National Security & Defense

Fifteen Years After 9/11, Blindness to the Islamist Threat Is Official Policy

At Ground Zero, September 11, 2001. (Reuters photo: Peter Morgan)
Prohibiting mention of Islam in connection with jihadist violence won’t prevent future atrocities.

If there is a theme to this 15th annual observance — the word “anniversary” just seems so wrong — of the most lethal enemy attack ever carried out on American soil, it is erasure.

At least that’s what they’re being told in Owego, N.Y. There, a Muslim activist group is demanding that the town’s 9/11 memorial be erased. Not all of it; just the word “Islamic.”

Carved into the memorial — the point of which is to signify that which we must never forget — is the factual assertion that, on September 11, 2001, “nineteen Islamic terrorists” carried out coordinated suicide-hijacking attacks against the United States.

The Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier has decided that the monument is dangerous because it “could encourage hatred toward Muslims.” Fifteen years on, we are supposed to believe that the danger we face is not an enduring global threat fueled by an ideology drawn directly from Islamic scripture; the danger lies in speaking honestly about the threat.

It has taken less than two years to go from Je suis Charlie — the fleeting show of solidarity in support of Western free-speech principles after Islamic terrorists mass-murdered cartoonists at the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo — to Je suis Kerry. That’s a show of solidarity in support of our ineffable secretary of state who, when not steering aid, comfort, and goo-gobs of cash to the jihadist regime in Tehran, is telling the international media that maybe terrorism would go away if they’d just stop talking about it.

Erasure: It is Willful Blindness 2.0, specially fit for the age of Obama.

When I wrote my “Memoir of the Jihad,” willful blindness was an ingrained conscious avoidance of the abundant evidence of the threat posed by Islamic supremacism — the ideological commitment to coerce acceptance of sharia law, by force if necessary. It was a head-in-the-sand approach to easily accessible proof that the threat is rooted in Muslim scripture and a mainstream interpretation of Islam that stretches back over a millennium.

Alas, apologists of the See No Islam school cannot seem to make the jihadist carnage go away.

We’re way beyond that. Now, it is compelled blindness, a tireless campaign to erase the abundant evidence, to make it inaccessible. Alas, apologists of the See No Islam school cannot seem to make the jihadist carnage go away. But they work feverishly to make sure you can’t see what causes it. Or, if you do get a glimpse — because the carnage and its animating ideology are inextricably linked, and because jihadists are actually quite anxious to tell us why they do what they do — the apologists warn that you’ll keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you.

Or, as then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it while working to create an unconstitutional legal restriction against criticism of Islam, she and her Islamist government partners will “use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel they have the support to do what we abhor.”

She wasn’t kidding. Mentions of “Islam” in connection with terrorism? Erased — in favor of “workplace violence,” “man-caused disasters,” and “overseas contingencies.”

RELATED: Obama Would Rather Declare War on the English Language than Speak of Islamic Terrorism

Investigations of prominent Islamist organizations proved in a terrorism-financing prosecution to affiliate with the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian jihadist branch, Hamas? Erased.

Written materials on Islamic supremacism and classical sharia principles prepared for the training of military, intelligence, and law-enforcement agents? Erased — after all, any kind of “extremism” can cause violence.

Instructors expert in jihadist ideology formerly retained to lecture national-security personnel? Erased.

Terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay? Erased . . . at least from Gitmo.

RELATED: The Unmentionable Origins of Terrorism

Aren’t we afraid they’ll go back to the jihad? Well, why worry about “jihad.” According to former White House counterterrorism czar (and current CIA director) John Brennan, jihad is a “holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam” that means “to purify oneself or one’s community.” It has nothing to do with violence, and thus violence has nothing to do with Islam. Nothing more to see.

In fact, you know what else has been erased? Al-Qaeda.

#share#First President Obama and his minions tried to miniaturize it. There is no real global terror network united by an overarching ideology rooted in the Koran; the words, deeds, and traditions of the prophet Mohammed; and sharia fundamentalism. Instead, there are independent franchises, outposts, and wannabes — to say nothing of the jayvee team — that are actually motivated by parochial political and territorial concerns, not ideology, and certainly not any ideology tied to Islam.

But, of course, it’s hard to miniaturize something that continues to kill, as al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists did on another September 11, this one in 2012 in Benghazi. Just as Obama was on the campaign homestretch, proclaiming al-Qaeda’s defeat and “decimation,” jihadists killed a United States ambassador and three other Americans.

RELATED: Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

It turned out that al-Qaeda hadn’t been erased after all. Only honest discussion of it.

If questions come up about the Benghazi attack, just talk about that YouTube video.

If questions come up about the Muslim militias fighting tyrannical regimes in Libya and Syria, just talk about “the rebels.” No need to mention that they are teeming with al-Qaeda cells fighting for the different tyranny of sharia.

And there’s absolutely no need to acknowledge that we’re supporting them — at least indirectly.

Fifteen years after 9/11, al-Qaeda has revived. Its breakaway faction, the Islamic State (formerly, al-Qaeda in Iraq) is our current obsession — and there are some understandable reasons for that, since the Islamic State controls major swaths of territory in the Middle East and projects terror into the West. But al-Qaeda is resurgent and as much a threat to America as it was in the late Nineties.

#related#After 9/11, the American people seemed resolved to defeat jihadist terror. Today, the United States government is a major financial benefactor of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism — a regime that regards our country as its mortal enemy. Iran has a longstanding practice of abetting al-Qaeda. The Obama administration now has a practice of supplying Iran with plane loads of untraceable cash.

A threat can be repelled only by seeing it for what it is, understanding what it wants to accomplish, and exhibiting the will to deny it, however long that takes. Erasure is not a strategy. Fifteen years ago, we seemed to know that.

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