I always found the above picture so disturbing. The finality is so evident. And none of us really know the man's story. There may be some loved ones that do; I didn't want to delve too much into research on the actual person's identity. But this image is so telling, isn't it? I mean, if you want to commit an act of terrorism, and want to make people afraid of what may happen next, create a scenario as hopeless as this man's physical fate. That is exactly what some diabolical men did that day.
Now before the conspiracy theorists get all tangled up in a knot, I am not claiming that the United States government is entirely innocent in the horrible incident. But while some people think the entire thing was orchestrated from within, there is still too much evidence that I have found in research that points to the evident plan to attack by Islamic radicals. However, I also believe the US government to be more guilty of one particular thing than perhaps almost any other system in existence; guilty of complacency. And then covering up complacency by starting a war with the wrong enemy. But I digress, that is not why I am posting.
I try to remember September 11, 2001 every year because it had a profound impact on my life. I daresay it had me think deeply about the future of my family, and perhaps my future with my wife. Would we have become so serious, so fast, if not for 9/11? I sometimes wonder. My wife was on an airplane coming back from Orlando when the first plane hit. I was 'teaching a class full of innocent children', as the Alan Jackson lyrics say. You can bet I was wondering if the girl I had already considered marrying was safe while stuck in an airplane somewhere between Florida and Charlotte. So there is the first bit of impact that comes to my mind related to the events of 9/11. Of course I called all my family that day, mainly to tell them how much I loved them. But something else happened that day.
My interest was piqued back then to find out more about this enemy that attacked us on our own shores. Back then, I knew very little about Islam. I knew the basic premise, and I knew they had their sacred prophet Muhammad, but that was really all I knew. When I saw images like the one above, or the videos that play in my head over and over again of entire planes crashing full speed into skyscrapers, I began to read more information about the religion of Islam. I didn't do the research I do now. But any article I came across about the Middle East - I read it. Anything about terrorism - I read it. Nothing like the attacks that day had occurred in my lifetime, and I wanted to know how someone could do something so terrible - to people who had nothing to do with their ideals or political or religious ideology.
Look once again at the picture I inserted on this post. The man in the photo is plummeting straight down, no turning back, most likely nowhere else to go when he was still up top, nothing to stop the inevitable impact and physical end to his life at the end of the fall. I like to think the man had faith in Jesus, but I don't know if I will ever know that. But at the point the man is in this photo, there is absolutely no physical hope for survival.
And that man did nothing to the terrorists on the plane that hit his tower. For all I know, the man could have been a regular participant in debauchery, or beat his wife, or never committed any crimes whatsoever; but he never harmed a hair on any of the terrorists' heads. If I were a betting man, I would probably put money down that the man didn't know much about the shahada - the Muslim belief and statement that there is but one God; that his name is Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.
But with the men that committed these heinous acts, there are two choices:
Convert or Die, or Convert AND Die.
I read somewhere today that there were some 31 confirmed Muslims killed among the other almost 3000 people. The ideology of true original Islam, which is what these guys emulate, is what killed all those people that day. As much as I'd like to believe otherwise, Muhammad himself committed similar atrocities all the time. And I just started to touch the surface of that truth when I wanted to know more back then.
There is a reason I used the events of 9/11 to start a snowball of events that has resulted in 5, going on 6 fictional novels now. And because there are millions of Muslims who are peaceful, mostly because they are misinformed or choosy about which parts of the Quran to follow, my novels that I write follow the constant battle within that I have with the yearning to lead Muslims to Christ on one hand, but to take out all the originals, or 'radicals', at once - on the other.
What if the man in the picture were your boyfriend or husband? What if he were your brother, or son, or cousin, or best friend? What if you were looking so forward to seeing him later that day, not knowing what was going to happen between 8 AM and 10 AM that morning? Thanks to the senseless violence of 19 men, many people lost 3000 of their closest friends and family that day. Ask yourself, how would you feel about the people you knew who did it? Would you be satisfied knowing that the men involved perished in the flames and rubble as well, even if you knew those men were part of something so much bigger? I have often asked myself that question.
Ah, but here's the kicker. Now ask yourself - what is the right way to see the group those men represent? It is not an easy answer internally speaking due to our sinful nature... but the right thing to do according to God's Word, is pray for them. Pray for them to see the light of Jesus Christ. That is actually my goal, but I also do not mince words. I don't hide from the darkness of Satan's influence on this world. He is very real, and I am realistic in describing his influence on the forces and darkness around us. I am also realistic in describing man's nature; revenge being a potent motivator for some of my characters. I also try to show justice in my writing as well; justice for the villains I have concocted based on research on some of the most radical beliefs in existence. But the truth be told, God is the only one who can provide true justice.
Go ahead, take one last look at the man falling. Envision all the helpless others who came to a tragic end that day. And now I ask you to do one last crazy, impossible, no way - what are you thinking Jason-thing - and forgive.
But never forget: September 11, 2001