This is from Bruce Bawer’s column at Front Page on 9/11/2013, the twelfth anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks on America that killed close on 3,000 people. The writer deplores the lies that have been officially disseminated about the name and nature of the enemy, which was and is Islam with its jihadist ideology. He expresses the indignation that too few others have expressed.
… 9/11 was a moment of utter moral clarity that has been succeeded by twelve years of moral chaos. Twelve years of duplicity, flim-flam, double-dealing, humbug. Twelve years of timorousness, incompetence, impotence.
Thousands of lives have been sacrificed in vain; inconceivable amounts of money have gone to waste. America’s financial security and its international standing have been imperiled. And all for one simple reason: because, from the very beginning, the powers that be, in both political parties, chose to lie about the nature of the enemy we were up against.
In the years before World War II began, Winston Churchill spoke up again and again in the House of Commons about the danger that the Nazis represented. His colleagues responded to his eloquent, passionate warnings with ridicule. He was considered a bore, a nag. Some of his fellow Tories viewed his preoccupation with Hitler as an embarrassment. But he didn’t waver. He knew whereof he spoke, he saw what was coming, and he did what he saw as his duty. …
In his TV address immediately after the attacks …
Bush asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. But it was not a time to bow one’s head in silence. It was a time to be enraged, to speak the facts firmly and clearly, and to plan appropriate retributive action. It was time for a moment of truth.
But nobody wanted to speak the truth.
Three days later, Bush was at the National Cathedral for an “interfaith service of prayer and remembrance” that had been jointly planned by the Cathedral and the White House. An account of the service at the Cathedral’s website recalls that the participants … “stood side by side — Jew, Muslim, Christian”. … Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said a prayer. “Today,” pronounced Bush, in his comments at the service, “we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every background.”
And there, in that service, just a few days after 9/11, you can see it all – the seeds of everything that has been so terribly, tragically wrong about the last twelve years. I remember watching Siddiqi pray on TV that day and thinking: “OK, who is this guy?” The Investigative Project on Terrorism has since answered that question at length. Siddiqi’s group, the ISNA, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his mosque hosted a lecture by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the man behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In a 2000 speech, Siddiqi said that “America has to learn that because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” In 1996, he told followers that “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.” He’s also praised jihad as “the path” to “honor” and expressed support for the death penalty for gays in Muslim countries.
And yet there he was, in that pulpit, at that service. His presence there was an obscenity; to invite his participation was an act of either utter ignorance or sheer dhimmitude. But it was only the first of many such acts. It was the template for the post-9/11 era, the new American order, during which we were told by everyone, from our president on down, that the 9/11 terrorists had hijacked not only airplanes but their religion as well, which, of course, was a religion of peace. That, we were told, was what Islam means: peace. Those of us who knew better and who dared to say so were vilified as bigots, even as the likes of Saddaqi were celebrated as noble bridge builders.
Before too long, the all-important goal of seeking out and destroying the people who had carried out the 9/11 attacks – and sending a lesson to any others who might be tempted to mount similar operations – morphed into a dubious effort to democratize the Muslim world. For a time, Osama bin Laden himself got lost in the shuffle. In the immediate wake of 9/11, Bush committed the U.S. to capturing him “dead or alive”; just a year later he said offhandedly that getting bin Laden really wasn’t a priority.
Meanwhile much of the political left, driven not by a reasoned critique of the administration’s arguments for war but by a fierce partisan animus that in some cases seemed to border on psychosis, made fools like Cindy Sheehan their spokespeople and equated Bush with Saddam Hussein himself.
The brief interlude of national unity on 9/11 soon became a distant memory. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad spoke at Columbia University in 2007, the audience of PC students and professors cheered him, a bloodthirsty tyrant – partly to prove that they weren’t Islamophobes, and partly because he was the enemy of their enemy, Bush, and thus, presumably, their friend. Many antiwar groups were little more than fronts for jihadist organizations.
In the name of wartime security, a massive national surveillance apparatus was put in place, and airports were staffed with TSA screeners whose solemn task it was to make sure we weren’t carrying fingernail clippers or overly large tubes of toothpaste. Yet while these clowns were busy patting down wheelchair-bound octogenarians from rural Vermont and babies in diapers, Army officials were issuing commendations to a major at Fort Hood who’d made clear his jihadist sympathies and who, in 2009, ended up slaughtering 13 people in a clear-cut act of Islamic terrorism. Major Hasan explicitly affirmed that he was a jihadist – but his superiors, the media, politicians, and ultimately the judge and lawyers at his trial refused to treat him as one, insisting instead on characterizing his massacre as workplace violence. …
The antiwar movement was ardent, vehement, cutthroat – and evaporated almost instantly the moment Obama succeeded Bush.
The level of disinformation about Islam intensified. Bush, while seeking to strengthen America’s ties to its allies, had massaged the Muslim world with insipid rhetoric about our shared heritage as “people of faith”.
Very bad. But far worse was to come:
Obama, while kicking our allies in the teeth, spun outrageous fantasies about Islam, transforming, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech, fourteen centuries of primitive brutality into a glittering parade of moral, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual triumphs.
From that moment on, everyone should have known that the newly-elected president of the United States was emotionally and consciously on the side of Islam. If the American Left knew it as a body and didn’t care, or positively approved, it covered itself in lasting ignominy, whether it understands that to be the case or not.
As the years after 9/11 went by, other major acts of jihadist terrorism occurred around the world. Each time, the mantra from on high was the same: these crimes had nothing to do with Islam. Government officials, military leaders, authors, filmmakers, journalists, teachers, professors – all played their part in obscuring the truth about Islam. …
Most disgraceful of all is the fact that even American servicemen and women were lied to. Many of those who were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq thought they were going there to protect good Muslims, who embodied the innate peacefulness of Islam, from bad Muslims, who had betrayed the faith of their fathers by claiming to kill in Allah’s name. These soldiers thought they were going to bring freedom, equality, and secular government to people who truly wanted those things and who would be grateful for them. These soldiers went into harm’s way unaware of the vast gulf between their own Western mental world and the Islamic mental world … That was the greatest crime of all: keeping the soldiers on the ground in the dark about the true nature of the enemy. …
Too many Americans today, alas, … are driven by a concept of morality that isn’t about making tough decisions in the name of what’s right but is, rather, about doing whatever makes them feel non-racist, non-judgmental, non-prejudiced. It’s all about image – the way they appear to others, and the way they appear to themselves.
9/11 was a day of heroes and of villains, of stark contrasts between good and evil. Yet how quickly the politicians, journalists, and others in positions of power managed to make a muddle of it all. Instead of witnessing a democratization of the Middle East, we experienced a steady Islamization of the West. Instead of seeing freedom bloom in the Islamic world, we saw a rise in Western censorship and self-censorship on the subject of Islam. Some high-profile figures in the West have been put on trial for speaking the truth about Islam, while others have made sophisticated arguments for limiting freedom of expression and for introducing sharia law into Western courts. …
The last twelve years have underscored the vital importance of real leadership. It’s impossible not to compare the leaders we have had during these years to Churchill – and impossible not to dream of what might have been. Even now, Americans in positions of authority are still telling lies about Islam. As a result, millions of Americans still don’t understand the meaning of what happened that day. For many of them, a mere ten-minute lesson in the basics would make a huge difference. But they’ve never had that ten-minute lesson. Instead they’ve been inundated with untold thousands of hours of disinformation. It doesn’t just hamper their understanding of 9/11; it renders them incapable of fully comprehending, and intelligently addressing, every new challenge that comes along in the Muslim world, such as the question of whether the U.S. should bomb Syrian government installations – thus effectively allying itself with some of the very people who attacked us on 9/11 – or should, rather, focus its energies on trying to protect what is left of the free West from the ever-spreading toxin of Islamic rage.
Reminder: United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the planes hijacked by Muslim terrorists on September 11, 2001. The passengers heroically fought the hijackers and the plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All forty of the human beings on the plane were killed. So were the four Muslim savages.
The following is from Alec Rawls, who has long been campaigning for the design of the Memorial to the heroes of Flight 93 to be changed. He demonstrates that the design honors the Islamic terrorists, not the courageous victims:
New Park Service images prove the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 is unchanged.
The original Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial (left) was laid out in the configuration of an Islamic crescent and star flag (right). The crash site sits between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic flag.
When this apparent symbol of Islamic triumph caused a national uproar seven years ago the Memorial Project (a public-private entity overseen by the Park Service) promised to change the design, but as demonstrated by the images below, they never did make any significant changes:
Above: original Crescent of Embrace design. Below: a frame from the Park Service’s new virtual fly-by of the Circle of Embrace “re-design” as it is being built. (Comparison image thanks to MaxK.)
The most significant change is the few extra trees that are being planted outside the mouth of the original crescent (starting at the crescent tip on the right, where the flight path symbolically “breaks the circle,” and continuing down behind the Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site). These few trees supposedly turn the crescent into a circle, but as you can see, they do no such thing, but only apply the most minor window dressing to what is still a bare naked Islamic-shaped crescent.
The circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design also remains completely intact.
The Park Service web site explicitly describes the Circle of Embrace as a broken circle, proving that the terrorist-memorializing theme of the design is also unchanged. Way back in 2005 architect Paul Murdoch described his original Crescent of Embrace as a broken circle. The 9/11 attacks broke our circle of peace and the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent. The terrorist memorializing intent is obvious, or in the words of Tom Burnett Senior (father of flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Junior), “blatantly obvious.”
The actions depicted in the memorial design are those of the terrorists. They break the circle of peace and the result is their flag planted atop the graves of our murdered heroes. Calling the design a broken circle instead of a crescent does not change this symbolism one whit. The unbroken part of the circle is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.
Instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, the half-mile wide crescent now points 3° south of Mecca.
A crescent that points the direction to Mecca is a very familiar construct in the Islamic world. Because Muslims face Mecca for prayer, every mosque is built around a Mecca direction indicator called a mihrab, and the classic mihrab is crescent shaped.
As the Crescent of Embrace was originally designed, a person standing between the tips of the giant Crescent and facing into the center of the Crescent would be facing a little less than 2° north of Mecca. This almost-exact Mecca orientation was confirmed to the Park Service in 2006 by Daniel Griffith, a professor of “geospatial information” at the University of Texas who was brought in as a consultant by the Park Service.
Griffith’s report examined the analysis of Politicalities blogger Jonathan Haas, who had calculated that the crescent pointed .62° off of Mecca. Allowing some margin of error for the exact coordinates used for the crash site and for Mecca, Griffith confirmed Haas’ calculation of the direction to Mecca (“the arctangent value is correct”), and he accepted Haas’ calculation that the bisector of the giant crescent pointed a mere .62° off of this Mecca-line. The actual divergence is slightly larger — a bit less than 2° — but this is what the Park Service was told by Griffith: that the crescent pointed less than 1° from Mecca.
Even the Park Service realized this was bad but their response was pathetic, as Murdoch was only forced to make a slight change in the orientation of his giant mihrab. The conversation is easy to imagine: “How about if I change the orientation by five degrees?” Murdoch presumably asked. “Would that be enough?” So now instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, it now points 3° south of Mecca, both of which are highly accurate by Islamic standards.
For most of Islam’s 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. (Many of the most famous mihrabs point 10, 20, 30 or more degrees off Mecca.) Thus it developed as a matter of religious doctrine that what matters is intent to face Mecca, which architect Paul Murdoch proves by elaborately repeating his Mecca orientations throughout the design.
They misled the public into thinking that the crescent was being removed.
Images of the Circle of Embrace “redesign” that the Park Service released in late November 2005 were calculated to fool the public into thinking that real changes were being made. Here is a comparison between the original Crescent of Embrace (top) and the phony redesign (bottom). At first glance the Circle of Embrace actually does look more like a circle than a crescent, but if you examine closely you’ll see that this is almost entirely due to re-coloring of the image. The only actual change is the addition of the extra arc of trees that extends from the circle-breaking crescent tip down the hill towards the crash site:
Because this extra arc of trees explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle it in no way alters the circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design. Neither does it affect the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent (the unbroken part of the circle) that is left standing in the wake of 9/11. It only looks like a real change, but the Memorial Project apparently decided that even this purely cosmetic alteration conceded too much to critics.
Look again at that screen-grab from the Park Service’s new animated fly-by of the design as it is actually being built. The bold extra arc of trees that was the only actual change in the Circle of Embrace redesign has been taken out and replaced with a wispy wave of trees:
These few trees, planted to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent, do not diminish in any way the crescent’s functionality as a mihrab/Mecca-direction indicator. You can plant as many trees behind a mosque as you want. It is still a mosque, or in this case, a terrorist-memorial mosque.
Feel like complaining? Give Flight 93 Memorial Superintendent Keith Newlin a piece of your mind, and please pass along any response that you receive. (Find the email addresses through the link to Alec Rawls here.)
There is also a petition you can sign, if you haven’t done so already.
“I’m not to blame for any wrong I’ve done, because I’m a victim.”
It’s a statement often implied in defense of criminals. The accused may have murdered in cold blood, but he or she was maltreated as a child, subjected to sexual abuse perhaps, so is more to be pitied than blamed. It has proved to be an effective defense.
To ask “Can a victim not also be a villain?” is to ask an unintelligible question. What would be the use of a victim in our value scheme if he or she were also a villain? A victim, the prevailing sentiment implies, is innocent. Is pure. He or she is Pure Innocence personified.
It is not difficult to explain why being a victim has become a popular choice. Victimhood, even if entirely spurious, is commonly regarded now as a qualification for privileged treatment; routinely when it is claimed by persons identifying themselves with groups genuinely victimized in the past – certain ethnic minorities, homosexuals, or (ever less credibly) women. Victims are held in higher regard than achievers.
Besides which, it is a logical accompaniment to the popularity of compassion. In the West, nowadays, compassion is generally held to be the highest moral good.
Why? Well, to feel it is a quick fix, a drug for the ego. Little else makes one feel as good as immediately and reliably. And it can be bestowed in vast quantities without the bestower becoming any the poorer. Compassion is a supremely selfish emotion – which would be fine if only the selfishness of it were frankly acknowledged.
As it makes people feel good to show they are compassionate – by saying so, or in some cases by acting compassionately, gifting their energy, time, or possessions to their neighbors or even to remote strangers – it also makes people crave it. The need to give it stimulates the need to receive it. It’s abundant availability is a powerful inducement to neighbors and strangers to demand it; to put out their hands to receive it; to plead their superior neediness; to insist that they are pitiable; that they are victims.
Not that Western populations are divided into the pitying and the pitied; not at all – everyone can be both: everyone compassionate and charitable, everyone a victim. Everyone can have the kudos of being a pitier and at the same time the innocence of being pitiable. And with everyone getting double satisfaction, being most good and most innocent, the pitiable-pitying society is surely the happiest.
And surely, you might say, it is a truly good society? Everyone being nice to everyone, and no sufferer going unaided. A utopian Gemüthlichkeit. A mutually supportive community. Isn’t it the ideal, and hasn’t it been the ideal ever since St. Paul invented Christian morality? A universal economy of “love”?
Well, yes, it could make for pleasantness – if it were true; if the well-preened ego could rest with its philanthropy; if there were no evil in the human heart.
But because there is evil in the human heart, a feeling that everyone should be nice to everyone, however widespread, however popular and praised, will not in real life be quite enough to make it happen. In fact it seems that whenever and wherever compassion, pity, charity are most piously preached, just there are cruelty, humiliation, oppression most mercilessly practiced.
Christianity taps deep into the sentiment of pity with a God who (so the Christian myth runs) had himself tortured to death as a man in order to save mankind from innate sin, thus (the Christian myth fails to notice) planting harrowing guilt in its devotees. To cover if not to expiate that guilt, Christians are adjured to love their fellow human beings. Yet have any institutions inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches? Islam is a candidate, but Islam doesn’t preach universal love: it preaches mass murder, enslavement, and sadistic vengeance, so it escapes the charge of hypocrisy, at least in this regard.
What happens when victimization is idolized; when, as a result, there is competition in being more-victimized-than-thou; and when as a result of that, a perverted envy is born if someone is perceived as being the more victimized?
Let’s examine an actual case. I’ve said that Islam does not preach compassion. But Islam is intent on conquering the West, and to do so it is using all the opportunities that the West affords it. The very values, freedom and tolerance, that the West most esteems and embodies in its law, and that Islam would destroy, provide Islam with the means to destroy them. Muslims move into European countries and live freely. (Freely in more ways than one, as disproportionately large numbers of Muslim immigrants live on welfare handouts that the indigenous population pay for with their taxes.) They set up their mosques to preach, and their madrassas to teach their children, to hate the values of their host countries, and to love submission and intolerance. They can do so because the host countries are tolerant. If any of the indigenous people protest that Islam is manifestly incompatible with their values, their own law-courts in the name of tolerance punish them and not the Muslim immigrants. Much encouraged by this policy, some of the newcomers kill their new neighbors in acts of terrorism, intending to instill fear of Islam. But if any of the indigenous people consequently express fear and dislike of Islam, the Muslims cry that they are being subjected to irrational “Islamophobia”. Which is to say, they draw on Western compassion.
The starkest instance of this is what has happened in America since the destruction on September 9, 2001, in a profoundly religious act of hatred, of the World Trade Center in New York, when Muslims piloted two airplanes into the Twin Towers and killed close on 3000 people.
Time passes. The scar remains on the face of the city. For most Americans it is a place of tragedy. But for Muslims it is a place of victory. And certain Muslims propose to build a mosque as close to it as they can. While many on the political Left are in favor of the project – citing freedom and tolerance to support their view – there is an outcry of passionate opposition from many more.
Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who is the front man of the plan to build the mosque and Islamic Center on the sacred site, was interviewed on ABC TV (22 August, 2010) about the mounting opposition to the project. She ascribed it to hate of Muslims which, she said, went “beyond Islamophobia”, and was ““like a metastasized anti-Semitism”.
By “metastasized” she meant, presumably, that hatred for Muslims in America was more widespread, more threatening, more potentially lethal than the hatred for Jews (the existence of which her declaration acknowledged). “Islamophobia” is a lie that reveals a twisted envy of anti-Semitism.
There is in fact little evidence of “Islamophobia”. FBI reports of recent years show that hate crimes against Muslims are rare; that there are more hate crimes against Christians than against Muslims; and there are about nine times as many against Jews as against Muslims. (See here and here.)
Regardless of the facts of the matter, Ms Khan wanted to make the point that Muslims were the victims of prejudice and bigotry. As the terms “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” carry connotations of irrationality, her words implied that any feeling against Muslims is wholly irrational. But is it?
Antagonism towards Islam since 9/11, however emotional much of it may be, is not reasonless. Reasons for it abound. The attack on the World Trade Center was carried out in the name of Islam, as many other violent attacks, murders, and plans for murderous attacks have been, both before 9/11 and after. Muslims fit the role of victimizers far better than that of victims. So while anti-Islam feeling may be felt as unfair by many Muslims, it is not irrational; and Ms Khan’s analogy with anti-Semitism is wide of the mark. Tactically, however, claiming victimhood to bolster her cause was a shrewd move. Building permission for the mosque and Islamic Center has been granted by the authorizing bodies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
I wonder … Are these authorizing bodies dominated by the Left? And were their arguments legal or emotional? If emotional, did they appeal to tolerance and compassion? If so, why no compassion for the feelings of those who were outraged by the very idea of the mosque in that place? I wonder about these questions because the Left in general claims moral superiority and asks for political power on the grounds that compassion is its highest value and the guiding principle of its policies. As with Christianity – from which this piety derives – it proves over and over again, wherever the Left is in power, to be an empty ideal.
Earlier in this essay I asked, rhetorically, “has any institution inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches?” The answer must be, “none over as many centuries”, but take out that phrase and even the Christian establishments are out-matched by the collectivist/leftist regimes of the twentieth century, some of which are still extant. To elect a collectivist government, to trust the Left’s claim to be the guardian of victims, to believe that voting for the Left proves your compassion, is to fall for the Great Political Lie.
Jillian Becker July 21, 2012
Yesterday, Sunday June 6 2010, families of 9/11 victims along with thousands of others rallied in New York to protest against the building of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
Speakers recalled the destruction of the World Trade Center and the terrible deaths of 3000 people murdered by Muslims who flew hijacked planes into it.
For videos and more pictures go here.
Pat Condell eloquently denounces the mosque to be built at Ground Zero as the insult it is to the victims of 9/11, and to civilization.
This video is from Answering Muslims. It includes an imaginary picture of a mosque-dominated New York, circulated by Muslims in America soon after 3,000 people were killed by Muslims on 9/11.
On the proposal that a mosque be built near the site of the World Trade Center, destroyed by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 in the name of their religion, ABC News reported on May 25, 2010:
In a heated, four hour meeting tonight, Community Board 1, which represents the area of lower Manhattan that includes Ground Zero, voted 29-1 in favor of the proposal. There were 10 abstentions. …
The board’s 12-member Financial District committee unanimously voted in favor of the plan earlier this month.