11 September 2021
On the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Muslim Council of Britain marks this sad occasion by remembering the victims, their families, survivors, and all those who have been caught up in the two decades of violence, vengeance and vacuous policies that have prevailed since.
On that fateful day, the Muslim Council of Britain issued the following statement: “British Muslims, along with everyone else, are watching events in America with shock and horror. Whoever is responsible for these dreadful, wanton attacks, we condemn them utterly. These are senseless and evil acts that appall all people of conscience.”
It also said: “Terror makes victims of us all; it is beyond reason. Terror on this scale must not be compounded by knee-jerk reactions that would make victims of other innocent peoples of the world. This would only add to the devastation caused.”
Two decades on, hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died as a result of both terrorism and the war on terror globally, many of them Muslim. Along with the deaths and suffering, there has been more division, more Islamophobia and reflexive policy approaches that see Muslims as a security threat rather than the ordinary and productive members of society they are.
Commenting, Secretary-General MCB, Zara Mohammed, said:
“I was 10 years old; shocked and confused, when those planes struck the Twin Towers. I could not understand why anyone would carry out such evil. Little did I know that these events would define the next two decades. For Muslims of my generation, our lives would be affected even to this day.
In the media, Muslims were collectively seen through the prism of these attacks and warped notions of Islam. Wearing a headscarf made you a target for verbal attacks and physical abuse, getting a job was even more difficult. Muslims were made to feel alienated and suspect. Yet across society, communities defied those divisive narratives and reached out to one another in the spirit of dialogue and friendship, realising we have more in common than what divides us.
As we remember and pray for the victims and all those impacted on 9/11 and since, we reaffirm our commitment to the cherished values of global justice, freedom, and peace. We need a politics that is grounded in inclusion, to help build a society in which everyone belongs. May the next 20 years be marked by the pursuit of healing, reconciliation and peace.”
Notes to editors:
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- The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and professional networks.