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Sun 11 Sep 2011 07:32 AM

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Time to close the book on 9/11, says Al Habtoor

Tenth year of attacks on Trade Centre should be about bridging rifts, Al Habtoor Group boss says

Time to close the book on 9/11, says Al Habtoor
Time to close the book on 9/11, says Al Habtoor
Time to close the book on 9/11, says Al Habtoor
Time to close the book on 9/11, says Al Habtoor
People run away as the North Tower of World Trade Center collapses after a hijacked airliner hit the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 [photos] should mark the beginning of renewed relations between the Muslim world and the west, one of the UAE’s most prominent businessmen, Khalaf Al Habtoor, has said.

Writing in this week’s Arabian Business magazine, the founder of Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group urged governments and media to move forward and concentrate on bridging the rifts between the Muslim world and the US.

“Now we must put old hurts behind us and move on. Governments and the media have been commemorating 9/11 every year for a decade but in order to heal and repair the gap between the US and the Muslim world we shouldn’t keep opening-up old wounds or dwell on sorrow which can so easily derail our coming together,” he said.

Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which al Qaeda militants hijacked four airliners and killed almost 3,000 people.

The attacks sparked a decade of growth in anti-Muslim sentiment. A September 2010 Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that 49 percent of Americans held an unfavourable view of Islam compared to 39 percent in October 2001.

“The idea that west is west and east is east and never the twain shall meet should be discarded. We must teach our children that we may hold different beliefs, follow different traditions and wear different clothes but we all citizens of one shrinking global village,” said Al Habtoor.

“The past cannot be changed. The victims of 9-11 should be remembered always and lessons must be learned. However, the only road open to is forward; I pray that we’ll take that journey to a better tomorrow in unity and harmony,” he added.

Former president George Bush’s decision to invade Afghanistan and Iraq only served to inflame anti-Muslim sentiment, said Al Habtoor.

“Unfortunately, in his haste for retribution, George W. Bush squandered the Muslim world’s post-9-11 goodwill enflaming anti-American sentiment, which served to recruit new batches of Al Qaeda clones. As commander-in-chief he had to react to the attacks but his methods didn’t bring the success he craved,” he said.

New York Major Michael Bloomberg last week called on people to stop calling the site of the September 11 attacks “Ground Zero” and urged Americans to move past a term long linked with the World Trade Center's twin towers destruction.

“We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as ground zero. Never. But the time has come to call those 16 acres what they are: The World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum,” he said during a speech.

“The rebirth and revitalisation of lower Manhattan will be remembered as one of the greatest comeback stories in American history,” he added.

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Ihsan Khan 9 years ago

Time to move on from hate and wars to building peace - 9/11 has been used to falsely accuse Islam - a religion of humanity.

Syed 9 years ago

Can anyone answer 2 questions

1 (Where the wreckage of the plane that HIT pentagon went?)
2.(What about the anniversary of invasion of Iraq)

Harmony 9 years ago

@ Ihsan - Unless I'm mistaken, the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated in the name of Islam. So don't accuse the West of falsely accusing - blame those that killed so many people and brought the name of the religion into ill-repute.

@ Syed - what are you now trying to claim that nothing hit the pentagon? What does it matter where the wreckage went. Also, what is the invasion of Iraq to you - you're not Iraqi. What about the murderer Sadam Hussein who was killing lots of muslims? Should we wish that he was still in power? Iraq would be joining the arab spring to get rid of the murdering dictator now if he was still in power.

Peace minded 9 years ago

The people guilty are politicians who are only economical and political goals at heart. The same for perpetrators of 9/11. It was a political motivation due to all the wrongs USA has done and continues to do in the world.

Syed 9 years ago

@Harmony what i mean to say is that no plane it pentagon, had it hit then surely plane wreck would be onsite. Secondly Saddam removal was at the cost of millions of Iraqi lives and sufferings continue till day whether it is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or be it any muslim nation.

endthelies 9 years ago

Before shooting off ignorant comments-why not read Noam Chomsky's latest article on 9/11... no, the OTHER 9/11 which happened in Chile; which was shameful and demonic.

Ihsan Khan 9 years ago

@Harmony – Muslims the world over have nothing to do with such an act of hate and destruction that drove the 9/11 bombers. Terrorism is a crime and the perpetrators are not representatives of any faith, colour or race.

ahmed 9 years ago

couldn't agree more with Mr. Al Habtoor.
its sad, unfortunate and shocking what happened on 9/11.....but its also time to move on!!
there have been the atomic bomb blasts in hiroshami and nagasaki, the vietnam war and so much conflict all over the world. the pain and suffering will not heal for those that had to deal with these tragedies....but then.....we have moved on and...have to in this case as well.

SA 9 years ago

@Harmony - The world has suffered so many 9/11, 12/11, 30/03, and so on ....at the hands of west. Just look at the recent history.

Millions of people have been killed in the illegal war in Iraq. Do you know the date when this war was started? Will you be morning their dead every year?

IkkiWoods 9 years ago

No, progress will not come from hiding that memory, however uncomfortable it might be for the muslim world. The way forward is to face it and to remind ourselves of the lessons that must be learned from the event itslef and the ill-conceived wars that resulted therefrom.