The question that is always asked of people is where were you on that fateful day five years ago?
I was actually in Darfur, Geneina, to be exact, working in the hospital. Darfur at that time was quieter, although the so called "armed robbers" as the rebels were widely known that time, were still active. I was shocked to get back to the mess and found the news on TV!
Five years on, there is a lot that people are reflecting on. In one single terrorist blow, more than 2,700 people were killed, among them more than 70 other nationalities. It was a terrible thing of unknown proportions. No one would have thought that a group of murderous jihadists could turn a jumbo jet into a killing weapon. Not even Hollywood scriptwriters had thought of that for a blockbuster movie!
That event had led to what Bush called the "War Against Terrorism". However, that had sparked off more violence: Afghanistan, Madrid, Iraq, London.
Sudan had been in the limelight of this war. Even before 9/11, Sudan suffered the effect of the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings of the American Embassies with the cruise missile attack on the Al Shiffa Pharmacitical Factory. No one to this day knows what the Americans were after: they claimed a chemical weapons factory, but no evidence was found.
Five years on, has the world been safer? Far from it. The recent release of the Al Qaeda tape promise more to come. The world will have to brace itelf for more carnage. It is up to the moderate Muslims in this world to rescue their religion from the hands of extremists who are bend on turning it into a calling to bloodshed in the name of Allah.
I wonder if mortal men can fight God's war for him. Probably not.