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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
A week on: How is the world coping?
Seven days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, thousands of families are still searching for news of those missing. Photographs of them line the walls of buildings in New York and Washington.

This week has been a time of immense soul-searching and sadness as images of the attacks and the families trying to cope with their grief are shown across the world.

Many people, even those many miles from America, have sought counselling as they try to cope with the emotions raised by the tragedy.

What has these past seven days been like for you? What will the long-term effects be? How are you coping with the aftermath of September 11 2001?

Click here to read your previous comments on "Back to work: What now for Wall Street?"

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction


I want to wake up from this nightmare but I know that won't happen

Anne, Massachusetts, USA
Since this horror of a week ago, I haven't been able to eat or sleep. I'm terrified to face the day because I fear another attack. I have 2 young children and I feel sick to my stomach as I put them on the bus to go to school. I want to lock them and myself in my house and keep them safe but I know I can't. I want to wake up from this nightmare but I know that won't happen either.

I'm still in shock at the atrocities these evil people caused. There are over 6000 people still unaccounted for. We have towns here with less citizens then that. The lives of the American people have changed forever. September 11, 2001 will be a day none of us will ever forget. Pray for the injured, the families who lost loved ones, the rescue workers who won't give up the hope of finding just one person alive. Pray for the people of the US because we need your prayers right now more then ever.
Anne, Massachusetts, USA

It's like if Athens and the Parthenon was hit by terrorists. Greeks talk about the incredible act as if it happened in their yard. Silent and shocked by the act.
Salamis, Greece, Athens


No one kept referring to Adolph Hitler as that "Catholic" maniac

Roxanne, Seattle, USA
I agree with Mazhar from London, about the constant use of the word "Muslim" and "Islamic" every time these terrorists are mentioned. After all, no one kept referring to Adolph Hitler as that "Catholic" maniac (and yes, he was baptised Roman Catholic and even once dreamed of being a priest). It only serves to inflame backlash against the vast majority of law abiding and peaceful members of the Muslim faith. I have sent letters to several of the U.S. papers voicing my opinion on just this subject, but of course, they have been ignored.
Roxanne, Seattle, USA

Is it right that the media should continue to use the terms 'Islamic militants' and 'Muslim extremists' to describe the actions of callous individuals who are working to their own agenda? What has religion got to do with the actions of last week?

Suicide is a sin in Islam. Violence is a sin in Islam. Murder is a sin in Islam. Why not remove the word Islamic before each of these inciteful words? Islam is a faith very similar to Judaism and Christianity. The Koran is full of verses describing how one should always respect others, to live in peace with others, to build communities, to help the needy, to respect your parents and your children, and to respect nature. Isn't there a clear distinction between the actions of about 100 or 200 mad individuals to those of approximately two billion followers of this faith?

The repercussions of this reporting are now becoming evident with the number of physical and verbal attacks against innocent Muslims. All religions are based on peace and belief in God. God is described in all religions as the creator of human life, nature and beauty. Islam means 'submission to God', ie submission to creation not to destruction. Within the West and amongst the Muslim community there is a clear lack of understanding of what is in the Koran.

For the sake of our safety, and for the sake of a peaceful religion please use the media to create harmony and peace between all.
Mazhar, London, UK


Our mayor has been such a wonderful guiding light to all of us at this time - we would not be coping as well without him

Gerry, New York, USA
As someone that lives and works less than 2 miles from where over 5000 people were murdered last week, I think that we are coping remarkably well. I don't mean to put him on a pedestal, but our mayor Rudolph Guliani has been such a wonderful guiding light to all of us at this time, and I know that we would not be coping anyway as well with out him.

Don't get me wrong and think that we are moving past this, we are not, we are still in the middle of it, but I honestly believe that it does not do any of us any good to constantly dwell on what happened, that is what these animals would want. I would ask that if the people here in NYC can strive for normality, and to be positive in the face of this enormous adversity, then I would implore people around the world to be of the same mindset. Personally, 4 of my co-workers lost siblings, and I feel so bad for them being that their bodies may never be found and that there may be no closure.

I have to believe that if the devil were to appear on earth, he would have the face the whoever masterminded this atrocity, be it Osama Bin Laden or someone else. In total there are around 6000 broken families as a result of this, and if I live to be a 1000 I will not understand what it has achieved.
Gerry, New York, USA

Still appalled and disbelieving that anyone could do such a thing. There have been many programmes and articles devoted to just how this hatred of the West has come about. To some extent, these programmes have made me see things in a different light. For example, it is true that the West's intervention in the Gulf was more to do with protecting our self-interests than a sense of morality.

The poorer countries of the world desperately need the West's development aid and technology to fight crippling diseases and famine. I think we need to review how this aid is given, and how we interact with the third world in general.
Simon Morgan, East Grinstead, England


I'm disappointed at the number of pessimists predicting WWIII or Armageddon

Richard, London
I'm disappointed at the number of pessimists predicting WWIII or Armageddon. Of course this is situation is going to get messier before it is resolved, but has nobody noticed the nature of the US's allies and sympathisers. The west is closer now to Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and many other countries than it has been for many many years. Far from being the end of the good times, this new war could herald a much more robust peace at its conclusion.
Richard, London

I feel depressed by what has happened. The world is a sadder and more cynical place now. It will get easier with time, but the realisation of our vulnerability will never disappear.
Adrian Paul Miles, Wolverhampton, UK


Despair hangs like a cloud over me

Gregory Alan Gross, San Diego, USA
Everywhere, we struggle to return to normal. But what IS normal anymore? I go about all the routines of the day, the week, but nothing feels the same. Despair hangs like a cloud over me, not only for what has happened, but for what I fear is to come. More violence, more blood, more hate. So many of my countrymen now are consumed with a murderous hatred for people of whom they know nothing, innocent people who have done nothing, simply because they practice Islam or dress in a certain way. And what have I done to help them, protect them? Nothing! I feel ashamed. Could it be that the greatest struggle we face is not against terrorism, but our own battered souls?
Gregory Alan Gross, San Diego, USA

On the radio this past week, a woman said it was time for us to behave like "mothers protecting our children". The time for a war against those who would kill so indiscriminately has arrived. The children of the future have nothing good to look forward to if we don't solve this now. US policy has not always been fair or just, but nothing excuses this horrific attack. We must be prepared to act in a manner that will be neither quick nor kind.
Gary W. Jackson, Santa Cruz, California, USA

There are a great many people in the US who do NOT want the President to meet violence with violence. I have already written a letter to the White House and signed up to be a part of the protests here. I found that, for me, that small action made me feel less helpless and more a part of the solution.
Kris, California, USA


The only way for a peaceful world is through dialogue

Michael Prins, Utrecht, Netherlands
In the global village the world has become, we need tolerance, understanding and peace more than ever. The only way for a peaceful world is through dialogue, understanding and respect for each other. Please let us be convinced that the majority of the people of all nations are peace loving, kind human beings. I'm sure that those who travel a lot to other countries will agree with this.
Michael Prins, Utrecht, Netherlands

So what next, attack more people, cause more deaths, find one man and then things will be fine? I don't think so! We attack the Afghan people who unfortunately have this man in their country, and let others off: UAE and Saudi - both of whom are known to give finance to his cause, but they are useful countries, they have oil and they are powerful. So I ask the world not to start attacking these poor, poor people who have been through 12 years of war and starvation. Instead lets help them, lets bring them into the talks, support the people - and give peace a chance.
Jim Campbelll, UK

We do know that the US is hated by many people around the world, and in particular in Arabic countries. Therefore we need to review American policies in this region. Unfortunately Americans tend to be very ignorant of the rest of the world and I do not expect much wisdom to come from US politicians or the press. Terrorists will continue to have strong support with Arab masses as long as the US supports corrupt and brutal regimes, against the needs and the wishes of the population. Maybe it is time to discuss whether the West is really on the right side in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc. It seems that we follow narrow economic interests ("cheap petrol for my SUV"), instead of promoting justice and social development. I am also afraid that George W. Bush and his advisers are lacking the intellectual depth to understand this.
Ronald Vopel, Brussels, Belgium

To Mary Murphy
You say that our parents and grandparents sacrificed, fought and died to make this world a better and safer place for us. Well they didn't succeed. Perhaps that means that fighting isn't the way to achieve a better world.
Gill, York, Yorkshire

From all Americans, thank you. When I saw the British play the Star Spangled Banner during the changing of the guards, I wept and my heart was glad to know we are not alone. Is not the world a strange place? To think that a song composed by an American held hostage on board a British ship is now played by our closest friends--and you are our closest friends. Please pray for us and yourselves and the world, and please let not our fear cause us to shrink from our responsibilities. WWIII is here. It will not be fought in the same way, but it must be fought. Certainly their actions prove the serious intent, and I fear that more such attacks are currently in the works. I cannot sleep.
One American Citizen deep in the Heartland, Minneapolis, MN

There is no doubt that the tragedies in America are on a horrific scale, and my sympathies go out to all the victims and families, but I object to the incessant media coverage that has now reached saturation point. I do not recall this amount of coverage for other such terrible events, such as the genocide in Rwanda. Is this a case that in the media's eyes, an American life is worth more than an African life? Or an Asian life?
Chris Boyle

The West, and in particular America, has been forcing their opinions and judgements upon the rest of the world for the past fifty years and though this does not excuse the horrific events of seven days ago, it does go some way towards explaining them. I hope the long-term result of this catastrophe will be the re-addressing by the Western powers of exactly why they are perceived with such animosity throughout the Middle East. The average Afghan lives for just 45 years and earns 2.50 a month. They live under oppression and servitude. How can America, or anybody else, see indiscriminate bombings of a Third World Country as a viable and reasonable solution to this problem? Terrorism must be dealt will: but the world will have to find another way.
Tony Gee, London, UK

How can we take a thousand steps backwards and think that violence will fight violence? That peace will not come unless there is war first? With all of our abilities to save lives why is the US administration's only answer WAR? I for one do not believe that decision should be the US's only, for this is to be a world war and affect the entire planet. God please have mercy on us ..all of us on this earth!
ScharCbear, Ele'ele, Kaua'i, Hawai'i


Suicide is a sin in Islam

Mazhar, London, UK
Is it right that the media should continue to use the terms 'Islamic militants' and 'Muslim extremists' to describe the actions of callous individuals who are working to their own agenda? What has religion got to do with the actions of last week? Suicide is a sin in Islam. Violence is a sin in Islam. Murder is a sin in Islam. Why not remove the word Islamic before each of these inciteful words? Islam is a faith very similar to Judaism and Christianity. The Koran is full of verses describing how one should always respect others, to live in peace with others, to build communities, to help the needy, to respect your parents and your children, and to respect nature. Isn't there a clear distinction between the actions of about 100 or 200 mad individuals to those of approximately two billion followers of this faith? The repercussions of this reporting are now becoming evident with the number of physical and verbal attacks against innocent Muslims. All religions are based on peace and belief in God. God is described in all religions as the creator of human life, nature and beauty. Islam means 'submission to God', ie submission to creation not to destruction. Within the West and amongst the Muslim community there is a clear lack of understanding of what is in the Koran. For the sake of our safety, and for the sake of a peaceful religion please use the media to create harmony and peace between all.
Mazhar, London, UK

Living and working in Manhattan has been difficult, emotional and stressful. I am, however dismayed at the reaction of one of my co-workers who sent an email around my office urging us to boycott Arab businesses here in America since they could be supplying money to terrorist causes. What a disgusting, racist generalisation. I told him that if he were to do that, he should also boycott Irish businesses, which is just as deplorable and stupidly prejudiced. People obviously feel the need to react without thinking here.
Al, New York, USA

Shock and disbelief as the tragic events unfolded. Shock and disbelief as revenge in the form of bombing Afghanistan, a country that is barely distinguishable from a pile of rubble, became a serious option. Shock and disbelief as people totally unconnected with these terrorist acts are beaten up, just because of their race and religion.
Andrea, London, UK

As an American citizen I was devastated by what has happened. But at the same time I refuse the idea of bombing innocent civilians who are struggling to find food to stay alive. Also I am against the idea of using this sad event to destroy Afghanistan because of their style of life or their religious beliefs. I think the US is obligated to submit evidence to Taleban against Osama Bin Laden and demand them to hand him over before bombing a poor country like Afghanistan. Another solution is to negotiate with the Taleban to hand him over to a third country court or United Nations court for a trial. US government lawyers should be able to submit the evidence against him in a fair trial.
Adam Joseph, Washington DC, USA


Where else are we vulnerable?

Dani Holtby, Dallas, Tx USA
Honestly, as an American...I am more upset at ourselves for letting this happen. There just should have been more restrictive safety measures in place for all of the airlines. Many foreign countries around the world have already taken measures to protect their planes and airline crews from this type of terrorist attack. If we were this easy a target for the plane hijacks, where else are we vulnerable? We are a country founded on religious freedom and we are not supposed to persecute those who do not believe in what we believe...that is what makes this so difficult to understand why we are targeted by a religious based organisation...but then again it could be many things we were naive about and ended up some how offending those involved.
Dani Holtby, Dallas, Tx USA


These workers are true heroes, they risk their lives to save others and refuse to stop

Jennifer Flaherty, Chicago, USA
One thing that has changed me during this past week is that every time I see a fireman I want to stand up and applaud them. On Friday, I was speaking with a Chicago fireman and mentioned that I was surprised to read that the New York Fire Department had turned away help considering how exhausted they must be. He responded by saying "You have to understand that that's their city and they are going to keep fighting until they physically can't move and nothing will stop them". If nothing else comes out of this whole tragedy, I hope that children will look up to these fire and rescue workers for an example of a what a true role model is, instead of overpaid and spoiled sports players. These workers are true heroes, they risk their lives to save others and refuse to stop.
Jennifer Flaherty, Chicago, USA

As an American citizen I must say that we were very lax in the security measures at our airports. The people hired to do the security checks are only paid minimum wage and there's a high turnover in personnel. Sometimes their equipment wasn't working so they would just wave people through. After our so-called "cold war" with the Soviets ended we became complacent about being attacked. We perceived the threat of terrorism to be a problem for Europe and the Middle East only. Last Tuesday September 11 was our wake-up call that we are not invincible and we were as we say over here "like sitting ducks".
Nancy Cromwell Sicard , Winchendon, MA, USA

I have had a rush of emotions the past week. The mental place I am at now tells me it is important that we have all thought-out opinions/understanding as to what is happening. We must move cautiously and listen to those who think differently than us so we may keep ourselves in check. Talk with your friends about this as much as possible. I now understand why parents and grandparents were the way they were. I know what it is to feel completely united to a people and a cause. Unfortunately, I feel the terrorists have also come to this same thinking at a different time and a much different way. Are we underestimating them, or are they underestimating us?
Mike, Osaka, Japan

The irony is that what happened last Tuesday is likely to cause even more xenophobia against asylum seekers. The people fleeing countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, seeking asylum in the Western world are often intelligent, educated people fleeing for their lives under oppressive regimes who do not wish people to have freedom of expression. The hate these regimes show against the West is the hate of that freedom. They use the veil of a holy war to brainwash people into thinking they will become martyrs for the cause.
Robert C, Sheffield, UK


I can't watch the news any more

Simon Harris, Cardiff, UK
I can't watch the news any more. I cried every day last week. The suffering, the inhumanity of the atrocity. The courage and the dignity of the rescuers and survivors. I pray to God that the search for the perpetrators will be carried out with equal courage and dignity, and I hope that our leaders will have the wisdom and compassion to do everything within their power to prevent further suffering and inhumanity.
Simon Harris, Cardiff UK

I lived in New York from 1998-99, and am currently in NYC on what started out as a business trip, but has ended up as a horrible nightmare. I am lucky that neither I nor my friends and family were hurt, and I am hoping to come home to London on Saturday. In all of the horror of the past week, the only thing that has made sense and given me hope is the grace and positivity of New Yorkers in the face of it all. Strange as it sounds, I will be sad to leave.
Becky Fishman, US/UK


To be hated so much by so many fanatics is terrifying for the future of the human race

Kevin, UK
It was my 47th birthday on 11 Sep. I had just returned from a birthday lunch when a friend phoned me to see if I had heard the news of the atrocities taking place in the US. Stunned, I listened to his ramblings then froze as I watched in horror what had taken place. Now a week later I can still not come to terms with what may come out of all this hatred for the Western way of life in general.

I do not pretend to think that we in the West have it right, on the contrary I am sure we do not. However, to be hated so much by so many fanatics is terrifying for the future of the human race. This colossal incident has to be very carefully studied and everyone in the world must learn something from this. No rash response should be taken; only lessons learnt and a larger understanding of different beliefs can have any hope for the future of mankind and the planet.

From the 11 Sep 01 on, the lives of everyone in the world will never be the same, of that I have no doubt. I just pray that one day some good will come of all this, the greatest warning we have ever had of the fragility of world peace and understanding.
Kevin, Winchester, Hants, UK

Let us face the fact that some people are very angry at the West - and the US in particular - to commit such an insanity, which means there are fences to be mended so that there will not be a repetition. A cowboy style 'dead or alive' approach will not solve problems - it will rather generate more, with more collateral damage of innocent people.
Wulf-Dieter Krueger, Udonthani, Thailand


I can honestly say I am fearful what will happen

Heather Stone, USA
Our world is no longer the same. I can honestly say I am fearful what will happen. We've always felt like the super power. The one who won't and can't go down. But we were deadly wrong. We're no different than everyone else. So fear is running rampant. I'm scared of losing my husband to war or even myself. Chemical warfare, biomedical warfare, hijacked planes, bombs, what else can happen??
Heather Stone, Indiana, USA

The two walls still standing at WTC remind me of two hands praying. Prayer is what the whole world needs now.
Thelma, North Carolina, USA

Formerly from the NY City area, but a long-term overseas resident, last Tuesday-Wednesday was one of the worst of my life. I felt emotionally ill for 24+ hours. Trying to be optimistic, but having doubts about the apparent upcoming clash between 2 great cultures which are employing their self-righteous excesses most negatively. We need another Mahatma Ghandi to teach tolerance to religious fundamentalists, (Islamic, in this case), while simultaneously reminding the USA and western capitalists "to live simply so others may simply live." Whatever we do as individuals and societies DOES have an effect on others.
Ralph, Osaka, Japan


Now is the time to come together and build a better world for everyone

Daniel Ford, UK
I wish that I could find the words and actions to reach out to the world and plead for a global peace. Not for the first time do I feel helpless and uncertain, yet there seems to be a new sense of urgency now. We have witnessed many moments of grief, horror and pain throughout history. We have also known great beauty, love and hope. Now is the time to come together and build a better world for everyone, from every corner, under every sky. We are all one, let us live together in peace forever. All you need is love.
Daniel Ford, London, UK

I am saddened as I am hearing so frequently about these backlash attacks. I am lucky, I was born in this wonderful country. My grandparents came here from Italy to have a better life. They worked hard, abided by our laws, and served our country, just as many of our Arab-American friends have. That is what makes us brothers and sisters. We are Americans. How dare we, as a society of free people, judge an entire group on the actions of unstable radicals? Islam is a beautiful faith and does not condone murder in any way. It is such a shame that ignorance is still running rampant in our society, especially after this tragedy. It is time for all of us to come together. All of us!
Rosalie Yudelson, New York, USA


The motives of these attacks must be addressed

John Ryan, Wiesbaden, Germany
In the events of last week, we have witnessed unprecedented evil in the acts of terrorists. Citizens of almost every nation were lost in this calamity and we must understand that the threat of terror is now on all mankind. We have no choice but to combat it. A heavy responsibility lies with our leaders and one that they can not shirk. But parallel to pursuing terrorism, the motives of these attacks must be addressed. It is now time for the burning issues of the world - the Middle East and Kashmir - to be solved once and for all.
John Ryan, Wiesbaden, Germany

Working in a bank has been very sad and very unnerving. The situation will get worse before it gets any better. Let's hope that in a few weeks time, we are not targeted in the UK. I guess life is cheap to these people and there will be more causalities. May God help us all.
Olinka, London, UK

We are trying to act normal, trying to remember yet returning to our normal activities. We have jobs, bills to pay, we have work . . . but then you catch the eye of a stranger or the look of a co-worker and it is there. That knowing look. You find yourself humming the national anthem and the tears flow. I am still in shock, I watch my son playing with his friends and long for their innocence. So many levels has this touched my soul I do not know how I will recover, I know simply that I must. How do you move forward when you are not certain of the world's next move? How do you go on from this?
Karen, California, USA

In a response to Joseph from Gibraltar. How can you possibly directly blame the West for this, when billions of dollars from our own countries are used every year to help so many of these countries. When help is called upon it is the Western governments that answer. We are not dealing with democratic societies - you only have to look at the persecution of women by the Taliban to see that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but they should know the full facts beforehand. Maybe if you were to help the clean up process in New York you wouldn't be so quick to condemn.
Harriet, Farnborough, UK


My concern is now for the future and for those innocent people who are going to get caught up in the aftermath

Ron Cartmale, Stoke on Trent, UK
My concern is now for the future and for those innocent people who are going to get caught up in the aftermath. The one principle that I have always felt which separates the West from the rest of the world is the right of every person to have a fair trial, irrespective of the crime committed. Imagine how disturbed I am to hear the recognised leader of the West talking about "Dead or Alive" posters for the alleged terrorists that perpetrated the awful crime in New York last week.
Ron Cartmale, Stoke on Trent, UK

I'm enlisting - that's how I'm coping.
Jonathan Lane, USA

I am sick of hearing from all these liberals who seem to hate their own country so much. I am sickened by the terrorist outrage in New York and I want revenge. Yes we do have to ask why all these countries are so poor. Is it because they have religions which prevent their citizens from achieving the maximum for their societies? Do they lose all their best people to the West (asylum seekers economic immigrants etc?)? The Third World should learn from their richer neighbours and stop telling us to live like backward peasants in a mediaeval society. I do not share their values and do not want to have them imposed upon me and my family.
Paul Clark, London, UK


Tony Blair should be very careful about committing us to war

Mike, Singapore
Tony Blair should be very careful about committing us to war. Logistical support is one thing, military action is another. There is a special relationship that does exist between the two countries but it seems to be America that determines what we do. Don't get me wrong - we should stand by them in every way that we can but our priority should be to avoid the loss of British serviceman. I served in the Falklands war and was grateful to the US for the supply of Sidewinder missiles which were instrumental in our vastly outnumbered aircraft being able to withstand a much more powerful force. But where were their troops? We were also at war then "although never declared". If the US had sent troops Argentina would surely not have fought!
Mike, Singapore

As a suffering Gulf War veteran I choose these words carefully. I trained like many others in the military believing that World War III would be a conventional war against Warsaw Pact forces. That idea is no longer a reality. The threat that exists today is terrorism. Individual countries have fought their separate wars against nationalistic terrorists, usually fighting for their perceived homelands. These terrorist groups have always found refuge and training in third party countries sympathetic to their cause. What has changed is the scale of operations and the willingness to kill abroad. I know what war is like and the sacrifices people must endure but I believe Great Britain should and will join with the USA to fight a war with those countries who will help terrorists. Make no mistake, this will be a World War. The roots of evil are not isolated to one country. People should stop worrying about innocent people dying because they have already started dying.
Paul Winson, England


The grief and anger of the American and British people is thoroughly understandable

Cathryn Michael, South African in UK
As a South African I have heard a lot about intolerance, violence and terrorism. I have lived in Britain for three years now and in that time I have developed a deep admiration for the British people and have been delighted with the free spirit and rationalism that generally characterises the nation. However, the British government's reaction to recent tragic events has left me totally flabbergasted. The grief and anger of the American and British people is thoroughly understandable but Mr Blair needs to tone down his rhetoric and stop trying to manipulate the emotions of the general public. War is a four-letter word and it is entirely unnecessary to use it in these circumstances.
Cathryn Michael, South African in UK

I don't understand the response of some of the people of the UK when they say "We shouldn't get involved!" If we are to make this world a safe place to raise all of our children, everybody must be involved!! Our parents and grandparents sacrificed, fought and died to make this world a better and safer place for us. We can do no less for our own children, whatever their nationality.
Mary Murphy, USA

I live not far from the Pentagon on an Army base. We are a military family and although we don't know anyone personally that died, we have friends that know people that were killed. One friend had just stepped out of her office when the plane hit. She is the only survivor from her office. I do not wish to get into the politics of why this happened and who's fault it is, I just wanted to say thank you. The UK is America's best friend in the world and sometimes we take our best friends for granted. I just wanted to tell you just how much we do appreciate you. Thank you.
Julie Lancaster-Whann, Ft. Meade, Maryland, USA


We should turn our attention to those more moderate and work with them to achieve a political and economic resolution to problems

David, London
What we have witnessed is a shameful reminder of the inhumanity that too often is supported by those who present themselves as religious.
To react with violence is only adding fuel to the fire and reducing our own sense of humanity to that of the psychopaths who conceived, funded and carried out this crime.
Instead, we should turn our attention to those more moderate and work with them to achieve a political and economic resolution to problems which, in the case of our selective blindness in respect of the plight of the Palestinian people, is of our own making.
David, London

As an American citizen, I was completely shocked and devastated over last Tuesday's events. Today, I am fearful of what action may be taken as a result of those events. The terrorist attacks were planned by a small group - how can there be planned retaliation against a nation? How can a country be attacked for the actions of a small group within that country?
One week after these events, I am fearful - fearful for what may happen next and fearful for the future of the world. Human compassion goes a long way - much further than violence. We need to struggle to pick up the pieces rationally...without taking any more innocent lives. Enough people have been lost in this tragedy, I just hope we can deal with this without causing other people to go through the horrors that the victims' families have had to go through.
Wendy, Cincinnati OH, USA


I am frightened for the future for my daughter's sake

Lee Hadley, London, UK
I have not lost a loved one and I didn't know any of the victims. But the past week has been very hard to deal with. I watched the attacks unfold on the TV and now I can't get the images out of my head. Friday was the hardest day for me. Three minutes silence was observed at my place of work and I barely handled the emotion. When I got home I found my five-year-old daughter was playing a game with her Ambulance PlayMobile set. She was recovering bodies from a pile of torn up paper that she said was the buildings the bad men knocked down. That was the final straw and I couldn't help sobbing out my grief. The world will never be the same again and I hate the fact that my little girl has had to witness this. I am frightened for the future for my daughter's sake. I may be in pain but at least I can try to make sense of this madness. What must our children think? They have become victims as well.
Lee Hadley, London, UK

Terrorism is the symptom of underlying resentment towards the rich West, and the imposition on others of the belief that Western ways are the best. Just because we do not understand other cultures and religions does not make them wrong. Neither should we assume that citizens of such countries live in fear under oppressive governments. We are now witnessing just how devout such citizens are to the religions which their governments apply in their administrations. Tolerance and understanding is what we need, not do as we do or else!
Tim Cooper, Leeds, UK

I'll never take anything for granted again, this makes me realise how precious life is. And it's not over yet, who knows how many more times we will wake?
Laura Dowling, Bristol, UK


The long-term effect is already showing in the stock markets

Darren, Basingstoke, England, UK
The past seven days for me have been filled by a mix of deep sadness for the loss of life and anger at the stupidity of human behaviour. I have been in regular prayer in remembrance of those who lost their lives, regardless of religious beliefs and know that God has helped me to come to terms with my feelings. The long-term effect is already showing in the stock markets, a rise in oil prices and airline job losses. We will all be paying the price of freedom. We in our global village are interdependent upon one another through trade etc and therefore we must learn to coexist.
Darren, Basingstoke, England, UK

If the West stopped building a kind of wall to protect its living standard maybe such things will happen less frequently.
Fabrice Das, Munich, Germany

When the terror of what was happening last week started to sink in, all I wanted to do was to gather my friends and family, make sure they were ok, and tell them I loved them. God help those who have reached out for their loved ones and found they are not, and will never be there again. The world will never be the same again. I wonder if our children will ever know the freedom we have always taken for granted.
Mel S, UK


Here in the States we have begun talking in terms of lost innocence

Patrick Sheehan, USA
As a staffer to an American Congressman, I was on ground zero when terror struck America on September 11th. Here in the States we have begun talking in terms of lost innocence. And it is true. Once most Americans viewed acts of terrorism as concerns for Europe and Israel. Now it's enemy number one for all 280 million of us. This realisation will have so many consequences it would be silly to try and predict them all here. However, one result will be that Americans begin to appreciate the issues our cousins in Britain and friends in continental Europe face from the likes of the IRA, Basque separatists and others. Britain has every right to demand renewed efforts by our government to end the American citizenry's sponsorship of the IRA. I think the appeal will resonate now like it should have in the past with all Americans. In turn, let's hope the pressure heats up on those very few Americans who foolishly send monetary support to the IRA. Shame will be the key to ending their support.
Patrick Sheehan, USA


It's much easier to find scapegoats than accept responsibility

Kurt Weideling, Oxford, UK
So we continue to hear that the West is somehow responsible for the terrorist attacks by inflicting untold misery upon the peoples of the world. How exactly? Whose fault is it that the Iraqi people continue to suffer? The US and UK for enforcing no-fly zones or the Iraqi government for oppressing, murdering, robbing and exploiting its own people? Yes there are many people throughout the world who hate the West - it's much easier to find scapegoats than accept responsibility.
Kurt Weideling, Oxford, UK

100 miles from NYC. My flight was cancelled on 9/11. I am now trying to be brave as I reschedule my airline ticket for domestic flight.
Steffi Johnson, Cromwell, CT, USA

Yesterday I wished it could be "last Monday" again. How naive I was then... If anybody would have told me that somebody would plan to and actually kill maybe 6000 people by means of using airplanes and their passengers as bombs, I would never believed him. Now, in the world after the 11th September 2001, we have to expect anything.
Marita, Berlin, Germany


The world has suddenly become a much more frightening place

Paul, London, UK
I agree with Darren from Manchester. The world has suddenly become a much more frightening place, especially when we see how the supposedly omniscient FBI and CIA were caught unawares. We have to try and disarm and persuade, even if it means a form of bribery through state aid. Otherwise, who is to say vials of anthrax won't be released into the Underground, or Hong Kong bombarded by chemical weaponry? The initial shock has not mutated into anger or vengefulness but into real fear and a sense of horrific vulnerability.
Paul, London, UK

Until people of all races realise that there is no God who tells them to kill, we shall be at each other for many years to come. Look at those poor lads who perished during the Iran/Iraq war because some Ayatollah said they would get a passport to heaven. Sorry to say but he is God to the good and the evil so do not waste your time thinking you will get to heaven faster - wherever that is.
Mary, Monrovia, Liberia

7 days that shook the world ... September 11 2001 was my 48th birthday. Will we see a 49th - when does this insanity end?
Mike, UK


For the less fortunate people of this world the West is the enemy

Joseph, Gibraltar
At first I couldn't help but see the Muslim terrorists as the bad guys and the American government as the good guys. But this tragedy has made me rethink my opinions of the world we live in. For the less fortunate people of this world, the West is the enemy, and rightly so. Western culture has oppressed and exploited the rest of the world for a long time, and it is not surprising that there should be such bitterness against us. Yes, the attack was evil, but not more evil than those causing the deaths of innocent people around the world, most of which the West is responsible for. Politically, that is the harsh reality of the world today.
Joseph, Gibraltar

Seven days after this tragedy, only 1% of the rubble removed, 200 bodies recovered. Why doesn't the US Administration accept assistance from its allies in the search and rescue operations, especially if they have high expertise in these situations. These countries are: Israel, U.K., France
Selim Khalil, Cairo, Egypt

I am still absolutely devastated by the attacks and for the first time in my life I actually fear for the future of the world. We must ask ourselves why do these people hate the West so much that they are prepared to commit such horrendous actions. Only by understanding this will we achieve a real peace in the world today.
Darran, Manchester, England


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