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Religious violence


The 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City,
Washington DC, & Pentagon during 2001-SEP-11

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A time to look backwards and condemn the religious intolerance that drove (and drives) religious fanatics to murder innocent people in New York City, Arlington VA, Sudan, Bosnia, etc.
A time to look forward and dedicate ourselves as individuals to the creation of a just world, free of religious hatred.
A time for us to hold our faith groups to a higher standard of love and justice.
A time for us to realize that our perception of God's light can either guide us or blind us.

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bullet"What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." Robert Kennedy

bullet"[T]his is nothing but a manifestation of injustice, oppression and tyranny . . . and it is amongst the greatest of sins." Sheik Abdul-Azeez Aal ash-Sheik, grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and head of the Council of Senior Scholars, commenting on the 9-11 attacks. 1

bullet"One of the reasons I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our Government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them."  Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Senate floor statement, on 2002-MAR-4 2

bulletThe 9-11 terrorists bore "the same relationship to Islam (as that) of Torquemada and the people who ran the Spanish Inquisition did to Christianity..." former CIA director James Woolsey.


"Amanda," an 8th grade student from Brooklyn NY wrote a poem "Don't Go," It discusses the 9-11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. An excerpt reads:

"A shattered city is all that is left behind.
These acts of hatred have left us blind.
Too blind to see what the world would be,
With peace and love and all people free."


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The terrorist attack:

On 2001-SEP-11, four sets of radical, extremist, Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, totaling about 18 in number, hijacked four jetliners, and piloted them towards the White House, Congress, and the two World Trade Towers. The first plane apparently was unable to find the White House and made a kamikaze run at part of the Pentagon. Control of the plane which headed towards Congress was apparently retaken by the passengers; it crashed into the ground south-east of Pittsburgh. The remaining two jetliners destroyed the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Originally, about 7,000 lives were believed to have been lost in total. However, further checking found many duplicate names. As of 2004-JAN-23, the total death toll in New York City is estimated at 2,749: 2749 on the ground, along with 127 passengers, 20 crew and 10 hijackers in the two airplanes. 3,4 A smaller number were killed in the Pennsylvania and Pentagon crashes. The were mostly American Christians. But citizens of Canada, Britain and other countries died in the tragedy. They included Christians, Humanists, Jews, Muslims, and followers of many other religions and ethical systems.

This horrendous event triggered a number of verbal and physical attacks in the U.S. and Canada during the days following the tragedy:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported in excess of 200 attacks on innocent Muslims since the terrorist attack. Sikhs and Hindus have also suffered harassment, arson, and other criminal acts. More details.


Explaining that "God will not be mocked," noted Fundamentalist Christian tele-minister, Jerry Falwell, said that American Pagans and other groups share responsibility for the terrorist attacks. More details. Leading Fundamentalist Christian, James Dobson of Focus on the Family also attacked Paganism on his radio program. More details.


A number of Fundamentalist and other Evangelical leaders attacked Islam itself. Unfortunately, most did not differentiate between:

Radical, extremist, fundamentalist, Muslim terrorists, who are profoundly intolerant of viewpoints other than their own, and who are dedicated to attacking persons who hold different beliefs, and


Other Muslim fundamentalists, conservatives, moderates and liberals who promote Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance.


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Topics covered in this section:

bulletInformation about the terrorist attack:

bulletReactions during the week following the attack

bulletSubsequent developments
bulletThe backlash: verbal attacks, harassment and other criminal acts against Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, Copts, Hindus, Pagans, etc.
bulletPleas for tolerance from political and religious leaders

bulletAnti-Muslim backlash


Random acts of kindness towards Muslims in America|

bulletVerbal attacks by Christians against Pagans and others:
bulletBy Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson
bulletVerbal attacks on Muslims:
bulletBy Franklin Graham, William F Buckley Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart & Pat Roberston
bulletAbout Islam:
bulletIntroduction to Islam

bulletOther topics on Islam

bulletComparison of Christianity and Islam

bulletWhy do "they" hate the West?

bulletDoes Islam permit hostage taking, suicide, terrorist attacks?

bulletVoices of moderate Muslims
bulletWho is to blame for the attacks?
bulletWho is responsible for the attacks?

bulletWhy didn't God prevent the attacks: The problem of theodicy
bulletThe aftermath:
bulletHow you can help

bulletThe dangers of post-disaster psychological debriefing

bulletCoping tips for parents and teachers
bulletOther topics:
bulletThe implications of an attack on Afghanistan

bulletA note on religious terms: "Fundamentalism" in Christianity & Islam
bulletOff-site link:
bullet"Who exactly is the terrorist?" animated game

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  1. "Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh says attacks are an 'oppression, injustice and tyranny...' ," 2001-SEP-17, at:
  2. Senator J.M. Inhofe, "Peace in the Middle East," at:
  3. CNN report, 2004-JAN-23.
  4. Phil Hirschkorn, "New York reduces 9/11 death toll by 40,", 2003-OCT-29, at:

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