This article was first Published on 09/11/2016 12:37 am at – : https://www.huffpost.com/entry/american-muslims-and-the-911-story_b_57d4db5ce4b0eb9a57b7ac81
On September 11, 2001, right after the first tower fell, I was called in to man AM Radio 1150. I have been known to handle chaotic situations and bring coherence to it through relevant actions.
I worked straight 6-7 hours without food or water and virtually got everyone in the town to call in. On the air were 10 area Mayors, Several Police and Fire Chiefs, FBI agents and almost all faith leaders from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between including civic leaders. Every one read their press release and made a short statement.
By Mid afternoon, the fog was clearing up, and clarity was emerging. We asked the leaders to initiate Interfaith-faith prayers, individuals to donate blood and organizations to raise funds for the families of men and women in the uniform.
Indeed my late wife was driving around and calling in on the air, she was told by the Wadley Blood Center to stop announcing about blood donation, the lines were too big and they could not handle it. The real joy to us was the innumerable Muslims who went out to donate the blood.
The very next day, several places of worship held interfaith prayers, and some of us became a team and virtually attended every place.
Osama bin Laden was the bad guy and Muslim-Americans had nothing to do with his actions, nor did they authorize him to terrorize any one. The ugly man placed a wedge between Americans that still needs to be undone. Indeed, when he was killed, I had the first laugh. YouTube
I made a commitment that day, that from here forward, I will dedicate myself to America on 9/11 every year. In the first four years, we held a Radio talk show to understand its effects economically, politically, socially, globally and personally.
In 2005, we held the first Unity Day USA event in Frisco Convention Center in Texas. 650 plus people attended the event. No American was left, we invited people from different races, ethnicities and religions. Most of the Dallas civic, religious and elected Leadership was present at this event. Flickr Photos
Atheists, Baha’i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Jews, Native Americans, Pagans, Sikhs, Wicca and Zoroastrians along with area city mayors, FBI, police and fire chiefs and community leaders graced the first interfaith event in Frisco. Out of which a new tradition evolved called Unity Day. It continues year after year.
One of the Unity Day events was held in Mulberry, Florida as a counter to Pastor Jones burning of Qurans.
One of the articles I wrote about 9/11 was read two million times. Thanks to Sean Hannity for directing the traffic to this site. My Personal Journey on 9/11
9/11 Prompts Strong Muslim Commitment to America – Huffington Post
9/11 Quran Burning Story – World Muslim Congress
I have been writing about this every year since 9.11.2001. I did not do anything in 2015 and 2016 and hope to resume the program from 2017 after my assignment with American Muslim Institution is successfully accomplished.
We have come a long way.
There is indeed improved understanding among faiths since 9/11. But there also is deepening suspicion among them. One is spiritually motivated and the other is political.
Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker based in Washington, DC and is committed to offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.