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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Remembering 9/11

Need for compassion

President Barack Obama, left, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, center, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, on stage at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, to mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. [AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]

President Barack Obama, left, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, center, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, on stage at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, to mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. [AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]

Twelve years ago, I sat in my office in New York City and watched as airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and their subsequent collapse. The images, fear and sadness of that day will stay with me for a lifetime. [“Nation pauses on 9/11 to pay tribute to victims,” seattletimes.com, Sept. 11.]

We all faced a brief exposure to the horrible scenery of war and the incredible loss it fosters. On this anniversary of that horrible day, I was immediately drawn to the front-page image of the destruction in the Syrian town of Deir Ezzor.

My heart instantly related it to the images of New York City after the attacks.

These people have faced this war for more than two years. They have lost family, friends and their way of life. The destruction is beyond our comprehension.

We know a family that fled Homs, Syria to seek shelter in Egypt. They left everything behind. The children haven’t been in school for more than a year, and Egypt isn’t offering this opportunity. The children don’t smile any longer. The family discusses returning to Syria to die at home.

Those who face the atrocities of war live 9/11 for years on end. They need our compassion and assistance. How do we provide it?

Aaron Edwards, Bainbridge Island

A way to give

A woman touches a carnation left on a name inscribed into the North Pool during 9/11 Memorial ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2013 in New York City. [Adrees Latif-Pool/Getty Images]

A woman touches a carnation left on a name inscribed into the North Pool during 9/11 Memorial ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2013 in New York City. [Adrees Latif-Pool/Getty Images]

Twelve years ago, al-Qaida took nearly 3,000 innocent lives. I was too young to understand why, but I knew that the Islam I followed didn’t teach violence.

I knew that the Quran condemns the taking of innocent lives; to kill a person is like killing all mankind.

I knew Prophet Muhammad stated that God has made the blood, property and honor of every human being sacred. I couldn’t understand that, when Islam clearly condemns bloodshed, why some people kill and call it an act for the sake of Islam.

For 12 years, I have been searching for the right answer for this question. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community ended my search when I came across the “Muslims for Life” campaign.

The goal for the campaign is to collect blood and save lives. In 2012, more than 11,000 pints of blood were collected nationwide. This year’s goal is to collect 12,000 pints of blood, which can be used to help save 36,000 American lives.

This is the best jihad by Muslims I’ve ever encountered.

Sheheryar Ahmad, Lynnwood

0 Comments | More in military, Politics | Topics: 911, New York, september 11

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