The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a national organization of Muslim and Jewish women devoted to fighting all forms of hate and promoting social justice, solemnly remembers the 20th anniversary of the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. In a morning of madness, thousands of lives were destroyed and families were forever changed. We condemn extremism in all its forms and continue to hold the memories of those lost on that day, one of the darkest in American history.
Furthermore, we deeply regret the negative characterizations of both of our religions in the days following the attack, when the seeds of extreme Islamophobia were planted and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the “real” perpetrators of the attack were spread. The rise in nationalism in the United States that followed the attacks of 11 September 2001 created heightened tensions and blurred the distinction between patriotism and nationalism and the relationship between national identification and pluralistic values. We continue to remind and call on all the members of our society not to allow such fears, bigotry, and nationalistic ideologies to divide our country and diminish our democratic values.
In the two decades since the attack, those conspiracy theories have largely died, but Islamophobia is still a real issue in this country. Yet, even amidst troubling reports of rising Islamophobia incidents, much collaborative work has been done to raise awareness of and change behavior toward Muslim Americans. The formation of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom in 2013 is just one of the many examples of such collaborative organizations. On this sad anniversary, we in the Sisterhood rededicate ourselves to our core mission of fighting Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, as we support one another as proud Americans.
Roberta Elliott Tahija Vikalo
President Executive Director