Bitter Truth: Al Qaeda Won the War on Terror - Talha Hasan

11 September 2001. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center. The deadliest terror attack in the history of the world occurred in New York. The world changed forever. 9/11 is the defining event of the 21st century. The deadly terror attack changed everything. No one can forget how the safest city in the world was torn apart by the fatal terror attacks. The obvious truth came up: If the most powerful country in the world is not safe, nothing in the world is safe.

The immediate impact was overwhelming. Almost 3000 people had died. Almost 3000 families were destroyed. So many more people were directly and indirectly harmed by the attacks. The whole world watched the USA in sorrow. As everyone was confused and scared, America became united. Despite all the political, social or economic differences, the Americans came forward holding hands to mourn for their country and their people. As they cried out their heart, they became thirsty for justice. They wanted to find out the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks and give them what they deserve. Former President George W. Bush declared the war on terror. He announced that until every terrorist organization in the world is found and destroyed, America won't stop.

So how safe is the USA now, after 20 years of the attack? Let's look at the mastermind behind the attacks and why they committed the brutal acts to understand the answer to our question.

Al Qaeda attacked the USA not to destroy the country but start an eternal division between the west and the so-called Muslim world. The founder of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, despised western culture and traditions. His goal was to start a war between Western civilization and the Muslim world. His vision was of an Islamic state based on his ultra-strict interpretation which will be fundamentally opposed to the West. And what better way to make his dream come true other than prompting Muslims to perceive the west as their enemies?

As a response to the attacks, the USA immediately invaded Afghanistan where Al Qaeda was based. Then two years later, the US invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. Resulting in millions of casualties. And it made Al Qaeda even happier. An insurgency spread throughout the region. The Muslims didn't see the invasions as liberating, rather they saw them as colonization.

As the media started spreading the rhetoric of Muslims as terrorists, hate crimes against Muslims increased. Al Qaeda started using the increasing Islamophobia to spread their dangerous ideology. The terrorist organization wanted to make the Muslims feel like they were attacked by the US and its allies. Extremism didn't stop at all; it increased.

Al Qaeda got what it wanted. It wanted the USA to attack and create an insurgency. And they used that insurgency to create a crucial difference between the West and the Muslim world. Now, the West sees Muslims as terrorists and the Muslims see the West as invaders. America isn't safer than it was before 9/11.

The war on terror has failed. Al Qaeda successfully created a cultural war between two civilizations. Terrorism won't be defeated until the divide between the West and the Muslim world is gone.

Now, the question remains, is it possible to demolish the sour wall between Western and Islamic civilization? Or is it already too late?

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