Reflections on Hate, Enemies, and 9/11
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is just a couple of weeks away. In the coming days we will all see snippets of video from “that day” replayed over and over. We will find ourselves reliving the emotions of that moment so ingrained in our national conscience, a moment that has changed us all forever.
There was one video clip that emerged just a few years ago. Video of the hated hijackers that none of us had ever seen before. You know, it is so easy to hate. It’s almost as if hate comes naturally; as if finding an enemy is no harder than looking at the person passing you on the interstate. And it’s very easy and natural to find hate and anger inside of oneself at the thought of a group of crazily obsessed, Islamic fanatics who flew two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into the ground in Pennsylvania. But then this video came out showing Ziad al-Jarrah and Mohamed Atta, “relaxed, laughing, and chatting together.” They almost looked human and not like the animals I had grown to hate in my minds eye. They actually looked like a couple of guys that I’d like to hang out with and maybe share a meal with. What really scares me is that I might have actually “liked” them if I gotten to know them. But you know what, I have to stop myself, because it is just easier to hate them for what they did. After all, they are the enemy right?
I am beginning to think that in addition to the 3000+ victims that we easily recognize from the 9/11 tragedy, that there might be a few other victims as well. My Bible tells me to: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” I think that maybe 9/11 began when the “great enemy” devoured, one at a time, a group of men. He devoured them through a twisted set of beliefs found in radical Islam. He devoured them through the easy emotion of hatred. And then he devoured them in a series of fireballs on September 11, 2001. And in the process, he devoured thousands of others. He must be very proud of himself. How efficient his system is. And he has done it all while at the same time managing to remain anonymous. Managing to keep the hatred rolling. Managing to make us think that our brother is our enemy.