A few days after 9/11, a good friend of mine called to ask me to help preside at the funeral of his son, age 26, who had perished in the World Trade Center. He wondered aloud if this was war or something else. “No,” I said, “it was murder.”
Around the same time we were called by our president to make war on terrorism and even to join a “crusade.” Soon his advisers told him that the word crusade was inflammatory to most Muslims. But he never gave up on the word war.