In the tenth anniversary of the tragic events, we, Turkish-American Muslims, express our deepest sympathies and sorrow for the 9/11 victims and their families. Once again, we condemn the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms, in the strongest terms. We believe that all Muslims and non-Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocent people and plant seeds of hatred in the community.
As a religion of peace and tolerance, Islam holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers attacking innocents as a grave sin, as underlined in the Qur’an: ‘Who so ever kills a person, it shall be as if he has killed all humankind; and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all humankind’ (Al-Ma’idah:32).’
We believe that terrorism, violence, and vandalism have no religion. The best answer to these social diseases is to further strengthen our relationships in the community because we all know that the very aim of terrorism is to disrupt the social peace and harmony. The American creed, which unites all races, ethnicities, classes, religions, and ways of life on this soil, remains to be a powerful source of inspiration for us. The Turkish-American community has been a significant contributor to social harmony in the nation by organizing events, trips, and conferences for inter-cultural dialogue and understanding. Our philosophy is nurtured by the leaders who have enlightened their communities for social cohesion and citizen participation, namely Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Fethullah Gulen. Gulen’s following words summarize our creed for communal harmony: “Be so tolerant that your bosom becomes wide like the ocean. Become inspired with faith and love of human beings. Let there be no troubled souls to whom you do not offer a hand and about whom you remain unconcerned.”
As our hearts bleed for the victims of the 9/11, we believe that we altogether-regardless of our distinct cultures, ethnicities, and races- do share a common dream: A peaceful world, in which love is very much loved and hatred is doomed to be hated. Let’s open not only our minds but also our hearts. Let’s listen not only our neighbors but also voices that extend overseas. Let’s imagine the peace not only in our towns but also in the universe. Let it be!