This year marks the 20th year of remembrance of the fatal attacks on September 11, 2001. Twenty years later and I find myself wondering if our rhetoric and our reporting has really changed? I remember when I started working at Tanenbaum, I had no idea of the impacts of 9/11 daily and how deeply personal they were for all Americans.
I am reminded that in the wake of 9/11, I saw a number of headlines and articles like, “How to Conquer Afghanistan,” “Islam Can’t Escape Blame for 9/11,” and “Arabs Have No One to Blame But Themselves.” These headlines, though twenty years old, sound surprisingly familiar.
Along with remembering the victims and condemning extremism, we must reaffirm our commitment to discerning the difference between facts and fiction in fake news. Since 9/11, Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, have too long faced misinformed stereotypes and blind hate.
I applaud the ADL’s very bold move in such reflections and work offering an apology for their opposition to the Cordoba House project, in 2010. At the time, Tanenbaum stood alongside The Cordoba Initiative, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, and countless other community and faith groups committed to fighting against anti-Muslim sentiment, recognizing that we must always honor our commitment to building respect for religious difference, no matter what.
Below we are sharing some reflections from September 11 written by Tanenbaum staff and resources to help stop the spread of misinformation and highlight the facts and history around 9/11 and fake news.
- Reflections from Rev. Mark Fowler, CEO
- Reflections from Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq., CEO Emerita, Sr. Strategic Advisor
- Reflections from Nicole Margaretten, Communications Manager – Creative Content
- Reflections from Nancy Wolfe, Assistant Director of Development
We are all responsible for stopping the spread of misinformation and hate. Religious freedom is one of the bedrocks on which this country was founded, the principle that people of all faiths were and are welcome in this country. I’m including a handful of resources below that could help us all take the practical steps to better discern the differences between facts and fiction.
This is a fight against all forms of extremism, a fight to create a world where all differences, including religious differences, are welcomed and respected. Together we can and we will build this world.
In remembrance and reflection,
Rev. Mark Fowler
- September 11 Fact Sheet: An easy-to-use resource sheet highlighting the facts and history of 9/11.
- The Survivor Tree: A story of resilience from 9/11.
- Explaining Extremism and Addressing Islamophobia: Five practical steps about how parents and educators can explain extremism and address Islamophobia.
- The Five Ways to Avoid Falling Prey to Fake News: Believe it…or Not: Five Ways to Conquer Fake News
- The Effects of Fake News: This conversation discusses the racialized media coverage of terrorism as it relates to Islamophobia, and highlight some of the ways religious communities are working to reclaim these narratives. Learn more about how religious communities are being impacted by fake news and some of the ways they’re responding.
- What is Fake News? Do You Know?: Fake News – the Five Key Takeaways
- Five Ways to Counter Extremists on Social Media: A “How To” resource sheet for rising above social media extremists and right-wing hate groups.