Muslim Individuals and Communities Re-Examine Their Lives and Roles After 9/11

September 7, 2006

Source: BBC News

On September 7, 2006 the BBC News reported, "Many Muslims in New York have been through a period of reflection since 11 September 2001, looking out at the wider US and wondering where they fit into it. And they have been looking inwards, to work out what kind of Islam sits easily with their lives. Take the case of Nafisa Degani who worked for the insurance company, Aon, on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower. She was in her office when the first plane hit the North Tower. 'All of us just stood up and looked out and saw this plane crash into Tower One and it was just like at eye level,' she said. 'I stood there stupefied for a few seconds and we all thought it was pure accident - that he had lost control and that he had gone in. And it took a few seconds - I stood there, and a few seconds later a huge flame shot out and the fire was so close'... She escaped while her friends died, and the whole experience made her assess her whole life including her faith in Islam. She says it has made her stronger in her faith. She has thought hard about the motivation of the hijackers who killed her friends - rejecting the hijackers' version of Islam as a perversion. 'Firstly, Islam means peace - where was the peace in this? This Islam is just made up,' she said. 'It is nothing to do with Islam and these terrorists that take their own lives doing these kinds of acts - no religion permits that. So it is in the name of Islam but it has, as far as I'm concerned, nothing to do with the religion of Islam.' Ms Degani also re-ordered her own life. She tried to eliminate what was not working or important, and for her that meant getting divorced (something she says Muslim women very rarely initiate)."