The passengers of American Airlines flights 11 and 77, and United Airlines flights 93 and 175 probably thought that their morning flight would be ordinary, but they were entirely wrong. They were unaware of the 19 terrorists on those four flights, who were planning to hijack the planes and crash into specific locations. This event has left a scar on American society even today, including the way we view the world around us.
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Many consequences have happened because of 9/11, including bias toward immigrants and Muslims in general. What lead Al-Qaeda to attack the United States in such a way? What influenced Osama to create the terrorist group? Finally, What precautions has the United States taken and has not taken yet to ensure the citizens of America that another 9/11 terrorist attack will never happen again. Fully understanding these points will help America understand what exactly led up to the attack, why the terrorists chose to attack those specific areas, and how they are able to prevent another attack before they even plan it. Obviously, anyone able to read this paper is aware of what happened on September 11, 2001, but let me give you a brief recap. September 11 was a nice and sunny day, but on the East Coast, a group of 19 terrorists planned to ruin it. At approximately 8:46 AM, the first plane struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower, and soon the rest of the planes followed to hit the South Tower and the Pentagon. The fourth plane crash landed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania after the brave passengers of Flight 93 gathered up the courage to revolt against their attackers and gave the terrorists on board no option but to crash land. Around 3,000 people died and the effects of their deaths still resonate with us today.
One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to pass Executive Order 13769, better known as a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). The muslim travel ban caused over 700 travellers to be detained and 60,000 visas to be revoked. The order led to public outrage and protests, calling the order and the support it got from Congress acts of racism. This is just one of the more recent effects of 9/11 and how it has changed our society. Another even more recent event was the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting I mentioned above. On a more positive note, airlines have now increased security on flights, including an increased amount of air marshals.
Americans who lived through 9/11 first-hand or who are even learning of it in their history class need to be aware of why Al-Qaeda decided to attack America in the first place. Uneducated folks, who are relying on conspiracy theories or fake news to get their information about Muslims need to formally be educated. Muslims are not afraid of us or jealous of our democracy and our freedom. They are completely happy with how the world works in the Middle East. Let’s take Osama and his visit to Beirut, Lebanon. He, like many Muslims, was a conservative man who believed women should not show much skin and etc. and his visit to Beirut was similar to a visit to America. He saw women dressing in shorts and tank tops, the more modernized and westernized style of Beirut offended him and made the West seem like a plague of sin spreading throughout Islam’s holy lands.
Before I continue with Osama Bin-Laden, I’d have to speak about another Muslim who believed that Western culture was a plague. Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian man and a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb visited America in 1949 to study abroad. During his trip Qutb found many problems with America’s modernized sports and activities such as football or boxing. He thought that Americans were selfish and only cared for materialistic things. Qutb also did not like how women danced as he saw it to provoke sexuality or how Americans caring for clothing was selfish. The ironic thing is that Egypt saw he was becoming radical, so they decided to send him to America, but instead he became even more radical and saw America as an even greater evil. His criticism of some Egyptians who accepted American culture, such Gamal Abdel Nasser, former president of Egypt, eventually led to his doom. Qutb was captured and tortured in inhumane ways such as covering literally feeding him to man-eating dogs. All of the torture techniques Nasser and his men used on Qutb and other radicals were taught by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A). Back to my main man Osama, Qutb really influenced Osama in a similar way Beirut did, they both saw things wrong with the world and sought to correct it.
Osama was a middle child, honestly I don’t know what to call him. His parents had 22 kids. Anyways, it’s getting really late so I’m trying to finish this paper. Osama was born into a wealthy family and grew up knowing the right people. Osama was given an offer to study abroad at a top of the line school, but he decided to stay in Saudi, showing his dedication to the study of Islam. Fast-tracking to Osama’s experience in Beirut, most conservatives believed sinners should be punished, just like Christians believes sinners will go to hell without asking for forgiveness.
Ironically, Lebanon was plunged into a civil war which was believed to be Allah’s way of punishing sinners in Beirut, but what influenced Al-Qaeda to attack the United States?
Of course, the influence of Osama and his wealth led to him gathering a following, and his following began to listen to his personal beliefs. His following led to more radicals joining his cause and growing into a large group. What created these radicals though? Were they just born hating America, or did they learn their hate from first hand experience? Let’s look back at the Soviet-Afghan War, during the Cold War. The Soviets were trying to take Afghanistan, and the Muslims saw the Soviets were atheists trying to take their land. While Afghanistan was being helped by America during the war, Osama felt America was doing this to instead take control of the land themselves. America had no business butting in the war like that, especially with hidden purposes like that. Osama probably believed that America was overdue for a punishment for their sins, and he decided to take it in his own hands.
Osama and Al-Qaeda could be compared to a giant Jenga tower in which America is grabbing more blocks and adding to the top, eventually leading to the fall of the tower, both literally and figuratively. Muslims in the Middle East don’t hate America for our freedom — it’s ignorant to think so — but they hate us because we meddle in their affairs.
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