Against Trump: 9/11 Muslim Candlelight vigils Sympathizing with US

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The meme that Muslims celebrated the attacks of 9/11 has always been mostly a piece of false propaganda. Most people in the Muslim world were appalled and frightened. There was some Schadenfreude among some Palestinians who had been kicked out of their homes and reduced to poverty by US policy, but they were hardly typical, even of Palestinians (the Palestinian leadership of Fateh, which is secular and hates al-Qaeda, roundly condemned the attacks). Donald Trump, who never met a piece of false racist propaganda he did not like, has now picked this despicable libel up, applying it incorrectly to Muslim Americans of New Jersey, and it spread from there to Dr. Ben Carson, who never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like. Trump set the alleged celebrations in New Jersey (Muslims living a stone’s throw from a mass murder of thousands would have been for more likely to worry about their security than anything else.)

There are still photos on the internet of Muslims doing candlelight vigils in empathy with the victims of those horrific terrorist attacks in September of 2001. Here are a few:



Tehran, September 18, 2011

Lebanese Muslims in Dearborn, MI, Sept. 12, 2001, h/t Getty Images

“U.S. Muslims sing “God Bless America” September 13, 2001 in Pasadena, CA, at an Interfaith Memorial Service for victims of the September 11 terrorist …”

ThisMuslimLife: “Muslim-American 10th Anniversary reflection on 9/11

AP: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemns 9/11 attacks, expresses solidarity with American people

Muslims join inter-faith Commemoration of victims of 9/11 in Jerusalem, 2004

8 Responses

  1. As you note, muslims all over the world were appalled and frightened. American muslims in particular were no different to their fellow American citizens in feelings of sadness and remorse.

    There is one point that deserves some consideration: Saudi Arabia currently supports groups in Syria that are currently allied with ISIS. Their support of these groups is both financial and ideological. Vice President Biden mentioned in a speech that gulf states financed extremist groups in Syria and Iraq; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also mentioned in a memo that Saudi Arabia financed extremist groups across the middle east; European politicians have all made note of this reality. As you have argued, this current situation mirrors parts of the history of Afghanistan that gave rise to extremist groups there. This presidential campaign will probably sink to further lows in stigmatizing muslims and other minorities. If we were truly interested in stemming extremism, we’d place arms and economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia for their funding of extremist groups. Their actions in Yemen have on several occasions pushed the country to humanitarian catastrophe. They crushed a nascent democratic revolution in Bahrain. They are one of the most autocratic (if not the most) regimes on the planet with almost no regard for human rights for their own citizens. All of this goes against our interests here in the United States, and makes life completely miserable for the people in the middle east. I’m not going to hold my breath till a presidential candidate criticizes Saudi Arabia’s policies, but such criticism (along with the sanctions on Saudi Arabia outlined above) is long due from our politicians.

    • The Saudis not only supply the U.S. with 28% of the crude oil we consume, but those resultant oil revenues are recycled into investment in American real estate, blue-chip stocks, and other direct financial investment that props up the U.S. economy to the tune of $10 trillion dollars – if that Saudi investment were to be abruptly withdrawn it would wreak economic havoc on the American public.

      The United States government is absolutely no position to upset the “sacrosanct” relationship it has with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

  2. Thank you, very much, for helping spread this information.

    Is there any chance American TV networks ever mention this??

    NO. It really does seem that they are deliberately trying to make Americans more and more stupid, in both their choices of which “news” items to cover, and in their presentation of “entertainment” programs. I mean really, a guy takes a pill, and he’s a super-dooper genius? The Devil is a real being, and he takes a corporeal form and hangs out in LA, being cool while all possible computer-generated chaos of property destruction happens all around him??

    They really are trying to make Americans more and more stupid all the time.

  3. Very thoughtful of you Dr Cole to print this article. Over this last fifteen years, more Muslims have died than Westerners. This madness must end, Donald, Ben, do you hear me?

  4. As a student of World Wars One and Two, Trump and his attendant mobs remind me of some people in Germany in the 1930s. Given the old and true adage about absolute power corrupting absolutely, it would be a good bet that if Trump becomes president he’ll go the whole route and become an outright fascist.

  5. After 9/11, a short video clip was released showing a few Palestinians celebrating, and it was alleged that they were cheering the events of 9/11. Later on, it was shown to be a malicious lie and the scenes of Palestinian jubilation had nothing to do with 9/11, but a show of support by a few Palestinians for the few ineffectual cruise missiles that Saddam Hussein fired at Israel during the first Persian Gulf war.

    As far as Iran was concerned, apart from many spontaneous candlelight vigils in Tehran and other Iranian cities in sympathy with the victims of 9/11, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was one of the first heads of state to express deepest condolences to the “great American people”. His description of the terrorists was an apt description that equally applies to ISIS terrorists. He said: “They have self-mutilated their minds and hearts and tongues and can only communicate through the language of violence.”

  6. Trump’s not a mere delusional birther but an outright racist liar. Unfortunately he has a large far right-wing, not merely at the fringes, following which is scary. The hostile atmosphere is more intense since the Paris attacks, with even a few incidents showing up here in the North.

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