Update, 9-7-21

Attacks Changed Life for Muslims in U.S. Islamic families in the United States faced “increased discrimination, hate crimes and marginalization . . . after the largest attack on U.S. soil was reported to have been orchestrated by al-Qaida, an extremist group that aligns with Islam but had nothing to do with Muslim Americans,” writes Massarah Mikati in today’s Albany Times-Union.

She begins with the account of Sarah Syed, a Pakistani-American who lives in Niskayuna, whose family had their house egged, had a haystack piled in front of the entrance, and found a homemade bomb in their mailbox. (It didn’t go off, Syed said. Her parents told their children it was a prank.)

The report, HERE, is headlined “Tragedy’s long shadow: Muslim Americans talk of fears, lack of acceptance, prejudice after 9/11.”

Sahar Alsahlani of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says: “When 9/11 happened, everyone started making fun of your culture and religion. … All these ramifications of 9/11 gave them an excuse to invade our countries, invade our resources, target our people and target our identity.”

and . . .

“You don’t expect to see on television, ‘The U.S. is at war with Iraq.’ You don’t expect to see your grandparents’ neighborhood being bombed and everybody around you watching like it’s a video game. . . . You guys are collecting the remains of my ancestors [as seen] . . . on your television sets, but you won’t let us in after you bombed the crap out of us. And by the way, we had nothing to do with 9/11. And then I’m just thinking, how could you manipulate an act of terror to get resources that you want, and put us and many other Middle Eastern countries in prehistoric conditions, and then call me savage?”

Mikati notes, “The Taliban, an extremist organization that was originally funded and trained by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1980s during the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, was operating out of Afghanistan along with al-Qaida — hence the link the federal government drew to the orchestrated 9/11 attacks.”

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One Victim’s Identification: How have the remains of individuals whose lives ended in the World Trade Center attacks become identified? When a part of the remains is finally connected with a name, it’s because medical examiners have gotten a treated bone fragment to correspond with a DNA sample provided by a victim’s family.

In today’s New York Times, reporter Carey Kilgannon explains how it worked in one case, that of Dorothy Morgan, who last month posthumously became the 1,646th victim to be identified this way. (Click HERE for the story as it appeared in the Indian Express.)

In newsprint editions of the Times, the story is headlined, “Nearly 20 Years Later, Confirming the Identity of a Victim of Sept. 11.” Anyone interested in medical examiners’ work or the field of forensic biology should find it fascinating.

Apart from that, Kilgannon’s story is notable for at least two omissions. There is no breakdown of the percentage of the identified remains of victims who died in either WTC Tower, as opposed to the percentage of the identified remains of victims who had been aboard either commercial jetliner — American Airlines Flight 11 or United Airlines Flight 175 — reported to have crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, before they collapsed. The story doesn’t mention the planes.

— Mark Channing Miller




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