It was and still is a collective trauma. We all remember exactly what we were doing that day, that moment. Of course, we were frightened. For the first time, the tensions in the Middle East reached us. That was also when we were confronted with the consequences of our actions in the Middle East for the first time. We became victims of cruel terrorism and to that very day we still are. What happened that 9/11/01 still sticks with everyone of us and changed our life significantly. But after 15 years, it is time to reflect on the aftermath of that day. How are we coping with the challenges before us?
The first reaction was and still is panic!
In the aftermath of 9/11 we declared war on terrorism. We introduced laws that should help us to fight terrorism but who is really affected by these laws? Us! Our freedom of movement, the data preservation or the heavy security measures. Did it help? I recall amok shooting, kidnappings by ISIS and islamist terror in Europe. The terrorists’ goal was to cut back our freedom and to impose fear on us. Did it work? I say yes. Strangely, our measures only helped the terrorists in that regard.
Do we get religion all wrong?
What really worries me is that nowadays, we seem to get religion all wrong. Especially the confusion of muslims and islamists create so much intolerance. The ones are people like you and me who want to live their life in peace. The others are radicals taking measures beyond any human dignity. Islamists like to refer to the Koran on every occasion but I personally doubt that they have really read it. In principle, islam is a very peaceful religion, yet islamists are among the most radical and violent fighters the Western civilization is confronted with. But the difference between these two should never be forgotten, neither by us nor by presidential candidates.
What we really need to do is to get back to our roots!
We need to remember what we had to endure to get where we are today. We had religious wars to overcome. We developed a modern democracy and the human rights. We set the fundamentals of our modern society in the centuries that followed Aufklärung and human rights movements. Liberty, respect and tolerance for all mankind. Giving in to terrorism by restricting our freedom and living in constant fear is basically not a real option and should be remembered from time to time. We forgot that. More than anything, the twin towers were a symbol of freedom and trust in our society. Let’s honor the victims of that terrible day by remembering what the twin towers stood for …