Mohamed Eljahmi's Remarks at Englewood,|
NJ's 9/11 Memorial Services
Good morning. I am honored to be with you today, thank you Mr. Mayor, for your invitation.Photos by : Clifford Smith JR
I am a Libyan American and have been a Naturalized US citizen for nearly 20 years. I hope to make a case that ideology based terror is connected to the current political situation in the Arab/Muslim worlds.
On 9/11/2001 thousands were killed by 19 radical Muslim terrorists, who hijacked airplanes loaded with civilians and slammed them into buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C. The terrorists’ main objectives were to spread fear, cause large death and infect our society with misery and revenge.
Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization who recruited the 19 Arab men from different family backgrounds. Those men, though, shared the same hatred toward America and also believed that God is on their side during their evil mission.
The political climate in the Arab world is a fertile ground for creating ideology based terrorists. Most Arab countries are controlled by Autocrats and Theocrats. The Autocrats control the Security Services, Army, etc., while Theocrats control the streets – ideologically speaking. In Arab countries, the clerics are employees of the State and their Friday sermons come from the State. According to those clerics one sure way to go to Heaven is as martyr in Jihad.
In such environment religious and ethnic intolerance flourishes. In Mosques, government controlled media and schools, Jews and Christians are labeled as “Sons of pigs and monkeys” In a speech last year, Libya Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi mocked Judaism and Christianity and labeled them as “false religions” Imagine a Head of State criticizes two major religion. Is Libya in great shape? Does it have adequate health care, education or infrastructure? The answer is No.
Terror is also celebrated in Libya. Last month, Scotland released Libyan terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. He is the man who blew up the Pan Am flight 103. Mr. Qadhafi gave Megrahi a hero welcome. The terrorist flew to Libya on the dictator’s personal plane in the company of Mr. Qadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam and Libyan officials. Saif al-Islam boastfully told Megrahi, “All the grace and thanks for your release goes to the Exalted Allah.”
I don’t know which God Saif is talking about. The God I know doesn’t glorify terrorists and mass murderers.
How ironic that Al-Qaeda and Qadhafi agree that God is on their side when they commit acts of terror that cause mass murders.
We should also ask our policy makers and leaders. How can we effectively fight terror, when our State Department appears to have looked the other way as Scotland considered releasing al-Megrahi? Absent America pressure, a mass murdering terrorist was released.
Our Foreign Policy makers must seriously engage Arab/Muslim countries on democratic values and economic interests. America has the necessary tools to help positive change and modernize Arab/Muslim countries. Our State Department must seriously support genuine democratic Arab/Muslim dissident, who sacrifice their lives to help their people build peaceful societies. In May of this year, my brother Fathi Eljahmi died from torture in the custody of Mr. Qadhafi’s regime, why? Because he peacefully called for reform.
We can’t bring our dead back. The 38 people who died from the State of New Jersey in the bombing of flight 103 or the eight people who died on September 11, 2001, but we can make sure they didn’t die in vain.
On 9/1/2009 Mohamed Eljahmi was awarded the Key to the City of Englewood
by Mayor Michael Wildes