I remember September 11, 2001 vividly.
The Al-Qaida threat against India, shook me up for a brief moment and took me back to the memory lane.
I was called by Rehan Siddiqi of 1100AM and Amir Morani of 900AM Radio stations to come to the studio and handle the problem. It was 10:30 in the morning and I stayed the whole day on one Radio and for a few hours on the other. We were simply connecting with communities in that hour of chaos.
We were able to make sense out of the mess on that day; every community leader from Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Zoroastrian and other faiths was on air with me that day...to that we added the leadership of communities like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Caribbean, British, Chinese and several others.
I focused on the following points 1) It is a war against us 2) We need to donate blood 3) we need to raise funds for the fire men and 4) we need to remain together.
Najma and I appealed for people to donate the blood, and the Blood bank was full, people had to come back the next day. Thanks to those Desi's who heeded the call.
The following events were arranged over the air waves , and thanks to Vinoda Kumar of the DFW Hindu temple who arranged for prayers immediately, Poras Balsara of Zoroastrian community arranged for the prayers, Suleman Mohammad of Islamic Center of North Texas agreed for prayer vigil, Swami Narayan temple arranged for the prayers that week. Tayab Kundawala was the president of India Association and within an hour he put together his team and agreed to do the fund raising immediately. Mansoor Shah of Pakistan Society had joined in the activities as well.
Then for the whole week a bunch of us went around different places doing prayers. I recall my prayers at Swami Narayan temple and one other place, where I read the prayers for Jewish, Zoroastrian and Islamic faiths and in another place a simply Hindu Prayer. We took the roles of representing every one wherever there was no representation of a community. I did not want any one left behind.
I have dedicated that day towards building bridges, for the first three years, I did Radio program to discuss the effects of it on economy, international relations and inter faith relations. Since 2005 we have started the Unity Day USA to bring Americans of all hues together and rededicate our pledge of one nation under the Creator. Please visit www.FoundationforPluralism.com for Unity Day USA.
Al-Qaida is decapitated, a few idiots on their own claiming to act in behalf of Al-Qaida to feel a sense of power, the evil power. We don't know if Osama is still alive or not, but we do know that they are broken.
I would view this threat with caution, but it is simply a dog barking. We need to know more.
Al-Qaida declares jihad against India
SRINAGAR: Media organizations here on Friday received a VCD and a statement purportedly from the Al-Qaida saying it is declaring war on India.
The VCD shows a man called Abu Abdul Rehman Ansari, who describes himself as a top member of the terror group.
Wearing a black mask and shot against a blank background, the man announces "holy war" against India.
The statement is in Arabic and Urdu.
In Video: Al-Qaida declares jihad on India
Al-Qaida member confirmed dead in Pakistan