The scenes are etched into our memories – collapsed buildings in New York City, despair and death. New scenes may also join them, depending on what the USA now does.
As far as the first scenes are concerned, we have this to say: The acts that caused them cannot be defended. And they do not originate from Islam. Those who perpetrated them were not Muslims in deed or in belief.
"Killing an innocent person," says the Koran, "is like killing the whole of humanity." Now, more than 3000 were killed. That was a monstrous crime.
This act cannot be excused by referring to massacres or crimes where the USA has been involved.
Such as the many acts of tyranny against the Palestinians, for which Israel is primarily responsible.
The Palestinians – a whole people – have been driven from their land. They have lost the right to their land. Hundreds of thousands live in refugee camps, and have done so for fifty years.
Assuredly you would have to have seen these camps and life in them to comprehend the crime that was committed.
The countries of the Middle East have been bombed to enforce the will of Israel and the USA. Southern Lebanon was destroyed by military attacks by Israel.
The invasion in 1982 cost 17,500 human lives, and the USA supported it.
Sharon, Israel’s prime minister, is still being called to account himself for the war crimes in Sabra and Shatilla where 1800 Palestinians were massacred.
Because crimes are crimes, wherever they occur.
Now they took place in the USA, in a ghastly manner.
The USA’s "response"
The world awaits the USA’s "response" – and the TV pictures that will accompany it.
Some call aloud for revenge. "The mighty American nation," it is said, "will certainly retaliate." The war machine stands ready.
No one – on either side – must turn this into a religious war.
The conflict is between humanity and terror, human worth and contempt for humanity. Let it remain so!
But its nature could change.
These depend on what the USA does.
If there is a massive military attack, a demonstration of power by the USA, new elements may enter the picture. Then we may experience counter-violence, or terrorism, in various places throughout the world.
If forces are sent to arrest bin Laden, who is the prime suspect, this may also lead to a full-scale military confrontation, with the same result as above.
Instead the following course of action should be considered:
Have bin Laden tried by an international court of justice! Do so preferably in a neutral country.
That would be a civilized act. Moreover, it would strengthen international justice. Motives of revenge and injured pride would be cast aside, and the focus would be on the nature of the conflict.
The sting would be removed from new acts of terrorism. What would be the point of them? Those responsible would have nothing to gain.
Then attention could be directed to the Middle East and other places. Where injustice still remains.