On September 11, 2001, nineteen Islamist terrorists from the Middle East -- fifteen from Saudi Arabia -- hijacked four American airliners, crashing them into New York City's World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. This atrocity resulted in 3,000 innocent Americans being deliberately murdered. Many Muslims wildly erupted in joy in Arab and other Muslim countries, carrying pictures of Osama bin Laden, whose terrorist group, al-Qaeda, took credit for the attacks.
To any person with a modicum of intelligence and reasoning skill, the italicizing and boldfacing of certain words, phrases, and sentences are not needed to realize just how different the narrative -- and truth -- sound from each other. For most Americans, the latter paragraph explains concisely what happened on that horrible day, but due to political correctness, such explicit statements have hardly been written or uttered. Indeed, to speak or write of anything with the words "Islam," "Muslim," or "Middle Eastern" in the same sentence with the word "terrorism" was -- and still is -- verboten. Sad to say, the muzzling of the truth comes not only from liberals and Democrats, but from some conservatives and Republicans as well.
Tragically, the cue for the Orwellian doublespeak came from none other than President George W. Bush himself. Just six days after the most deadly attacks ever on American soil, Mr. Bush appeared on September 17, 2001 -- flanked by members of the "moderate" Muslim group CAIR -- at the Washington Islamic Center, where he boldly proclaimed for the first (but certainly not the last) time that Islam is a "religion of peace." President Bush had already been vilified and excoriated by the media and the Muslim world when he borrowed a word from General Eisenhower's speech to his troops on the eve of D-Day. The unforgivable word, and therefore the unforgivable sin, on the part of the president? He used the word "crusade." The fact that General Eisenhower had used the word in regard to the war against Nazi Germany had no effect on Bush's critics. "Islamophiliacs" came out of the woodwork to condemn Bush's "insensitivity." How, pondered these "experts" on Islam, could he use such a word when it had such negative connotations in the Muslim world?
A humbled Bush never again uttered the word, and except for one or two occasions, never uttered the terms "Islamic" (or "Islamist") and "terrorism" in the same sentence. When he did use the former term, he was immediately slapped down by CAIR and other Muslim groups. Anyone referring to "Islamist terrorism" was immediately labeled an "Islamophobe" and "racist," which raises the question: How can one be a racist in regard to a religion that encompasses all different races and nationalities? Even in the heart of the Middle East, there are very light-skinned Arab (and non-Arab) Muslims with fair hair and light eyes. However, labeling one a "racist" is enough to put most people on the defensive, or worse, to silence them.
As time passed, President Bush gave annual Ramadan dinners, ignorantly befriended Muslim organizations which fronted for terrorist groups, and continued to heap praise on "the religion of peace." The continuing obfuscation of the Islamist terror attacks was not limited to the White House. Intelligence organizations, the military establishment, and, of course, the media joined in on the chorus. When America, in response to the attacks, invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq, soldiers were given sensitivity training courses on how to deal with Muslim men and women, as well as on the culture and religion of the area. It seemed that every official entity of the government went out of its way to show that this was not a war against Islam (or even "radical" Islam), but a war against "terror," "terrorists," and "terrorism." It came to such a revolting and humiliating point that one began to wonder if some country named "Terror" existed, with its citizenry called "Terrorists."
As many people have pointed out, terrorism is not an ideology, but a tactic. However, "radical Islam" -- or the more recent term being used, "Islamism" -- is an ideology. It probably would be best-left to Muslim theologians and experts on Islamic jurisprudence to define just what the distinctions are between "moderate Islam" and "radical Islam." (It is highly doubtful that Charles Martel convened a council of non-Muslims before the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. to debate "moderate" vs. "radical" Islam while engaged in a war with a Muslim army on the verge of conquering France.)
Nevertheless, can one imagine during World War II if the American government and military had never used the term "Nazism" or "kamikaze" to describe the enemy? It is unthinkable. Indeed, at present, it is unforgivable that American officialdom has covered up who our present-day enemy is, what it stands for, and what its ultimate goals are.
Now that the United States has a different president in power -- one apparently obsessed with "repairing" relations with the Muslim world and apologizing for perceived American injustices to Muslims -- the term "terrorist" has been all but abolished from the government lexicon. The deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security, John Brennan, in a May 19th speech before the Center of International and Strategic Studies, stated that the concept of "jihad" was a "legitimate tenet of Islam" and that the term should not be used to define America's enemies, as that would be "counterproductive." While Brennan's asinine remarks could be waved off, he is indeed correct that jihad is a "legitimate tenet of Islam."...but not in the way that he and other apologists perceive it. Whenever political and religious figures in the Islamic world have used the term, it has always meant "holy war" against the "infidel." Does anyone in his or her right mind truly believe that when terror groups such as al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas invoke the term, they are referring to anything but war?
The sad facts remain. America has refused to call out the enemy for what it truly is: a murderous ideology based on religion and religious texts that seeks to dominate the world by any and all means. One can call it "Islamism" or "radical Islam," but facts do not change. While America blithely refuses to face the truth, handcuffs its military with "rules of engagement" that could have been written by the Taliban themselves, and courts a fifth column that has already infiltrated and penetrated our government and other institutions, her enemy freely, openly, and proudly acknowledges that this is a war between religions and civilizations that will ultimately end with a worldwide Islamic caliphate.
Will it take another 9/11-type attack, resulting in thousands more Americans dead in the streets of New York, Washington, or elsewhere, before America finally awakes from its slumber and admits to whom and what we are up against? If not, then perhaps we should withdraw our troops from the Middle East and begin taking lessons in Arabic and Islam.
This article first appeared in American Thinker.