9/11 Ten Years On

In around 10 days we will have the tenth anniversary of one of the worst peacetime massacres in recent history. In theory the West should have learned a few lessons since 9/11. But sadly, we seem more adroit at not learning the lessons of history.

Consider the goings on in New York for example. While former Mayor Giuliani showed some determination and guts here, the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg seems to be totally out at sea. Indeed, he seems to want to invite more such attacks by his refusal to face reality.

Last week he gave a speech at the Annual Ramadan Iftar Dinner. He first assured his Muslim listeners that it was entirely appropriate for them to build a mosque near Ground Zero. Then he spoke of “the false impressions that some Americans have about Muslims”. Hey, Islam is OK – it was just those bad Al-Qaeda guys we should be worried about.

Yeah right, as if Al-Qaeda has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. Forget all about the tonnes of Koranic passages, hadith, and examples and teachings of Muhammad as to what Islam thinks of the infidels. Indeed, he went on to foolishly speak of “the actions of a few who twisted a great religion”.

Twisted? Or faithfully carried out its clear teaching, it spirit, its values, and beliefs? The question is not whether there are moderate Muslims. Yes there are. But the real question is, is Islam moderate? As I have argued elsewhere, a good case can be made that it is not.

Perhaps most bizarre were his closing remarks in which he quoted an imam saying that Muslims are basically just as much Christians and Jews as anyone else! Really! He closed by saying, “In that spirit, let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been.” And we are supposed to buy that historical revisionism and interfaith nonsense? That is how we are supposed to approach the tenth anniversary of this act of barbarism?

But it gets worse. The good Muslim-loving Mayor has insisted that prayer will not be allowed at the upcoming ceremony. Many Christians want to come there and pray and seek God’s presence, but they will not be allowed. In response Robert Knight  spoke about “Observing 9/11 Without God”:

“Maybe Mr. Bloomberg is only selectively theophobic, and would consider allowing some Muslim prayers, or perhaps an atheistic chant. To be fair, it must be noted that he has not had a problem with the display of the World Trade Center Cross, a 20-foot edifice composed of steel beams found that way in the Ground Zero rubble.

“But his tone deaf moral equivalence when it comes to Ground Zero sensibilities is still stunning. Faced with opposition to the proposed mosque, he said, ‘I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming.’ No, because it wasn’t Christians or Jews who hijacked the jetliners and rammed them into the Trade Centers, killing nearly 3,000 people. That’s kind of an important detail.”

After noting numerous examples of this kind of activist secularism around the country, he concludes this way: “From coast to coast, the liberal hostility to Bible-based faith knows no bounds. Maybe it’s time for the psychiatric profession to add ‘theophobia’ to the manual of mental disorders. It does seem to interfere with normal, rational thinking.”

One terrorism expert who does try to offer some historical and strategic reflection on the past decade is Clifford May. He writes, “Almost a decade after 9/11, we should better understand the varieties of Islamist experience. Nearly ten years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many politicians, diplomats, journalists, and academics remain reluctant even to name America’s enemies.”

He continues, “To take but one example: John Brennan, head of the White House homeland-security office, has argued that America is only ‘at war with al Qaeda’ and its closest affiliates. I understand the impulse to frame the conflict as narrowly as possible. Brennan and others do not want to reinforce al-Qaeda’s message that Muslims from Afghanistan to Iraq to Israel to Paris to Detroit must choose between the umma, the global Islamic community (‘Islamic nation’ is an equally accurate translation), and the West — to fight for one and against the other.

“But can we not say — truthfully and without playing into al-Qaeda’s hands — that there are regimes and groups within the Muslim world that are implacably hostile to the West? Can we not say that they subscribe to a belief system called jihadism? The late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus defined jihadism as a religiously inspired ideology built on the teaching ‘that it is the moral obligation of all Muslims to employ whatever means necessary in order to compel the world’s submission to Islam.’

“I would contend that there is a distinction, subtle but significant, between jihadism and Islamism. Jihadists see warfare as the divinely ordained path to Islamic supremacy. Islamists may prefer to utilize other means. Some may even think terrorism ill-advised because attacks like those carried out in New York and Washington — and London, Bali, Madrid, and Ft. Hood — have awakened many in the West — but by no means all — to the seriousness of the threat we face.

“Among the jihadis and Islamists there is variety and diversity. If you want a glimpse of it, let me suggest the just-completed World Almanac of Islamism. Produced by the American Foreign Policy Council, and edited by AFPC’s Ilan Berman, it contains contributions from more than 50 experts (including two from my organization, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies).”

He goes on to note the various jihadist and Islamist groups around the world, and then concludes: “The almanac reports on the United States, too. ‘The American public appears to remain largely unaware of and/or uninterested in Islamist groups in the U.S. unless they can somehow be linked to al-Qaeda and/or terrorist attacks in the West,’ it concludes. ‘Nor are civil society, media institutions, and the public at large generally informed about Islamist groups in the U.S. and Islamism generally, beyond the occasional terrorist plots that are routinely disrupted every year.’

“As noted above, that’s also true at the highest levels of government, academia, and the media. John Brennan would be well-advised to spend a weekend with the World Almanac of Islamism. I think he’d find it a useful resource from which he might learn that al-Qaeda is only one of the groups that ought to concern him, his boss and the intelligence community.”

By the sound of it, people like Mayor Bloomberg and plenty of other American leaders, including the nation’s president, could benefit greatly by consulting this volume, and others like it. The ignorance of so many of our leaders concerning the war we are in, and the nature of the enemy, is really quite abysmal. The only question is, is this wilful, deliberate ignorance?

Oh, and by the way, even though we have another week to go, we have accurate figures on what militant Islam has been up to since 9/11. As of September 1, 2011, there were 17, 682 Islamic terrorist attacks since that fateful day. From August 20-26 alone there were 49 attacks, resulting in 189 deaths and 392 critical injuries. I wonder if there will be enough dark-eyed virgins to go around in Paradise.


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17 Replies to “9/11 Ten Years On”

  1. I recently asked some homeschoolers if they were going to commemorate 9/11. Some feel their children are to young and others said they would talk about tolerance.

    Why should we tolerate those who kill? Why should we tolerate sharia law?

    If we tolerate the intolerable practices of those who will not tolerate our beliefs we will soon find that they will not even tolerate our lives.

    Kylie Anderson

  2. Try to imagine what various imans around the world would be saying if 9/11 were the ten-year anniversary of Americans flying planes into the Dome of the Rock or the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca!
    Steve Swartz

  3. Keep it up Bill, I was in class with Bruce Litchfield today, he gave us all a challenge to do what we can in speaking up for true Christianity and fighting the good fight.

    Kylie, we home school and there is no way we will be talking to our children about tolerance of the kind mentioned above. Why in the world would you want to tolerate murder?!! I think its a sad state of affairs when people appear to be so either ignorant or dumbed down to what is really happening.

    Fred Merlo

  4. From Mark Steyn’s terrific new book After America: Get Ready for Armageddon on the superficiality of so many people’s thinking on these important issues;

    “I never met people more indolent or more easily fatigued,” wrote H. G. Wells of the Eloi. “A queer thing I soon discovered about my little hosts, and that was their lack of interest. They would come to me with eager cries of astonishment, like children, but like children they would soon stop examining me and wander away after some other toy.” They love everything— in small doses. After all, if you love everything, why pay attention to anything in particular? If you drive around with a “COEXIST” bumper sticker, you’ve relieved yourself of having to know anything about Islam. You went to an awareness-raising rock concert: it was something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics.” (133)

    Damien Spillane

  5. Thanks Damien

    Yes my copy of his terrific book just arrived today. It is full of quotable quotes. He does talk about 9/11 in various places, including pp. 39-43, 163-165, etc. Just one of his quotes:

    “But the lessons of 9/11 were quickly buried under a mountain of relativist mush. Consider the now routine phenomenon by which any, um, unusual event is instantly ascribed to anyone other than the obvious suspects. When a huge car bomb came near to killing hundreds in Times Square, the first reaction of Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor, was to announce that the most likely culprit was ‘someone with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill’ (that would be me, if his SWAT team’s at a loose end this weekend). When, inevitably, a young man called Faisal Shahzad was arrested a couple days later, Mayor Bloomberg’s next reaction was to hector his subjects that under no circumstances would the city tolerate ‘any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers’.” -p. 164

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Fred we homeschool too. I didn’t mean to says it’s how all homeschoolers feel. It’s just that as homeschoolers we discuss what we do for Christmas or Anzac day or the elections or 9/11 etc on an educational level. If I didn’t homeschool the issue wouldn’t have come up.
    Kylie Anderson

  7. The so-called “dark-eyed virgins in Paradise”, would run from these ugly men!!
    Jane Byrne

  8. Hi Kylie, I know what you meant, I was merely expressing my amazement, (homeschooling or not) that someone would speak about tolerating such barbaric acts as have been perpetrated by Muslims in the name of their religion.
    Fred Merlo

  9. It is a fact that the Muslims wish to erect a mosque near Ground Zero as confirmation that this was their victory spot over the “infidels”. Would you believe this that these creeps (there is no better word) have applied for financial assistance from the Lower Manhattan organization trusted with handing out taxpayers’ money to groups wishing to commemorate the loss of innocent life on the occasion of the Muslim mass murder. Worse still, the nincompoops organizing the commemoration are considering their request for financial assistance. Commentator, Bill O’Reilly claims that no American worker will lift a finger to build their mosque, nor should they.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  10. Frank,
    “No American worker will lift a finger…” I hope not. It will then be more clearly seen that it is only a Muslim assertion of victory over the “infidels”, if only Muslims in Muslim dress are seen to be working on it, assuming it will go ahead. Hopefully that will help some more people to wake up to the reality that Islam is the enemy of the Christian world, and that the political correctness that favours Islam and its expansion into America, will be seen for the treason that it is.
    However and unfortunately, I have no doubt that there will be some clergymen/women who will express their “solidarity” with their Muslim “brothers”, and thereby announce that they are taking “a stand against bigotry and intolerance”.
    Robert Greggery

  11. I would suggest having another look at David Wilkerson’s message “The Towers Have Fallen But We Missed the Message” given almost a month after the September 11 attacks.

    In it he quotes a prophetic message given 9 years earlier back in the early 90s. That message must have seemed unbelievable back then, still perhaps quite difficult for some to believe after September 11, but after the recent British riots, it now seems to be an inevitable consequence if things don’t turn around soon.

    Matt Vinay

  12. If you can’t name your enemy you can’t fight him.
    Michael Mifsud

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