How 9/11 Blends Us

By Rio Tuasikal / @riotuasikal

When I saw the World Trade Center collapsed, 12 years ago, I was just a 9 year old boy. What I remember next was using my LEGO to build a WTC-like twin tower, also with the airplane, then I reconstructed what I saw on television. It was cool, and too, on that day I was happy.

But what I was experienced at school the next day was totally different. My teacher suddenly said that the incident is precisely a jihad for Islam, synonym a war to West which is mostly Christians. I asked myself all the day: how can be a Muslim that cruel, or maybe I would be that cruel someday? Suddenly my Christian friends are gradually left me and my closest Muslim friends. We needed about a week to say hello again.

Let alone my kid’s stuff, it is only about children friendship. But the world today has been changing so fast. Our telecommunication and transportation technology have made this earth a global village: small, interconnected, interdependence. Due to that globalization, my childhood problem years ago, an identity as a Muslim or a Christian, has been an international issue for today.

The world today connects us with too many identities. We meet various people from around the world with not similar cultures, traditions, religions and even fashion styles. They collide, mingle, and interact with us as Indonesians. That made us afraid, confused and even worry. We lost the connection with our root identity, it is normal if we feel broken and hopeless.

Some people separate the world as Islam and West, but how can they place Islam as an antithesis from West? Well, in that global dilemma, people from all cultures want to save their pride. Some people are choosing the simplest way, as Maher Zain sing, "Yes, it's easy to blame everything on the West". And the results are war here, there, everywhere. Just take a look at Sunni-Syiah in Syria, Muslim-Jews in Palestine-Israel, Muslim-Buddhist in Myanmar, et cetera et cetera.

See? We are snobbishly fighting each other just because we are different, and we need no another reason. We blame others just to make sure that we are right. We denigrate others just to save our pride. This is called ethnocentrism, and even worse when this sentiment sublimates the real political and economic interests of the invisible hands. Are not we ridiculous?

I am afraid of World War III, and 9/11 made my worry acceptable. I’m wondering about a peaceful earth, where Africans, Americans, Arabs, Asians, whatever, are starting to forget hatred and prejudice, and prefer friendship. Because we cannot live only as Muslim, Indonesian or Asians, we live as a global community.

Julia Suryakusuma wrote on the Jakarta Post newspaper: now you can buy McDonald’s in Mecca, just as you can buy a halal burger in Michigan. We are blended, friends! So, forget that Islam-West simplistic separation, stop blaming and fighting each other. Let us talking about how many week, or even decade we need, to make us say hello again. []


  1. an article is very impressive, event there are not explanation about how Islam can be contradicted with 'the west'. May we have to observe how this contradiction happened. Is there any hidden protocols to make Islam and west get into the conflict, or we have to make a definition about 'west' clearly?.
    as Huntington said, the definition about west is doesn't associated with the geographical area. It's about civilization of west world. Today, when we say 'west' as a civilization, it's means United State.


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