It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
So if all goes “well”, they’ll be burning the Koran in Florida. To what means, I’m not sure. Will it make them feel better? Will it bring back those who were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Will it stop the spread of fundamentalism in Islamic nations? Will the Taliban tremble under the stress of having the holy book they turn to deep fried and crispy? The answer to all of these questions is a simple no. General Petraeus is right – it only breeds more hate and those who swore to protect us are to be the likely targets.
William Gibson went on the record once that any history of this century must start with the attacks of September 11. It was a nodal point in history, like bombing of Pearl Harbor, the stock market crash of 1929 and Woodstock. All that followed was shaped drastically by that single moment in time; our lives were never ever going to be the same. And so I understand why we keep coming back to that day, even nine years ago. A friend of mine with a small child, not even a dream in 2001, once said he could explain to his daughter all about sex and dating but he couldn’t explain 9/11. He just couldn’t figure out the sort of hate that would cause you to kill over two thousand people.
I can’t understand that sort of hate either. Nor can I understand why anyone would want to burn the holy text of another religion. I thought we were over that after the Third Reich; I thought we learned that when we burn books, bad things happen.
But the thing is, the real kicker for me, is that we memorialise 9/11 in such fussy ways. We don’t want to allow a community center near the hallowed ground, but we’ll surely let a strip club set up there. We stereotype Muslims as terrorists, despite the fact that for the most part, they’re just like us. And just like every other religious group, they too were killed in the attacks. We talk about how great America is, and it is, but then we express our rights in hateful, terrible ways. We support our troops by wearing flag lapels but won’t bite our tongue when our actions may put them at risk.
Yes, nearly three thousand people were killed or hurt. Did you know about the same number of children die every single day of starvation and of thirst? Where is the same outrage? So I guess my point is this – maybe if we put the same amount of energy hating people into helping people the world would be a much better place. Just saying.