Source/credit: The-Sunday-Times, September 11, 2011 , C.Peregin
The 9/11 terror attack and its aftermath made the world suspicious of Muslims, but the Arab Spring has provided a new perspective. Christian Peregin asks Maltese Muslims how the 9/11 decade has shaped their lives.
Muslim convert Mario Farrugia Borg has spent the past decade having to explain to fellow Maltese that Islam does not encourage terrorism or extremism. He even wrote a short book in Maltese after 9/11 to debunk these and other myths about his religion.
“The Arab Spring did not change how we view Islam, but how people, particularly the Maltese, view Arabs… the Arabs are now seen as heroes”
“As someone who practices Islam faithfully, I knew this was a grave misunderstanding of the religion,” he says.
Mr Farrugia Borg was just as angry when Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was labelled a Christian fundamentalist. “I know Jesus Christ never preached violence… just as the prophet Mohammed did not.”
He forms part of the World Islamic Call Society which has a regular stand at the November Book Fair. In 2001, it suddenly attracted lots of interest as a result of 9/11; more books were sold and more questions were asked.
“Some people asked if I agreed with what happened, as if I could agree. I thought, ‘What do you think I am?’”