KOKOMO, Ind. — According to www.history.com, on September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.
Student writer Mary Olk, for the Office of Media & Marketing, asked this question around campus on Monday, September. 10.
"How has your tolerance for other cultures changed since the events of 9/11?"
Here are the answers:
"The 9/11 events happened when I was very young, so, unfortunately, it has created a negative image of other countries in my mind."
"You become more understanding of other cultures once you take the time to learn about them. The culture training I receive in the Army has taught me a lot, and I realize that people aren't that much different from each other."
"I try not to stereotype anyone. I try to understand other culture's points of view because the events of 9/11 aren't a good representation of the entire Middle Eastern culture."
"I'm more tolerant. But as a sociologist, I know the importance of seeing the event through the lens of someone from a different culture."
"My tolerance has changed for the positive. It has urged me to learn more about the other cultures, and it helps me to understand how and why these events happen. It is important to be educated about other cultures, so that we can cope with and better understand the events of 9/11."
"I've always tried to be tolerant of other cultures. We are all different and do different things within our own cultures, and being knowledgeable about these similarities and differences will help cultures interact and understand each other."
"I'm a little more cautious, and I'm more aware of what's going on around me."
"Americans in general are more aware and informed about world politics and world affairs since 9/11, and it's a good thing. The ability or the capacity to see the world from someone else's perspective is a prerequisite for greater tolerance, and education is key in this endeavor."
"I don't think it's changed my tolerance level, but I think the events have made other people more close-minded and fearful."
"When the 9/11 events occurred, I was only 19 years old, and at the time, I didn't know how to feel about anything. I just knew things were certainly going to change, not only in our culture, but within other cultures, too. It was a tragic event, and people were very fearful."
"I've worked with people all over the world for more than 30 years, and I don't think you can ever put a culture in a box. It hasn't changed my views at all."
"I don't think it has changed my views because I grew up in a very culturally diverse area. At the time of the event, I was mainly shocked, wondering how the world would change."
"There are three points I would like to make. The first is that 9/11 teaches us that violence in the name of religion can never be justified. Islam has been hijacked for those with a specific agenda, but it should not be thought of automatically as characteristic of Islamic theology. The second, people need to be cautious and not think of Islam as a monolithic faith. Rather, there are very definite schools of thought and theological approaches within Islam and they strongly differ, including the notion of peace. Third, there is, I believe, a vivid reminder in the 9/11 event that we cannot look at any religious text literally, including the Quran and the Bible. When devotees seek to justify their action with literalist interpretation, normally it cannot be justified. Seek knowledge and seek depth."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.