I, of course, woke up full well aware of what today was. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that the school principal and teacher would make announcements about it. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that they did. You see 9/11 is complicated for us. We are Americans. My husband and children are also Muslim. So when my son came home and asked "Mommy, who attacked America six years ago today?" my heart started beating a little faster. You see what is a simple answer becomes very complicated. I could answer this vaguely by saying terrorists (which is what I did)! But then the more I thought about it the more I realized he is likely to hear other kids talking about "those Muslims" that attacked us and how confusing it might be for him, so I tried to explain it in eight-year-old terms. The more I talked the more complicated it became. It's complicated for me, too. I love my country and to think of what happened that day makes my blood boil, but I can't take the easy American high road and blame it solely on religion. First is the simple fact that not a single one of the Muslims I know is capable of that kind of hatred. Nor are the vast majority of them, regardless of what mainstream journalists would have us think. Then I have to stop and think about the why's. The history that preceded this event and how it may have played a role. Please do not interpret that to mean that I think the US brought it on themselves. While I do understand, from a much different perspective than many Americans, how deeply seated the anger towards the US is in the Middle East, I don't for a minute think that anyone deserves to have a violent act perpetrated against them. Most certainly not innocent civilians!
I wasn't sure I wanted to blog this, and I hope that I haven't lost any readers over it, but it is an ongoing issue for me. How do I help my children have pride in their religious tradition while remaining aware of the fact that they could face hatred based solely on religion. Certainly our family is not alone in facing this dilemna or a similiar one.