"A hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it afire."
"A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes. Both buildings are burning."
"American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately."
"United Airlines Flight 93, also hijacked, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh."
The events that took place on September 11, 2001, shocked the world. The United States of America was hit with a surprise attack; an attack with much preparation and precision that hadn't been seen since the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor. The entire country went into a state of shock.
There were so many questions that were left unanswered. Who were the people behind these attacks? How did a thing like 9/11 happen? Why did it happen?
As one looked closely at the situation, the answers to these questions began to rise to the surface. A selected group of people began to take the responsibility for these harsh acts of hatred and apparent terrorism. The world seemed to be divided over the issue and another question arose. Was September 11th really an act of terrorism? A question whose answer seemed to be so simple, was suddenly a highly debated topic.
September 11th was no an act of terrorism, but rather a surprise attack by the Muslim army against the Christian army in the never ending Holy War between Muslims and Christians. Muslims and Christians have been warring with each other sicne the days of the Holy Crusades. The bad blood between these two religious nations has been, and is presently seen, as the two constantly fight with each other over the Holy Lands in the Middle East. With the war on Iraq having been started, the future of the conflict between the two religions doesn't look too promising. Will there ever be peace between Muslims and Christians?
The Holy Crusades
(The start of the Holy War)
"The crusading idea requires that the cause shall be holy(and no cause is more holy than religion), that the war shall be fought under God and with his help, that the crusaders shall be godly and their enemies ungodly, that the war shall be prosecuted unsparingly. (Bainton 1960, 148)
The war between Muslims and Christians dates back to the 1000's. By then, the religion of Islam was rapidly spreading far from its birthplace in the modern nation of Saudi Arabia. By 1095 A.D., Muslim territory included land where Jesus Christ lived. This angered the Christians because they believed that they should be in control of their Holy Lands. They didn't like the idea of Muslims living in the same lands that Jesus Christ once lived. (Dowling, Crusades)
Christians decided to go on Holy Crusades. The Crusades were a series of wars initiated by Christians to win back their Holy Lands from the Muslims. They were willing to fight to the death in order to re-claim the lands that were promised to them.
The first Crusade began when the Seljuk Turks began to move into the Anatolian Peninsula, which was controlled by a Christian Emperor, Alexius I. Alexius I wanted to rid the land of the unbelievers. (Dowling, Crusades)
Alexius called for the assistance of the Pope, Urban II. Instead of going with the emperor's plan, the Pope decided to go with a plan of his own. He wanted to go into Jerusalem, which was inhabited by Muslims, and rid the land of the unbelievers. Jerusalem is viewed as sacred grounds by Muslims, Jews, and Christians. The pope called for a "War of the Cross," or Crusade. This would mark the beginning of a war that would never end.
The Christians were successful in re-taking the Holy Land of Jerusalem in the first Crusade. Their attack on the city was of great surprise to the Muslims and caused for an easy defeat. The Christians were very happy to re-take Jerusalem and rid the land of the Muslims. The battle was far from over.
The Muslims regrouped and in a second Crusade, they were able to re-capture one of the Christian colonies that had been established after the first Crusade. A Muslim general named Saladin launched a Jihad that was able to re-capture Jerusalem. Jihad is an Arabic word often used by Muslims that means struggle.
The Christians launched a third Crusade in an attempt to re-capture the Holy Lands. The Christians were able to win some battles but were unable to gain control of the Holy lands and a truce was made between the two religions.
It seemed as though there would be peace between the two religious nations with the truce being made, but this was just the early stages of the Holy War. Muslims and Christians would never be able to live together in a state of peace. The bad blood between the two religions would always boil over. No one ever thought that the Crusades would start a war that would last for an eternity.
Israel and Palestine
(No peace in the Middle East)
"The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Jews is a modern phenomenon, which began around the turn of the 20th century."
The war between Muslims and Christians is an on-going conflict in the Middle East. With the lands in that area being holy to both religions, the two sides are both unwilling to give up the land to either side. Many efforts have been attempted to bring peace to the Middle East but to no avail.
The conflict between the Muslims and Christians in the Middle East is caused because of the strip of holy land that both nations claim to be theirs. Christians claim that this land is theirs, based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants. When the Palestinians gained control of the land centuries ago, the Christians lost control of this promised land. The Muslims base their claim to this land on the fact that Ishmael, the forefather of the Arabs, is the son of Abraham which means that the land is also promised to him. Until 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. The war of 1948-49 divided this land into three parts and this division brought about a struggle over who should control these parts.
The tension between Muslims and Israel continued to grow. In 1928, Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem began to clash over their religious rights at the Wailing Wall. The wall is one of the holiest sites for Jewish people, but this site is adjacent to the Muslim's Temple Mount. In 1929, fighting broke out between the two groups. During a week of communal violence, 133 Jews and 115 Arabs were killed and many wounded. (Beinin, Page 3)
Following World War II, Palestine was divided into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab. The territory designated to the Jewish state was slightly larger than the Palestine state. As anticipated, this increased the tension between the two religious groups. Fighting began between the two groups just days after the division was made. The fighting ended with the signing of armistice agreements. This divided the lands of Palestine into three parts. Israel, now claimed as a state, encompassed over 77 percent of the territory. The Palestinian state was never established. (Beinin, Page 4)
War and conflict between the two groups was inevitable. The Palestinians felt that they were being cheated and began to arm themselves for battle. In June of 1967, a six day war broke out of which Israel quickly defeated it's Palestinian opponents. They now occupied the Gaza Strip, an area designated for the Palestinians. They also gained total control of Jerusalem.
In late 1970, Palestinians in Egypt decided to attack Israeli forces on the holy day of Yom Kippur. This attack caught Israel off guard and the Arabs were able to be victorious. This prompted the U.S. to take part in the conflict. (Muslim nations view the U.S. as a Christian nation). A treaty was formed, bringing peace for the meantime.
In 1987, the Palestinians started an uprising against the Israeli occupation. For many years, the Palestinians demonstrated against Israeli forces. From 1987 to 1991, Israeli forces killed over 1,000 Palestinians. (Beinin, Page 10) The Arabs soon proclaimed an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
Till this day, the conflict in the Middle East has not been resolved. Fighting between Arabs and Israelis goes on, on a daily basis. Suicide bombings kill innocent civilians every day. Contrary to the popular beliefs, there will never be peace in the Middle East.
World War III?
(What does the future Hold)
The principal cause of our nation's ordeal is its fear of dying in the cause of Allah. The situation was overturned as we saw the coward crusaders and the humiliated Jews remain steadfast in the fighting while the soldiers of our nation lifted a white flag and surrendered to the enemies like women -- may Allah give us strength. -Usama Bin Laden
September 11th was a rude awakening for the world. It reminded the world the a war is going on. The United States and other nations had begun to become relaxed and forget about the old problems that were still unresolved. Although there was constant fighting going on in the Middle East, everyone tried to ignore the fact that innocent people were being killed. Everyone tried to ignore the fact that unless something was done to stop the conflict in the Middle East, no nation was safe. After September 11th, everyone's eyes opened wide.
It says in the Bible that the fighting between Muslims and Christians will never stop. Until this day, that prophecy has not been proven wrong. So what does the future hold for the world? Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? Is there going to be another World War?
The United States of America began a campaign called the War on Terror, after the events of September 11th. The U.S. went to war within the Middle East, in order to oust the Taliban. They were successful in doing so, but the fighting didn't stop there. The campaign quickly moved from the War on Terror, to the War on Iraq. One thing remains in common though through both of these campaigns. Both wars seem to be against Muslim nations. The U.S. is supposedly a Christian nation. Are these wars really being fought to end terrorism, or are these wars Holy Wars; an attempt to rid the world of Muslims?
September 11th may have been an early start to World War III.. War is filled with a bunch of surprise attacks done by each side in order to gain an advantage on the opponent. It is not a surprise that the U.S. has bad blood with all of the Muslim nations. It was not a surprise that Saddam Hussein refused to take any advice from the U.S. Why would a Muslim take advice from a Christian?
As one looks towards the future, the conflict between Muslims and Christians shows no signs of slowing down. The world is divided on the issue. Muslims view the issue one way, and Christians view the issue another way. The U.S. couldn't even get the backing of the UN, when it decided that it would invade Iraq. Many nations disagreed with the decision. Wars usually began because of disagreements between nations. The U.S. called for an early end to the war, but if this indeed is a continuation to the Holy War between Muslims and Christians, will there ever be an end?
The Holy War between Muslims and Christians will never end. September 11th was proof of that. It is virtually impossible for Muslims and Christians to live in a state of peace. The history behind the two religions doesn't permit that, and the on going feud between the two doesn't show any signs of slowing down. World War III may have started on 9/11. Maybe that was the beginning of the end. What do you think?