Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commentary: Reflections on good and evil

The following is a portion of a guest commentary written by Dr. Ali M. Nizamuddin, associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield. It was published in an May 17, 2011, edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"For far too many Americans, the mere mention of the word Islam elicits negative imagery of long bearded men with suicide belts who delight in the slaughter of innocent people. The stereotypical portrayal has become the accepted norm. Muslims are perceived as backward, inherently violent and misogynic. No one has contributed more to the perpetuation of these stereotypes than Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorist organization.

I was in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. As a graduate student at Columbia University, I, along with other students, went to the top of the School of International and Public Affairs building and saw the New York skyline change in front of my eyes. For me, it took weeks for the primal feelings of fear and horror to subside. The memories of that day have been rekindled with the recent killing of bin Laden."

Read the full commentary online