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Humanitarian Day
Humanitarian Day: Terror is Our Common Enemy Print E-mail

 

[Below is the letter given to all the attendees of the first Humanitarian Day held just days after September 11, 2001 -- Albany, New York]

 

October 2001

Salaamun 'Alaikum (Peace be upon you),


"Remember that when you see a ruler who does what has been forbidden by Allah and His messenger, who indulges in sins, who oppresses the people he rules, and you do nothing to stop such a ruler, before Allah you are guilty as he is."  - Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

 

This quote so eloquently states the reason this conference was organized. Although we all at some level, realize the truth of this statement, how many of us actually apply this to our lives? If we take a moment to seriously ponder this thought, it becomes blazingly obvious that we are a society composed mostly of educated criminals. I say educated in order to include those that do take the time to inform themselves, for what good is knowledge or awareness if it is merely passive? It only allows you to proclaim, "I was fully aware that this heinous act occurred". What is necessary is for this to evolve into, "I was aware and took the time to care".

 

Today we live in an interdependent world. The peace and prosperity of today's world can be obtained only when there is peace everywhere and everyone has a chance to prosper. We need to learn about the condition of our fellow human beings outside of this country. The goal of this conference is to raise awareness on issues that are often times ignored because they concern a people and place that, to some, seem so foreign. This is necessary because to limit sympathy to only those who share a common language or culture only breathes life into the cycle of oppression and terror. With this thought in mind, Humanitarian Day aims to give voice to people across the world that face fear daily- fear for their lives, fear for their families. On September 11th, 2001, we in America realized what it is to fear, and this fear was broadcast around the world, as any crime against humanity should be. We must now carry this further and broadcast the crimes against those who have been living in the shadows of terror for much, much longer. For the sake of humanity, we have a duty to make their suffering known.

 

It is important to realize that the success of this conference will not be measured by the number of people in the audience, by the stories that are written about it, or even by the controversy that may follow it. This conference will only be successful if, at the end of the day, people have been changed by what they have heard and read. People must leave with the realization that any action against terrorism--whether it be educating one's self, educating others, or even refusing to continue the cycle of hatred--is a positive one. Only then, Insha'Allah, will the message that "terror is our common enemy" be passed on.

 

On behalf of the Humanitarian Day Organizing Committee I thank you for coming.

 

Humanitarian Day Organizing Committee

 


Past Speakers

Dr. Norman Finkelstein

Rabbi Dovid Weiss

Dr. Hatem al-Bazian

Dr. Shahid Alam

Dr. Rania Masri

Adam Shapiro 

Imam Abdul Malik

Ibrahim Ramey

Bina Ahmed JD

Loay Suffer 

Ken Hanniford-Ricardi

Invitees:

Noam Chomsky

Ali Abu Neemah

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