Bucknell marks anniversary of 9/11 attacks
Flag memorial at Langone Center.
By Andrew Larson '07
Some attended a talk and candlelight vigil Monday evening. Some sponsored American flags on the
President Brian C. Mitchell reminded those attending a 9/11 anniversary talk at Rooke Chapel that four Bucknellians died in the attacks. One of them is highlighted in a film documentary that is scheduled to air several times on cable television.
While Americans share a common experience of terrifying images and feelings of sadness and anger over the loss of innocent lives, those feelings shouldn’t translate into violence, said a pre-eminent expert on Muslim culture.
Addressing a crowded Rooke Chapel, Akbar Ahmed, professor of international relations and Islamic studies at
“I would like Muslims to visit synagogues and churches,” said Ahmed, who lost a cousin on 9/11. “I would like Christians and Jews to visit mosques.”
With 1.5 billion Muslims — almost a quarter of the world’s population — it’s essential for the
Through dialogue and understanding, Ahmed said, the
This is a time when Americans, Israelis, Muslims and Palestinians believe their countries are under siege, he said, which has led to violence against their perceived enemies. "We’re seeing far too much violence,” Ahmed said.
Too often Americans harbor prejudices against Muslims, he said, which can manifest itself in the form of racial profiling. People should be more sensitive about racial profiling that labels every Muslim as a potential terrorist.
“You cannot win their hearts and their minds while treating them with contempt,” Ahmed said.
Islam as a religion doesn’t teach hatred and is based on many of the same Abrahamic principles of caring and giving found in the Bible, he said.
“In Islam, God has two names. Of them, the two most common are translated to mean compassion and mercy,” Ahmed said. “A Muslim understands God through compassion and mercy.”
Kindness and forgiveness
Ahmed blames violence on corrupt Muslim leaders. Any leader who follows the tenets of Islam must espouse kindness and forgiveness, he said.
“The leaders of the Muslim world are going though a dark age,” Ahmed said. “We really need leadership.”
Ahmed stressed the importance of viewing simultaneous
“There are many young men who want revenge,” Ahmed said. “Rightly or wrongly, they accuse Americans.”
During the lecture, Ahmed frequently addressed students specifically, charging their generation with cleaning up the mess left by his own. “Wake up and go change the world,” he said. "Because unless you move very fast, you may not have much of a world to change."
Posted Sept. 12, 2006
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