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September 11: An Act of Violence
Jul 1, 2002

I have not yet comprehended why the American and European media have chosen to interpret this violent attack in the way that they have. For instance, why are we arguing about Islam? No evidence has been produced that links this event with Islam. An assumed connection of this tragedy with the world of Islam is far beyond my boundaries of imagination.

Russia is very well aware of the existence of some groups that claim to attack for the sake of Islam. However, I see that most Islamic societies do not agree with such self-proclaimed Muslim's claims that they are representing them. These groups manipulate Islam either slightly or extensively in order to insert themselves within its perfect world, sometimes with various ethnic motivations. Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, is undoubtedly seeking support from Muslims and portraying himself to the world as a Muslim leader. But has any group ever acknowledged him as such a leader? In addition, I have not yet seen any clear evidence that men linked with Islam are behind the tragic events in New York and Washington.

This might be either a very well-planned campaign or an immediate reaction of the American media, which is very used to accusing all Muslims in the world. I do not perceive Islam as a religion of violence. Although we in Russia suffer in Chechnya and Moscow from bomb attacks, I do not think Islam is the underlying reason behind most of these terrorist activities. We have concrete evidence that bombings and other acts of violence have been committed by Chechens; however, I do not believe that Islam can be blamed for them.

The September 11th tragedy was an act of violence, a type with which we have been familiarized by American movies. It also can be argued that these movies involve scenes that inspire such attacks to be organized. Moreover, time and again America has produced protesting generations, especially at times of crisis like the wars in Korea and Vietnam. We might hear anti-war voices arising from among those Americans who will call attention to America's responsibility and that this attack was a provocation.

If we can unite our power to this cause, we can move successfully against terrorism. It is also important to locate the only superpower at a more appropriate status, both for the good of itself and for humanity in general.

America is certainly a great nation, and it will overcome this crisis. However, I am concerned with the possibility that its leaders might make things even worse in the rest of the world.

Personally, I think that Americans do not understand and know too much about history. This might be because they are a young nation or because they consist of many different peoples. They do not have outstanding historians. However, the problems of Europe and Asia are always deeply rooted in the past. Unfortunately, I have not yet met any American who is well informed about the reasons of these events and from where they are arising. Americans react immediately, sometimes deprived of the consciousness that history is not only the past but also the future. We must teach history and learn from it.