New York Memorial Emphasizes Inclusiveness

September 15, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On September 15, 2002 The New York Times reported on "a memorial, given by the Upper Westchester Muslim Society... The moderator, Asser Tantawi, took the podium and called the Sept. 11 attacks 'an act of evil which happened a year ago that has absolutely nothing to do with our religion or faith.' Mr. Tantawi then used an example, not from the Koran, but from mainstream American life. 'How many of you remember 'Eight is Enough?' ' he asked. His reference was to the television series from the late 1970's, but his point was that America could benefit from the same kind of inclusiveness exemplified by the large, cuddly television family that worked out their problems openly, in family powwows. Several Muslim speakers said that over the past year they had felt an initial obligation to apologize somehow for the attacks. They hoped that the one-year milestone last week might be a turning point away from the initial resentment and misunderstanding toward Muslim-Americans, and toward more acceptance into mainstream American society."