This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
It may seem off topic to write about September 11th what with Israel’s withdrawal from the peace talks yesterday. Though the statement Israel released is nuanced. As I read it, Israel wants to say no – and wait – to see how the Palestinian unity pact works out. Or doesn’t. Meanwhile settlement building and other provocative measures will continue. Of course.
But our interconnected world has other Middle Eastern realities closer to home. Yesterday a flap surfaced over a video to accompany the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City set to open in May. I haven’t seen the video – it hasn’t been released yet. Nonetheless, it is causing quite a stir in the interfaith dialogue community whose primary investment it seems is portraying religion as innocent.
The video in question – “The Rise of Al Qaeda” – is less than seven minutes long and is narrated by NBC new anchor, Brian Williams. The video was recently vetted by several self-appointed and evidently government approved interfaith careerists who find the video wanting. The reason: language that seems to equate the World Trade tragedy with Islam.