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September 11: through Muslim Eyes

British TV Channel 4 screened a documentary "Through Muslim Eyes" by Fuad Nahdi on September 6. It was an attempt on the eve of the anniversary of September 11 to seen how Muslims look at 9-11. 
Muslim journalist Fuad Nahdi travelled to Africa, the Gulf and Palestine meeting people with an entirely different perspectives of 9/11 than those held by the majority of Westerners.

In this film, Fuad - possibly the only person to have dined with both Osama and Tony (though not at the same table!), is disturbed by the radicalisation of the Muslim world. In Mombasa, Kenya, he laments the way the relaxed Islam of his youth has given way to intransigence and confrontation. “It is the great religious transformation of our age,” he says. The catalyst which has radicalised most people is the situation in Palestine.

Since September 11, Israel’s grip on Palestinian majority areas has become still tighter. Satellite television channels, such as Al Jazeerah, have brought this home to millions. Fuad visits Doha and realises the key role this tiny station plays in the dissemination of news and information to the Arab Muslim world. He is particularly struck at the way the station covers issues in the Muslim world, particularly events in Palestine and the Osama Bin Laden phenomenon.

Palestine is an emotional climax. Jenin is “the Muslim ground zero. What has happened here is horrific beyond belief. Yet unlike in New York, there was no international mission to hunt down the perpetrators of this mayhem.

“No condemnation here from George Bush. America continues to give Israel military aid ­ some of which contributed to this destruction. It is this hypocrisy and double standard that makes Muslims feel frustrated and angry.”

Fuad is astonished at the odds stacked against the fire fighters of Nablus. “They don’t just fight fires and rescue people ­ they get shot at. These men are heroes too ­ but unlike their counterparts in New York their heroism remains unsung.”

But it is what is on the walls of Nablus that Fuad finds most disturbing: pictures of martyrs adorn the streets of the city. Among them the suicide bombers who target civilians in Israel. “On September 11 suicide bombers came to America. Like the rest of the world l was appalled at the civilian casualties. I was shocked but now I’m not surprised.

“Palestine has pushed people to the edge. The West ignores it. Bin Laden doesn’t.”

Fuad says the journey has made him “furious”. “I’ve seen a people crushed and brutalised. As a Muslim I find it humiliating that my visit to one of Islam’s holiest sites ­ the Al-Aqsa Mosque ­ is controlled by an Israeli occupying force. On the anniversary of September the 11th I hope the West will try to understand how the world looks through Muslim eyes. Or I fear there will be more tragedy ahead.”

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