Final Exam Paper

Final Exam Paper - Responses to 9/11 and the Fatwa of Osama...

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Responses to 9/11 and the Fatwa of Osama Bin Laden
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Yue Ke 08/05/2009 Reli 181 Sec 603
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This paper will attempt a contrapuntal reading 11 September 2001 by drawing on the strategy of multiple critiques that some contemporary Muslims have used to simultaneously critique certain aspects of Islamic tradition and Western hegemony. Additionally, the fatwa of Osama bin Laden will be examined, specifically regarding the objections other Muslims have raised against it, and placed within its historical context. It is crucial that the events of September 11 be subjected to contrapuntal readings in order for one to appreciate the complete context for its causes. September 11, 2001 has become a pivotal date in modern Western world history much like the birth of Christ was two thousand years ago was pivotal to earlier Western civilisations. Events before the tragedy are aptly described as being “pre-9/11” and the events that have occurred since have happened in a “post-9/11” world. Events that day included two airliners crashing into the World Trade Centre, another airliner crashing into the side of the Pentagon, and a final airplane crashing in a field in Pennsylvania, killing approximately three thousand, mostly civilian, persons. Reactions in media coverage ranged from grief over the loss, shock that it had happened, and anger upon learning the identities of the hijackers. The media frequently replayed clips of isolated instances in which Muslim-looking persons cavorted around a burning American flag, giving the impression that it was a universal fact that Muslims hated the United States. Noor noted that there were many experts “at hand to support the claim that Islam was indeed a religion of violence, conflict, and terror…Muslims were a hidden menace to the west. ..Islam was indeed an enemy and threat to the world.” 1 1 Farish A. Noor, “What is the Victory of Islam?” in Progressive Muslims , ed. by Omid Safi (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2004), 322.
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In spite of President Bush’s appeal to the nation for the public to not turn American racial minorities into scapegoats, this anger still caused an unprecedented increase in the number of hate crimes against those who looked like or were suspected of being of Middle Eastern descent and Muslim. According to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the number of reported attacks was 785 cases, which was “more hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs than the entire previous year…Against anyone with brown skin tone or accent… [Including against] Hindu and Sikh.” 2 In addition to the drastic increase in hate crimes toward these groups, very little media coverage was given to Muslim responses to the 9/11 tragedy. CAIR, a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group, was amongst the first to not only denounce the terrorist acts, but also urge members “to offer whatever help they can” within hours of the first plane crashing into the WTC. Another major organisation, the Islamic Circle of North America
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This note was uploaded on 11/02/2008 for the course RELI 181 taught by Professor Omidsafi during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Final Exam Paper - Responses to 9/11 and the Fatwa of Osama...

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