There is no explanation
Stabroek News
September 18, 2001

Dear Editor,

I wish to comment on the recent events that took place in New York City over the past week. As a Muslim, and an American, I was singularly appalled and horrified at the magnitude of death and destruction that was visited upon so many helpless innocent people. Without reservation, the acts represented a complete and utter disregard for any sort of morality ordained by God. It is similarly unjustifiable by any definition of what constitutes religiosity in Islam.

Although I am by no means a theologian or historian, it is obvious that religion throughout the ages has always been used to further the narrow ends of a variety of causes, none of which specifically promote the teachings of a benevolent, omniscient Deity. Religion has repeatedly been used as a tool, wielded by evil, capricious individuals and entities with clearly malevolent intent, to the eternal detriment of the truly pious. Crusades and campaigns against `non-believers' have taken many forms, and have been embarked upon by the leaders of all faiths. From the mediaeval wars waged by avaricious popes to the purported jihads embarked upon by modern terrorists, there was never any religious justification for the killing of innocent people. Mankind, in its miserable quest for self-aggrandizement, has consistently and conveniently used the guise of religion to rationalize mass murder.

The anguish that I felt for the victims and their families, as the day's events unfolded, was matched only by a wrenching awareness of the repercussions that would be visited upon all Muslims. Those of us that were born and raised in the West are now forever tainted by the actions of a few individuals who have used the religion of Islam and blasphemed the name of God, in their supremely misguided quest for personal vengeance. Our peaceful participation in the socio-economic democracies, to which we owe allegiance, will now be looked upon with distrust and fear.

However, unequivocally and unanimously, true Muslims worldwide condemned and expressed their abhorrence for those actions. We cannot offer any religious explanation or justification for what happened, because there is none.

I pray that those responsible for these acts will be found and punished. If not by man, certainly by God.

Yours faithfully

Scheherazade Ulayyah Ishoof