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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Left Edge

Since the beginning of history, the moment when man first started recording facts and occurrences, man has been at war. So it should come as no surprise that the Muslim world and the Western world should clash. We know that our religious and social backgrounds are different and we know that we live completely different lifestyles. And we also know that these two cultures have clashed before.

We also knoaw that our two cultures have been able to co-exist, for many Muslims who have come to America and for those who have converted. One of our culture’s most fascinating and celebrated men, Mohammed Ali, is Muslim.

Having returned from New York City this past weekend, it is obvious that America is still in mourning. On Sunday the 23rd, a memorial service was held at Yankee Stadium for the thousands who were killed in the terrorist attacks. Two days earlier, when sports returned to New York in the form of the Mets at Shea Stadium, it was one of the most lively and momentous games at the ballpark. The World Series had been won there, important and historic games have taken place there. But when Mets players took the field with FDNY and NYPD on their caps that said it all.

All over the city, missing posters were everywhere, of people who most likely perished in the destruction. Near the site itself, New Yorkers of all walks of life gathered to look in awe at what many call an unbelievable sight, still. For many, it has not fully registered. Even I ask, “How can both World Trade Centers be gone?” Many took their presence for granted.

Throughout this time of mourning and sorrow, we as a country find ourselves in a very interesting position. We are at war, a war against terrorism. And as many of us found out on Tuesday Sept. 11, being victims of terrorism is something none of us were mentally prepared for. As far as countries go, we were living in bliss. Absolute ignorance. To many of us, how the rest of the world perceived us held no importance. It was something many of us had never thought of. That country, and way of thinking, came tumbling down that day and the United States of America finds itself on the threshold of being an “undiscovered” country once again.

We are about to find out what kind of people we are.

To come full circle, since man has been in conflict, the way conflict has been dealt with has become very systematic to the point where there are rules for dealing with it. In some forms they are rules of engagement and rules of diplomacy. There are sanctuaries in countries, and when these sanctuaries and rules are broken there is hell to pay. Just ask Osama bin Laden in a few years, if he is still around.

But Americans are in a unique position. As a relatively young country we have many options that countries such as Ireland and England don’t have. When a church is bombed or students are threatened, there is a systematic way of dealing with the terrorists. The governments have a way of dealing with the IRA and vice versa. But in the US we have never had to deal with something like this. Once again, we have a fresh outlook on an old situation, or we could have if we allow ourselves to.

Think of how we reacted to tyranny.We changed the course of history forever. Just ask the French. If it weren’t for this country they would still have a king and queen. As a nation, we have the opportunity to react differently to change the way that the world deals with terrorism.

One of the first things that Americans need to do is to stop seeing ourselves as victims. Victims have no power and have no opportunity to grow. Victims continues to see that it is they who are being wronged and no one else. As victims we will never see the end of terrorism.

The second thing that Americans need to, and this is something that we have started off well at so far, is remembering those who died and continuing on in the struggle that we call life. We must live full and healthy lives, for that is the only way we as the living can honor the dead.

The third thing we must do is stop asking how and start asking why. When we do this we will see that we have been at war long before the attack on the World Trade Center. We will learn some ugly things about ourselves and the way our government has conducted itself. Once we have accomplished this, we will only grow and will better ourselves as people and as a nation.

The last thing we must do is to lead compassionate and considerate lives. The old way of live and let die will no longer do. It gets people hurt and, as we have all found out, that is not a good thing.