Should I apologize?

I have been reading a lot about this whole notion that Muslims should apologize for 9/11 and any other terrorist acts that happen.

I’m conflicted on how to take this…

1. The people who are demanding the apology are right-wing republicans…and very anti-Islam.

2. When we apologize, we admit guilt…but I did nothing. I didn’t make the bomb that killed those people, I didn’t plan the act, I didn’t board the plane and crash into the WTC. So, how am I guilty again?

3. I understand that people who have committed other atrocities against humanity have apologized…I.e. Germany and America towards the Native Americans and African Americans…but to what extent? When is enough enough? When do we stop blaming people who had nothing to do with it for a persons actions or a couple of people…

4. I like CAIR’s (Council of American Islamic Relations) response to things like this..They condemn it and offer apologizes to the people who lost loved ones…because that is polite and Islamic…

5. If I apologize for what other Muslims do in the name if Islam, then I would like an apology from Americans for the treatment I have gotten and the wars that have been started and their support for Israel.

I am not saying that I am not sad that so many Americans lost their lives that day…and I don’t agree with what those men did but I didn’t do it. I feel horrible that people decided to kill so many innocent people and I hate that they used Islam to do this…but I didn’t do it.

So, why should I apologize?

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12 thoughts on “Should I apologize?

  1. Of course, I’m very sorry for any person who lost somebody that day, but why would I apologize? An apology would only serve to associate us to the crime, as if the bombers represent us.

    Germany and America have apologized because they (the countries) have committed the atrocity themselves.

    1. Yes, but people just have a sense of entitlement…but then we could argue that Osama Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia and they should apologize…I guess it’s a never ending battle.

  2. I am sorry, Samar for how you have been treated, especially if people have treated you in a manner not worthy of your dignity as God’s precious creation. I am very sorry for the wars my country has started, and for not holding Israel accountable for her acts of injustice and evil. And even supporting her in them. I hope I am not the first to say this to you.

    I can help you with this question, as an American who has spent a lot of time with Iraqis and Palestinians, and offered many apologies of different kinds over the last twenty years.

    Sometimes I felt a personal responsibility and was burdened with collective guilt, was really really sad for what my country has done.

    Sometimes they saw me as a surrogate president and demanded a personal apology as if I had signed the orders and paid the taxes (none of which I had done). Even though I had not done that, I apologized as the present, here-and-now representative, with a posture of humility and true contrition. And some took great pleasure in denying me forgiveness, and wanting me to live bound by the shame of it.

    Sometimes I apologized selfishly, because I needed to hear: “Mish enti, mish laazim, ma 3amilti shi, itthunub mish 3alakyi”. Even worse, sometimes I got irritated and apologized with words while my heart was a hypocrite and wanted to throw back all their collective guilt.

    There is a difference between an apology when something has personally wronged someone else, and when they are sorry for what has happened. Or when a group they belong to has done the act, but they themselves do not condone, but rather condemn.

    When 911 happened, we had Muslims we hadn’t seen in years call us, visit us and offer their apologies. We accepted them, not as from guilty parties but from hearts crushed by the evil someone else had done in the name of their religion. We found ourselves in the place of offering them consolation, telling them they must not blame themselves…but part of being an Ummah is feeling with the pain of the whole.

    I just found out last week that the next door apartment building hosted a huge party on 912 to celebrate the murders, to support those who planned and did the killing – and I live in West Amman. I cannot now say I never heard of anyone I know celebrating.

    #3 is an important one. Demanding apologies and offering forgiveness is a part of diplomacy, and should wipe the slate clean for a new beginning. BUT, forgiveness does not mean re-establishing trust at the same level as before. It must be rebuilt.

    Part of the problem with #3 is that a guilt/innocence based West demands apologies from an empowered, shame/honor based East. Sometimes apologies are seen as weakness. Guilt/innocence has to do with behavior, shame/honor with identity. When demands are made, the shame/honor culture can feel their identity is being threatened in a way a guilt/innocence culture has no awareness of, as the act is judged, not the people.

    I see also that the West is an exposure-based culture, intent on exposing sin on order to eradicate it. The East is a cover-based culture, intent on hiding sin and dealing with it from within.

    That was REALLY long. Let me know if any of it was helpful.

    You know I am one of those right-wingers. I quite like living in Jordan, but do not like how Islam is practiced by some. I am encouraged when Muslims say to me: “I am so sorry for what has happened. I want you to know those people do not represent me, nor my faith”.

    1. Kinzi,

      It has taken me a while to digest what you said…I mulled it over in my head and heart and I hear what you are saying. I appreciate your apology. I know sometimes we say it out of guilt and selfishness but other times it’s just a programed response and we assume that it’s necessary when it’s not. I just don’t like the feeling of someone demanding an apology from me…but that could be due to my stubbornness 🙂

      Honestly, I would have attended that party years ago…but after living in the US and just experiencing different things has changed my attitude dramatically…I learned more about my religion and met people who just changed my world view. I think some people will never change but others have potential.

      I also see your point about the different cultures but the west is trying to make everything the west and not taking into consideration that people think differently. I have met so many people who have never and will never leave the US because they say, “we have everything here, why would I leave?” and this is the attitude that scares me. The sense that everyone has to conform to their way of thinking and not compromise.

      There is also an exception to every rule and maybe you are the right-winger who is that exception!

      I love being a Muslim and I don’t like how some people practice it either…same as any other religion…not everyone thinks the same way.

      I appreciate your super long comment…:)

  3. # 4 is the answer I guess 🙂

    having empathy is one thing, apologizing to serve some sort of an agenda is totally another.

    *Did north America apologize “enough” for being the only country who used atomic bombs in wars? Hmmm, guess not!

    H.

    1. Yes, but America doesn’t have to! They did it so it would end the war….which of course makes it okay, somehow.

      I love how people forget that America has committed some really heinous crimes…but the do focus on our mistakes!

  4. It’s like having the US apologize for what the IRA does because they’re Christian. It’s amazing how non-Arabs/Muslims don’t make the distinction…

    Of course, I realize that the bombers do it under the name of Islam, but would the US (or any other predominantly Christian country) apologize if an act was committed under the name of Christianity?

    1. but the US would argue that it isn’t a Christian country…there is a separation between state and church…supposedly.

      I think people just don’t see it that way…when they think Muslim/Arab they think Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Iran…when you think Christian, do you think US? Not really…I don’t at least.

      I think the media has a lot to do with it, honestly.

      1. Exactly, but the problem is that average Americans (a group of them at least) do not identify with Christianity yet they don’t distinguish Muslim and Arab…

        But as you said, the media plays a huge role in that…

      2. Yes, that is true…but I think a part of it is group-think mentality…They just go with the flow, I guess. Accept what is being told without questioning it.

  5. “Accept what is being told without questioning it” <== why should they! It`s easier this way!

    + who controls media controls …. EVERYTHING! 😦

    H.

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