Islam and Al-Qaeda
Islam is a peaceful religion like Christianity, Judaism, and other mainstream religions. The key purpose of Prophet Muhammad (peace is upon you) was to spread mercy and peace. We cannot judge Islam based on the negative acts of Al-Qaeda and Isis. This is because Al-Qaeda and Islam are two different religions. More than 1.3 billion Muslims today exist; we cannot say all of them are terrorists based on the action of Al-Qaeda and Isis. There are Muslims who strictly follow their rules are their key objective is to spread peace, love, and mercy. Al-Qaeda and other groups like them represented the most radical ideas, which do not represent Islam. Radical religions are one of biggest threats to not only aviation security, but to security in worldwide. This essay will explore some points regarding Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attack: how the Muslim community see Al-Qaeda, who is Mohammed Atta, how he became the mastermind of 9/11 attack, how he joined Al-Qaeda and believed their radical ideas, and the changes of aviation security after 9/11 attack.
The Muslim community sees Al-Qaeda as a terrorist group because of its evil plans. Al-Qaeda is not Islam because the main objective of Al-Qaeda is to attack civilians for a political or monetary gain and kill while the main objective of Islam is to spread peace and mercy (Shatz & Erin-Elizabeth, 2015). Islam does not allow a Muslim to attack an innocent civilian. There are approximately 1.3billion Muslims currently, unlike Al-Qaeda that recruits its members from specific countries. Additionally, there is no condition under which Islam support terrorism. If a Muslim involves himself in terrorism, he is going against the laws of Islam. He may be using the name Islam to benefit himself politically or financially (Malkki, 2009). Prophet Muhammad preached peace by stating that “‘do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people.” Furthermore, suicide is prohibited in Islam. Islam is a religion of human dignity and value hence it cannot associate itself with terror attacks.
Islam is a religion of peace and mercy. The Holy Quran clearly indicates the long lasting love and peace supported by His enduring Mercy (Malkki, 2009). Allah stated that mutual understanding and a good relationship are mandatory just like other elements like food and water. Allah created people differently so that they would learn from one another and relate justly and peacefully. To maintain a peaceful and merciful order among Muslims, Allah ordered that the first word that should come from a mouth of a Muslim is “As Salaamu Alaikum” or Peace be upon you! Islam urges Muslims to be merciful to people and animals (Malkki, 2009). He argued that whether animals are used to transport people or carry luggage, they are supposed to be treated humanely with love and mercy the same way we treat ourselves.
Islam teaches Muslims to maintain peace among all people whether Muslim or people from non-Muslim communities. Islam further wants its followers to preach peace to their enemies and friends. The Quran clearly states that every person has a right to live and hence a need for peace. The Quran states that a person who kills one soul is considered to have killed all humankind. The Quran further recommends that disagreements can be ceased by maintaining peace. Furthermore, Islam recommends a mutually and peaceful society. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), taught Muslims not to kill a soul, or destroy a mosque, church, synagogue, or any place where God worshiped.
He was born in Kafr el Sheikh in Egypt on September1, 1968. In 1990, he graduated with a degree in architectural engineering from Cairo University. He works as an urban planner for a number of years in Cairo (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). He urged a Germany family that he had met in Cairo to help to continue with his studies in Germany. He travelled to Hamburg and stayed with that family (Trento & Trento, 2006). His first time travel to Germany was in July 1992 after finishing a course. He lived in Hamburg briefly and later on moved to put up with the host family. He enrolled at the University of Hamburg and transferred to the Technical University of Hamburg to study a city engineering and planning course where he would remain a student until the fall of 1999 (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). Mohammed Atta attained his degree prior to travelling to Afghanistan. By then, he had a good command of the German language.
Mohammed seemed a religious person when he went to Germany, but things changed after a short while when his trend to assert leadership became highly pronounced. By 1995, he organized a student association for Muslims in Hamburg. In 1997, he became a member of a working group at the Quds mosque in Hamburg. The key objective why this group was created was to bridge the gap between Christians and Muslims (Mohamedou, 2011). Among all the individuals who shared his beliefs, he was identified as a good decision maker. Atta’s friends remembered him for being intolerant of dissent, intelligent, and charismatic. During Atta’s interactions with other students, he voiced the views of anti-Americans, ranging from criticisms of what was considered as a global Jewish movement located in New York City that allegedly controlled the media and the monetary world, to polemics against the Arab world governments. Atta viewed Adam Hussein as a person who was ready to allow Washington to intervene in the Middle East (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016).
Atta was brought up in a Muslim family. His older sisters studied medicine and academia. Atta studied an engineering degree at the Cairo University before travelling to Hamburg to continue with his studies (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). At the university, Atta was more religious and followed some Muslim dietary rules for instance, not drinking alcohol. Atta further expressed anti- American and anti-Semitic opinions. He persistently prayed with his fellow Muslims at the university. Reports indicate that Atta lived with his fellow terrorists that took part in the attack while in Germany.
Atta joined Al-Qaeda by championing violent jihad. He asked one person who had strong connections with the group if he would be recruited as a member and he was dismissed on grounds that he was too weak for jihad (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). In 1998, Atta visited his home in Egypt and met a friend who they studied together in college. Between 1997 and 1998, Atta was recruited by Zammar to join Al-Qaeda. Atta was recognized as a significant figure among Muslim radicals and served as an organizer for the group that was being created in Afghanistan. Towards the end of 1997, Mohammed Atta disappeared for several months from the Technical University Hamburg. This was after Bin Laden declared forming of a new International Islamic Front for Jihad against crusaders and the Jews. It was later discovered that Atta had travelled to Afghanistan (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016).
The Al-Qaeda intermediary indicated that Ramzi and Atta arrived in Afghanistan at the same time. In 1999, Atta applied for a national Visa Service online, but his application was declined (Khan, 2003). He further made another application in November the same year, but it was also unsuccessful (Mohamedou, 2011). On 29, November 1999, he travelled by flight from Hamburg to Istanbul using Turkish Airlines flight TK1662 using the name Mohammed Emir. Atta is believed to have received Al-Qaeda training in the late 190’s in Afghanistan (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). He was connected to an Al-Qaeda terror cell in 199 in Hamburg. While in Germany, he started doing research about flight schools in the United States In January 2000, an Al-Qaeda video indicated that Atta was in Afghanistan. He was seen in Afghanistan listening to Osama bin Laden (Mockaitis, 2010).
Atta travelled to the United States on June 3, 2000. He went to train as a pilot and it took him six months to get his pilot license (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). In January 2001, he travelled to Germany to provide a comprehensive report to an Al-Qaeda official. In July 2001, he travelled to Spain to have a meeting with other members of Al-Qaeda on the Mediterranean Coast (Awesomelibrary.org, 2016). Atta and his fellow Al-Qaeda members boarded an American Airline planes on September 11, from Boston carrying 81 passengers. It is believed that Atta was the pilot by the time the plane crashed killing everyone.
Yes, the security aviation was not strong enough to prevent 9/11 attacks. This attack took place on September 11, 2001 in the United States of America. This was because initially, the issue of security was handled by an individual airline leaving this responsibility to private security companies. There were no security measures put in place to prevent such attacks. For instance, it was after the attack that airplanes underwent key overhauls. For instance, pilots are allowed to apply for the use of a loaded gun and serve as a federal office aboard the plane (Price, & Forrest, J 2013). Prior to the 9/11 attack, the transportation security of the United States was restricted in purpose and extent (Benny, 2013). The subway surveillance cameras and transit police aimed at detecting criminal activities. The custom agents at the port were responsible for identifying smugglers. This was contrary to the aviation industry because the only sector that received security attention was overseas. The 9/11 attack changed all these because the federal government reacted by implementing various policies and regulations that would enhance security.
The various things that should be changed after the attack are the various laws and regulations that can promote security in aviation industry. For instance, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Congress implemented the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that later established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and allowed federal workers be responsible for airport security screening. Additionally, there should be an improvement in the screening procedures for both the passengers and their luggage (Price & Forrest, 2013). For instance, passengers passing through metal detectors and use of explosive detection system to check baggage. Other security measures can be implemented on passengers for instance, prohibiting carrying of liquids, availability of police officers outside the airport and an increase in coordination between security officials and airlines. All these measures can play a significant role in improving the security of airports and airlines in the United States of America.
Furthermore, airlines should prescreen their passengers and their luggage’s at the airport. Airlines are expected to provide a list of passengers to TSA that compares the list with the watch list (Benny, 2013). Additionally, airlines should adopt a program known as registered traveller that enables sharing of information like fingerprints to enhance security at the airports. Aviation industry can be enhanced by adjusting the behavior of passengers. Since the 9/11 attack, passengers play an active role in ensuring that they deter terrorists from accessing airplanes (Benny, 2013). The above measures are supposed to be implemented to enhance security in the aviation industry.
The 9/11 attack highly affected international students studying aviation in the United States. This was because at first, the students thought that the US being a super power, it has put in place possible measures to curb terrorist attacks in aviation industry (Yemelianova, n.d.). This was contrary to the world’s expectations and had a feeling that the federal government was to become serious with security related issues (Trento & Trento, 2006). The federal government enforced some restrictions on international students who were to travel to the United States for studies. For instance, restrictions on the process of acquiring visa are to the United States, not accepting self-sponsorship among others. The attack affected the majority of international students willing to study in the U.S because most of them opted not to go because of insecurity in the state (Thomas, 2003).
Effects of 9/11 on the Aviation Industry
The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 was a great shock to the United States, upsetting the safety of the United States (Kaplan, 2016). The aviation industry was negatively affected by the attacks as explained below.
It Resulted in a Decrease in Passenger Demand
The terrorist attack resulted in the closure of all airports, cancelling all flights that were to travel at a direct expense of the airlines (Shatz & Erin-Elizabeth, 2015). Although the airlines were opened after sometime, passengers were worried of the safety of the airlines and this lead to a 30% decrease in demand. Furthermore, the majority of the individuals suspended non-major travels for their workers.
Large Scale Lay-offs and Bankruptcy
A week after the attack, the federal government established the Air Transportation stabilization board to award loans of up to approximately 10 billion dollars. Despite all this attempts, some airlines like the United Airlines and US Airways were declared bankrupt. These massive monetary losses were caused by cancellation of flights, reduction in passenger demand, and a rise in the need for security (Shatz and Erin-Elizabeth, 2015).
Indirect Effects of New Air Security Procedures
Even though the keen airport security procedures did not have direct effects on the operation of the airport, the newly established procedures contributed to a reduction in the number of people demanding for airline transport (Shatz and Erin-Elizabeth, 2015).
The Quran puts emphasis on reconciliation and peace as key to all social and global interventions. This implies that Islam is not a radical religion and Al-Qaeda does not belong to Islam. Several things differentiate Islam from Al-Qaeda. The most significant of them is that while Islam preaches peace, love, and mercy, Al-Qaeda preaches attacks around the globe. A strong Muslim believer cannot watch other people being killed because they believe that killing one person is killing the soul of all human kind. This clearly shows that Islam is very different from Al-Qaeda. This serves as a great lesson to individuals who want to believe in people like Donald Trump who is radical to Islam and many other things. Presently, most nations are warning youths against being recruited in terror groups like Al-Qaeda. There are various solutions to security in the aviation world for instance; the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, which was established by TSA to be accountable for security of all transportation models and create deadlines for executions of particular aviation security measures. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 that changed most of the recommendations puts in place by the commission after the 9/11 attack. These regulations are supposed to be fully implemented to bring changes in the aviation industry. Furthermore, other security are supposed to be put in place for instance, reducing access points to airports, an increase in surveillance of vehicles and individuals accessing the airport, and an improvement in airport-worker background checks. Presently, there is a need to use the pre-screening system. This entails screening of passengers and their luggage whereby only ticketed passengers are allowed to go through security. The introduction of fortified cockpit doors have played significant role in enhancing security.
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