My reflection at the end of September 11 | OP-ED

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Only 2000 years ago, when we happily coexisted together in Hispania, the most remote province of the Roman Empire, in the Iberian Peninsula, we could find answers to our current conflicts over race, religion, political conflicts. and other forms of fear.

Fear of the other, fear of the next pandemic, or fear of fears: death.

The Hispanic tradition of the world, no less intolerant than the Anglosaxone, has offered us moments of lucidity that it may be useful to remember today, as we argue again in our public discourse, as we have again made our national leaders this weekend in their televised speeches, using vague but intense words such as “extremism”, “terrorism” and “enmity”.

In the small hill where the Roman city of Toletum was built before the year 59 BC. centuries ago our ancestors found a way to coexist here in a small town in central Spain, today known as Toledo, “the city of three cultures”, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived and worked together, thrived and probably mingled.

Sephardic Jews, those who lived for centuries in Spain, had the right to practice their faith in their own synagogue, as did representatives of the Muslim colony that occupied Spain for 700 years.

While the Christians, who then held political power, recognized the right of the other 2 “People of the Book” to practice their religion without fear of persecution.

Jews, Muslims and Christians, “the three cultures”, were all citizens of the Roman Empire and then of the new nation called Spain, all speaking the same lingua franca which, from Latin, evolved in their local practice to be “Castellano Or “Espanol”.

Jews, Muslims and Christians, “the three cultures”, were all citizens of the Roman Empire and then of the new nation called Spain, all speaking the same lingua franca which, from Latin, evolved in their local practice to be “Castellano Or “Espanol”.

The new nation evolved into the new world empire – after the conquest of America – and the exuberance of a newly found power forced the Jews to convert to Christianity, or else to leave the earth, and the Muslims. to leave the peninsula once and for all, unless you are already married in a Christian family.

The Peninsula, however, must have been for centuries an example of exemplary coexistence and sometimes of interracial and interreligious mixing.

Israelis and Palestinians recognized this in the 20th century when they repeatedly chose Madrid, the capital of Spain, as the site of their negotiations.

The spirit that is at the origin of Hispanic culture – originally made up of tribes clashing from Castile to Aragon, from Extremadura to Catalonia, not to mention the hordes of barbarians who invade the peninsula from the north when the Roman Empire collapses — is an example of culture and ethnic mix, possible economic alliances between enemies and possible political coexistence between innate rivals.

When the United States of America has been deeply imbued with the Hispanic experience, it is up to us to trace this forgotten history and suggest a line of thought, especially when the reasons for our rivalries in our modern world remain unclear. pretty much the same.

September 11 can never happen again, we say with certainty as Americans of Latin American descent.

September 11 can never happen again, we say with certainty as Americans of Latin American descent.

We must honor the 3,000 Americans, many of Hispanic descent, who perished that day in an act of historic absurdity.

May their ultimate sacrifice be a permanent reminder that in our western civilization, such as right now in Toledo, Spain, we can find ways to avoid hatred based on religion, race and language and that these differences can new to be overcome, as we did in the past, or even more effectively today where we are inevitably more interconnected or we know each other better, as vulnerable and fearful as we can be.

In this world where information about our differences and commonalities is readily available in our fingerprints, and we should deliberately make it part of our college curricula starting in elementary school so that our new generations learn it, we don’t have no excuse for continuing to fuel our political discourse with words such as “extremism” and “terrorism” to instill fear for the other, the one who looks and sounds different from us.

Let us drop those words and seek to meet our adversaries with a new semantics of tolerance, understanding and peace, fully honoring the Hispanic heritage of our new American nation.


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