre issued a plea to the American media to educate the public about Sikhism. It was signed by 31 Sikh groups -- mostly by Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship).
"American media's performance following last week's horrendous suicidal
terrorist attacks in New York and Virginia has been excellent. But, as far as
the half million strong law-abiding Sikh American community is concerned the
September 15, 2001 cold-blooded murder - a hate-crime - of a fellow Sikh
American, Balbir Singh Sodhi, 52, in Meza, Arizona, (and one hundred ninety
other hatred-filled-crimes against Sikhs all across the U.S. in just one week)
have proved that the great American journalist and editor, Walter Lippmann
(1889-1974), was right. He had warned in his book 'The Public Philosophy' that;
'When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses
of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion.'
The Khalistan Affairs Centre is an separatist organization which is promoting a separate country for Sikhs.
Books people are buying:
Publishers Weekly collected the names of books that have been selling well:
Nostradamus (1503-1566) was a 16th century French physician, occultist and alchemist. He is famous for writing 1,100 quatrains in archaic French. They are believed by some to foretell the future. The following quatrain has been circulating via Email:
Sounds impressive. However, it is a hoax. He never wrote it. One good indicator is that he died in 1566. The quatrain actually originated in an essay written by Neil Marshall, a student at Brock University in Canada, back in the 1990s. He wrote the passage in order to demonstrate how any obscure verse will be interpreted to fit just about any historical event. The final line was added recently. 8
There are also some problems with this passage:
WTC attack foretold:
Preston Online reports that psychic Valerie Clarke forecast the WTC attack back in 2001-JUN. She made the prediction on the British Broadcasting Corporation's television program "Kilroy Show." Mrs Clarke, 30, of Old Bridge Way, Chorley, UK told "presenter Robert Kilroy Silk that she had a vision of a massive explosion caused by a plane crashing into the second tower in Manhattan." 4
Reuters reported that a conversation between U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a reporter may result in a change to the name of the Pentagon's attack plan "Operation Infinite Justice." Apparently no one in the Defense Department consulted Muslims when they chose the name. "...several Islamic scholars objected to the name on the ground that only God, or Allah, can mete out infinite justice in their view." 5
In one of President Bush's speeches, he called on a "crusade against terrorism." In North America, the term "crusade" simply means a program or organized effort. Billy Graham's evangelistic drives in many cities worldwide have been called "crusades" for many decades. But for Muslims, the term triggers memories of atrocities committed by Christian armies which roamed across Europe in the Middle Ages. They killed hundreds of thousands of defenseless Jews on their way to the Middle East. Once there, they slaughtered countless Muslims and Jews in acts of great barbarism. The memory is still strong.
Representative John Cooksey (R-LA) referred to Muslims on a Louisiana radio network: "If I see someone come in that's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over." 6 He later apologized for his statement.
Andy Shallal runs Shallal's own Skewers and Luna Grill in Washington DC. He has organized a campaign among the owners of 7,000 restaurants who form the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. The goal is to raise as much as five million dollars by having next Monday's entire proceeds donated to charities who provide victim relief. He said: "I'm just tired of being depressed, and I wanted to do something." Shallal, 46, was born in Iraq, came to the U.S. thirty years ago, and has become an American citizen. 6
Reincarnation by cloning:
Claude Vorilhon, 54, known as Rael to his followers, is the leader of a new religious movement, the Raelians. 7 It is a UFO related group with over 55,000 members in 84 countries. Their headquarters is near Montreal, Quebec. He suggests that DNA be recovered both from the victims and the perpetrators of the terrorist attack. He proposes that all be cloned. He said: "If we can bring back to life the victims, that will be wonderful for the families." Meanwhile, the terrorists can be "judged and punished like they deserve to be punished." 6 Unfortunately, clones of the victims might have bodies similar to the people who died, but not their personalities and memories. The concept of trying a clone in a court of law for a crime that was committed before his birth raises some troubling ethical issues.
Recommendations about use of language:
The Religion Newswriters Association passed a resolution saying that it was "troubled" by extensive use of terms such as "Islamic terrorist." They also rejected "similar phrases that associate an entire religion with the action of a few." Reporters should "avoid stereotypes [and] be aware of the complexity of religious traditions and to use care in attempting to describe the motives of terrorists."
Ingrid Mattson, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America, said that "Terrorism is a tactic, a strategy. It's not an ideology." She notes that terrorists themselves use the term "Islamic terrorist," and that news organizations need simple terms for their headlines and stories. She recommends that Muslims and the U.S. media Americanize certain Muslim terms, by using the name God instead of Allah and scarf instead of hijab. She also agrees with many Muslim scholars that "jihad" means defensive war.
Third week after the attack:
A Global Psychic Experiment:
Well known Druidic authority, Isaac Bonewits, notes that "there are thousands of people with psychic abilities in America and elsewhere in the world who are wondering how to fight terrorism in general and Osama bin Laden in particular. Here is one possible way that might also produce some scientifically useful data." He has asked psychics around the world to use their psychic or divinatory skills to sense Osama bin Lauden's location on OCT-2 (Full Moon), OCT-9 (4th Quarter), and OCT-16 (Dark/New Moon), and to Email the results back to him. 10
Nation Review fires columnist:
Ann Coulter was a National Review columnist. On National Review Online, she suggested that because of the terrorist attacks, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." The editor of the web site later refused to run a follow-up column in which Coulter suggested: "We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males." National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldberg said: "We didn't feel we wanted to be associated with the comments expressed in those two columns. We got a lot of complaints from sponsors and a lot of complaints from readers left, right and center. We've decided for editorial reasons we think are sound that we're no longer going to run Ann Coulter's syndicated column."
She linked herself to Rev. Jerry Falwell and Bill Maher. Falwell blamed the attack on Pagans, abortion providers, civil libertarians and homosexuals seeking equality; he later apologized. Maher was host of the TV program "Politically Incorrect." He called U.S. troops "cowards" for bombing from afar. He also later apologized.
Frank Rich, a columnist for the New York Times said she was fueling "hysteria on the right." Alex Beam, of the Boston Globe, called her a "right-wing telebimbo." Columnist Tom Brazaitis of the Cleveland Plain Dealer accused her of "bloodthirsty rhetoric."
Proof of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the terrorist attack:
On 2001-OCT-2, Ambassador-at-Large Francis X. Taylor, head of counterterrorism at the State Department, supplied NATO and other allies with proof that bin Laden and his group were responsible for the terrorist attacks. NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson said that "The facts are clear and compelling...The information presented points conclusively to an al-Qaida role in the Sept. 11 attacks...We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the worldwide terrorist network of al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban'' government in Afghanistan. Since the attack came from outside of NATO, the attacks are covered under NATO's Article 5, which says that an attack on one member is an attack on all. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, addressing a Labor Party congress, also accused bin Laden. "Be in no doubt, bin Laden and his people organized this atrocity.'' He calling the Taliban government "a regime founded on fear and funded by the drugs trade.'' He challenged it to "surrender the terrorists or surrender power, that is your choice.'' 11
National Scarves for Solidarity Campaign:
This campaign is very simple: Women, regardless of their faith, across the United States will wear a scarf or hat covering their hair on 2001-OCT-8. Like friends who shave their heads in solidarity with cancer patients, women everywhere are asked to wear the hijab (scarf). To protect Muslim women who have been afraid to leave their houses because of ignorant hatred, we will dress piously. The hijab is worn outwardly to show the inner hijab of compassion, honesty, and love, which is carried in the hearts and souls of Islamic men and women alike....it is not meant to be a political symbol in any way, just a symbol of love. 12
Three weeks and later, after the attack:
Yahoo group "Islam Denounces Terrorism" formed:
The group is at:
"Terrorism is a crime against humanity. It is a brutal attack on innocent people. Islam is a religion that means "peace". In the Koran, the Holy Book of Islam, God commands believers to bring peace and security to the world. Terrorism and all other mischief on Earth are the very acts that Muslims are commanded by God to stand against.
The Islamic morality is the cure for terrorism, not the source of it. Those who resort to or support terrorism in the name of Islam are in a great error. They are committing a crime which God has cursed in the Koran. All true Muslims denounce terrorism of any kind, and share the sorrows of its victims."
Increase in post-disaster bonding:
Kate Wachs, director of the Relationship Center in Chicago, and author of "Relationships for Dummies," reports that her dating service has seen a 30% increase in applications since the terrorist attacks. She commented: "People are thinking, 'if the world is going to blow up, I'd rather have a partner than be alone.' "
Bot Wachs and Jeff Michaelson, a psychologist and board-certified sexologist in McLean, IL have noticed that their couple clients are bickering less than usual. Ms. Wachs said: "People are appreciating their partners more." 14
Arab-owned grocery store torched:
The Eagle Mini Mart in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, was firebombed on OCT-11. There is no evidence that would prove that the store was attacked because it was owned by a Muslim. But, there had been some anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments on the Islands. "Callers to radio shows have suggested a boycott of Arab-owned businesses. On one occasion, a sign reading 'Arabs Go Home, Killers All' was placed in front of an Arab-owned store on the main island of St. Thomas... 15
Christian and Muslim groups enter dialog:
Members of the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and
Interreligious Concerns visited the Islamic Center of Southern California
on OCT-12. The staff of the Muslim Public Affairs Council was also
Sending back the demons:
Pagan priestess Deborah Lipp has widely
distributed a note to Witches,
Druids, and [ceremonial] Magicians. It comments on the terrorist attack. "They
made a blood sacrifice in the name of their deity, sacrificing their own lives
and murdering thousands to achieve a 'religious' goal of extreme evil. We know
that physically, they achieved many of their goals -- the World Trade Center was
destroyed. I believe that they succeeded magically as well."
Muslim-Christian riots kill at least 100 in Nigeria:
On 2001-OCT-12, after Friday prayers by Muslims, a quiet demonstration against the U.S. action in Afghanistan turned violent. One to two hundred people are believed to have been killed; many hundreds were injured; four churches and four mosques were gutted; 16,000 have been made homeless.
Previously, in 2000-FEB, 2000-MAY, and 2001-SEP, a total of 1,700 people were killed during riots that were sparked by the decision in Northern Nigeria to implement full Islamic Shari'ah law in this country which has a large Christian minority.
In late 2001-SEP, Congress passed a bill to financially bailout the airline industry. Attached to that bill was an amendment which established a fund to compensate victims and victims' families for personal injury and death. It is administered by the Justice Department. Unfortunately, the bill did not define what group of individuals constitutes a family. Some gay and lesbian groups are asking the Justice Department to include the partners and children of homosexuals as potential recipients of payments. Similar funds administered by the Red Cross and the state of New York have decided to grant benefits to partners of gay and lesbian visitors. But Virginia considered only married spouses and children as recipients. Kenneth Feinberg has been appointed to be a Special Master; he is to decide how the funds are to be distributed. Conservative Christians are concerned that partners of gay and lesbian victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack might be given financial benefits. As the Family Research Council stated in a news release: "While it might seem harmless to give financial benefits to a homosexual victim's partner, in reality it is one more step toward equating homosexual behavior and relationships with the traditional, married family." 17
Arab students return to campus:
Many nervous Middle-Eastern students at American Universities quickly returned to their countries of origin after the 9-11 attack. They feared a violent backlash from fellow students and other Americans. This included many students from Washington State University. But, starting in 2002-JAN, most have quietly returned to their studies, meshing in quietly with fellow students.
Gallup Poll published:
A Gallup Poll published in late 2002-FEB involved the survey of almost 10,000 Muslims in nine nations around the world. Some results were:
Other web sites to visit:
Copyright © 2001 to 2003 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious