Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. How has America changed since then? How did 9/11 change faith in America? What impact did 9/11 have on the soul of America?
What happened on 9/11 was horrifying and heart wrenching. A disbelieving America stood in shocked silence, the very fabric of our complacent society torn in shreds. Since that fateful day, how did this event change the faith of America? For hundreds of us, Christian, Jews and Muslims, there was an awareness that no longer could we be complacent in our quest for understanding the “other” or continuing to submit to our own stereotypes. There must be a determined willingness to interfaith dialogue with honesty and integrity.
At the time, I knew few Muslims. I now claim friendship with many. At the time, I knew very little of the Quran. Because of my friend, Nabil Bayakly, I now have a great understanding of this Holy Book which contains the same message as the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, “Love God and Love neighbor,” different books but a common word.
At the time there were few “faith clubs,” groups engaged in honest dialogue among Christian, Jews and Muslims. Now many have sprung up all across the nations as well as interfaith groups, forums and synagogues, mosques and churches who are opened to hospitality to the one other.
We still have a long journey ahead as we wrestle with our fears and uncertainties in search of a greater understanding of one another, but for many of us, our faith has been enriched and deepened as we have listened and learned and spoken up and out against all forms of hate while continuing to hold fast to our beliefs and convictions with kindness and compassion.