September 11, 2001 – A terrible terrorist attack in New York left nearly 3,000 people dead. That’s nearly 3,000 broken traumatized families, which will never be the same again. While most Muslims and non-Muslim countries sympathized with the tragedy, others were quick to react differently.

Popular American TV evangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said this was a deserving punishment from God and the “paganists, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians” were to blame.

A group of Palestinians were filmed celebrating the attack on the World Trade Centre and that Americans had died and this was a ‘defeat‘ to Israel. Many fired celebratory shots in the air with big gleeful smiles. Similarly, in Morocco and Indonesia, many sent congratulations to Osama for killing Americans in their own country.  Some clerics in Pakistan urged their Muslim followers to fight Americans in a similar way by issuing fatwas. Some religious groups in Saudi Arabia celebrated it in front of school at the time of school assemblies so all would be present.

Even when keeping in mind the strife history the US might have had with certain countries, or the never-ending conflict the Islamic world has had with the West – for one to celebrate the murder of 3000 people is hard to swallow. They were just regular non-political people going about their own business. Working to make a living, to provide for their families, so their kids could go to school, to pay for a sick relative, saving for retirement, could have been anything.

Just normal people.

Yet, here was a huge group of loud people rejoicing in their murder that they got what they deserved. Of course, people from everywhere pointed out their hatred, callousness and savage stance.

Sept 11, 2015 – 14 years later on the same day. A crane collapsed in Masjid al Haram, Makkah killing 107 people and injuring 238 others.

This time, again lots of condolences poured in from countries everywhere and once again, there were those with a difference stance.

People took to social media this time, to show their approval. “Karma is a b*tch!” was on repeat on many keyboards. As if those very people who had died had been the hijackers themselves who had flown their planes into the twin towers. As if they had been the ones who murdered the Americans 14 years ago. 

Others said, “Muslims deserved what they got.  Their own Allah could not save them. He was away on holiday. Allah made it happen to show how he hates Muslims too, etc.” Then there were the conspiracy experts who stressed on how it been a Bin Laden family owned crane that fell (even the Daily Mail), conveniently forgetting that the Bin Laden Family literally owns half of Saudi Arabia anyway. For those interested, they are now facing legal action and have been excluded from all future projects in the Kingdom. But there still was no conspiracy!

Then came the photoshoppers with the digital lightning striking, all in the same quest to prove that the death of the Muslims who died was justified with the stamped approval of the very God they prayed to.

Some were simply ecstatic that such an incident had happened and Muslims had died.

How are these people who mocked Muslims over the Makkah Crane Tragedy any different from those who celebrated 9/11? Yes, the majority celebrating 9/11 were mostly Muslims, and the ones mocking the Makkah deaths are mostly non Muslims. Other than that, how different are they really from each other?

Religion and religious fundamentalism needs to be and should be critiqued and questioned, but there is a time and place for it. It is completely one thing to be critical and another to hate the people simply on the basis of it.

Whatever side you are coming from, if you hate, there is one word to describe you – Bigot.