IN HONOR OF 9/11, AN OPEN LETTER TO OSAMA BIN LADEN WRITTEN IN 2001

I would be surprised if you ever saw this. And then again, maybe I wouldn’t. Information can be transmitted so easily now; although I don’t know if you get AOL or newspapers in your cave—assuming you are still there.

But since you found a way to send a message to this PTO mother of two, who was quietly raising a family and trying to figure out a way to save for college educations and retirement and contemplating what job I would return to when my little one was old enough for pre-school; who scrambled to call anyone and everyone I knew in New York and Washington; whose family members were stranded by your actions; whose husband lost his job because of you; whose friends are shaken to their core; who is afraid to gather in public or fly or send my children to religious school; who cries inside for so many who can not cry now for themselves—I thought I’d send you a message.

You got my attention. Blowing up thousands of my countrymen, who were quietly raising their families and who went to work one day to save for their children’s college educations and their retirements; that got my attention.

And the truth is I’m not sure that the people at the top of my government are sure that you did this.  I’m not sure that I am not being manipulated in some ways by the media.  But I am sure that you had some hand in this or some influence and for that reason, I am sending this letter to you. To the Taliban. To Sadam Hussein. To the PLO. To any terrorist anywhere. And for that matter to the Christians and Protestants who continue to blow each other up in Ireland.

I do not care about your ideology. I do not care about who is living on whose land. I do not care about which G-d you pray to; if you do at all. Did you ask me about my ideology? Did you ask what I care about? Did you ask if someone on the 105th floor of Tower One believed in Allah just like you?

What exactly is the message you were trying to send? Surely, if you are that wealthy, you could have taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times or perhaps the Washington Post.  Maybe CNN could have hosted a round-table discussion for all you holy warriors. I would have listened. I would have tuned in to your opinions. You could have opened up the phone lines for a poll.

Do you know what I care about? I care about gray children lying in streets, who cannot raise a tiny bit of precious food to their cracked lips. And women who can’t read a book, much less feel a breeze on their naked face for fear that they will die gruesome deaths. I care about families who cannot find each other.  I care about young boys, babies still, who are forced to become warriors and then have their legs blown off.

I care about people telling the truth. I care about mothers everywhere who have witnessed horrible things that I don’t even want to pretend I understand.

I think I believe in G-d. But I think that you cannot even begin to comprehend a Supreme Being. Because nothing that is higher than mankind would encourage such horrid acts on its behalf. Nothing…. no one. I do not care what name you call it. I do not care if your G-d is someone’s Son or Father. Destruction is not holy.

When do you see G-d? When you crash a building down on thousands of unsuspecting people whom you’ve never questioned about ideology? When you have diabolically convinced someone to become a human inferno?

I see G-d when I bathe my beautiful children; soapy and silly and giggling.  I see G-d when my babies sing to me; when they draw a picture for me; when they share what they learned at school…. when they speak to me of tolerance.

 I am not violent. I do not pray for your destruction. I would not pray to a Supreme Being for the destruction of another human being.  I am angry. I am furious. I am beyond fury. I pray that you will be captured and jailed and treated miserably in solitary confinement for a very long life in silence and darkness.  I pray that impoverished people will be fed and kept warm and educated. I pray that other mothers, everywhere, will be able to enjoy bathing their beautiful babies—soapy and silly and giggling.

I pray that mad men will not ruin more lives….

If making me afraid makes you holy, then you are holy. And I will freely admit that I am afraid. I am terrified. But I will live.

I am pushing aside the fear. I am stomping on it. I am screaming. Can you hear me yelling at you? Because I am not alone. I am almost 300 million strong. You will not make me a prisoner as you have done to others. My husband will find work. We will go out in public. We will take a trip by plane. I will smile at the strangers I may have ignored last week. Because they are Americans too…. And yes, my children are going to religious school. They need G-d ; a G-d of caring and compassion.

Do you know what else I am doing?  I am trying to read your Koran.  I am looking for some way to comprehend what you have done.  But I don’t think the answers are there.

With all of your money you could have tried to help the people around you by repairing roads and buildings. You could have taught your warriors to repair lives. Instead you have destroyed souls and families.

If you have children, I hope they are safe and warm someplace. And I hope, no pray, no there is no word for what I am doing tonight…I am asking the Almighty to protect my beautiful children.  I am bargaining. I will never ask for anything except the grace to see my children grow up in safety.

G.

 

 

 

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