President Barack Obama has led the nation in marking the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, addressing families of survivors at a private Pentagon ceremony in Washington, D.C. Obama laid a wreath in remembrance of the Americans who lost their lives that day, as thousands of Americans across the nation also gathered at 9/11 memorials to hold moments of silence and pay their respects to those who had passed.
Obama spoke at the Pentagon shortly after a moment of silence was observed at 9:30 a.m. ET, the time 12 years ago when al-Qaeda terrorists flew an American Airlines jet into the Pentagon, killing a total of 184.
"It is an honor to be with you here again to remember the tragedy of 12 Septembers ago to honor the greatness of all who responded, and to stand with those who still grieve, and to provide them some measure of comfort once more," the president said to the families of the victims killed at the Pentagon. more >>
A Sept. 11 march on the United States capital aimed at drawing attention to Americans' alleged discrimination against Muslims has drawn the ire of patriotic followers of Muslim Prophet Muhammad who see it as a slight against America.
"These guys are basically exploiting an annual commemoration of an attack in which America lost over 3,000 lives to radical Islam," Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy(AIFD), told The Christian Post in a Tuesday interview. "It's part of this lobby of Islamist groups in America that believe America is to blame rather than taking ownership."
The Missouri-based American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) scheduled the event for Sept. 11, 2013, to commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but not in the traditional spirit of such meetings. Refusing to attribute the attacks to Islamic extremists, AMPAC is focusing on discrimination against Muslims. "Muslim and non-Muslim alike were traumatized, but we as Muslims continue 12 years later to be victimized by being made the villains," the group said in a statement. more >>
Radical Islamism, the ideology behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, also fuels the conflict in Syria, Middle East experts agree. They disagree, however, on the degree of support which the United States should give to the forces opposing President Bashar Al-Assad.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, vice chair of the United States Commision on International Religious Freedom and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), told The Christian Post Tuesday, "9/11 woke up America to a symptom of a deeper disease, and that disease is what produces militant groups like al Qaeda or radical Islamism." He argued that "the core issue is not the militants, it's the ideology of political Islam."
Jasser, who is Syrian American, argued that this worldview grew from a conflict between secular governments and radical Muslims in the Middle East over the past century. "The Muslim Brotherhood cut its teeth fighting Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak," he explained. Without a Muslim government, they argued, national fascist dictators will enforce their tyrannical rule by military authority. more >>
The American Atheists organization has issued a letter to the Mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, promising to file an injunction if the mayor goes ahead with plans to place a steel beam, taken from the site of the World Trade Center, on public property. The atheist group believes that a cross carved out on the side of the steel beam in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks would be "grossly offensive" and "alienate many people." Instead, the atheist group wants the beam placed in a designated "free speech zone," which would allow others to erect their own memorials related to atheism as well as other religious groups.
"While the intention to commemorate those who died at the World Trade Center is admirable and appropriate for a community, the use of such a singular religious image will be grossly offensive and alienating to many people," Bruce Afran, attorney for The American Atheists, wrote to Mayor Liz Lempert.
Afran added that the group expects an answer to its demands by Sept. 3. more >>
Two large explosions ravaged the grounds of the Boston Marathon yesterday, leaving 3 people dead and over 170 injured in the city.
Angelica Vasquez, a 22-year-old political science student at Boston College and Sudbury, Mass. resident attended the marathon and witnessed the horror of the bombings firsthand. Vasquez and her boyfriend Vlad Yashaev, 25, sat right across the street from the explosion in the VIP section at the finish line.
"We got to our bleacher seats and we stood in the middle section and all of a sudden we heard a huge bang that felt like an impact or slight jerk. Everyone was confused," Vasquez told The Christian Post, describing the attack when it first hit. more >>
An emotional and frustrated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traded barbs with legislators on Capitol Hill in her appearances Wednesday before Senate and House committees searching for answers in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three security personnel.
Clinton's day began first thing on Wednesday morning when she appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will end later in the day before the House committee.
"I take responsibility," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger and more secure." more >>