Message to a Young Muslim – 2001

For some days after the al-Qaeda attacks of “9/11” I was among the Red Cross volunteers assisting some 8,000 passengers and crew from 40 aircraft diverted to Halifax.  It was the start of a brief time of heady opportunity, with America’s allies pulling together, and even its enemies acknowledging that the barbaric attacks were a step too far.  Reflecting on the United States’ recent surrender to the Taliban,  I’ll share something I wrote twenty years ago to a student at Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam University where I’d spoken some months earlier. “What do you think of the current Afghanistan imbroglio?” he had emailed.  I think much of my lengthy reply has stood the test of time – but with one glaring and deeply disturbing exception near the end. I’ll leave you to judge.

Continue reading “Message to a Young Muslim – 2001”