Fifteen years ago this morning the world changed forever. Bankers and lawyers, office workers, cleaning people, and firemen, kissed their families and loved ones goodbye not knowing that it was going to be for the last time, headed to work or to the airport, and within the next hours were brutally murdered amidst flames and screams and twisted molten metal.
What began in earnest after this day is what was dubbed by the then president, George W. Bush, ‘The War on Terror’.
NewsFlash.. We are not fighting a war on terror, any more than we are fighting a war on airplanes. Terror is just one of the tools.
We are fighting a global war against the Islamic Holy War being waged on the West.
The reason for the use of the intentionally misleading phrase ‘War on Terror’, is the fact that the one thing that the Western liberal mind fears more that planes crashing into buildings, is being called a racist.
Of course you can not say all Muslims are ‘radicalized’, but the big question is how many are?
Apparently, a good place to start with that question is how do Muslims really feel about the attacks of 9/11?
Think about that question for a moment.
What should the answer be? It should be that they hate Islamic terror as much as any other civilized people in the world. All good people reject the unprovoked targeting and killing of innocents.
And after all, we are led to believe that except for the small minority of ‘radicalized Muslims’, the vast, vast majority of Muslims are just like us. They want what we what, they dream of a good future for their children, they want their businesses to prosper, they want the newest iPhone, they celebrate the gifts of American democracy, and work for the ideal of women’s equality.
The vast majority of Muslims reject the ideology of the radicals as much as we in the West do. Afterall they are just like us.
Here is the problem. As much as we would like this to be true. It is clearly not.
It the 2008 book, ‘Who Speaks for Islam?’, written by John L. Esposito, founding director of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, try to make this case using Muslim attitudes toward 9/11, and extensive and exhaustive polling by Gallup, arguably the world’s most trusted polling company, to show that Globally we have nothing to fear from Muslims.
The book’s stated goal was to “democratize the debate” about a potential clash between Western and Muslim civilizations by shedding light on the “actual views of everyday Muslims”. Esposito and Mogahed were especially interested in the “silenced majority” whose views they argue are lost in the discussion about terrorism, extremism, and Islamofascism.
The book is taken from a monumental, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities. The polling sample, Esposito and Mogahed claim, represents “more than 90 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims.”
So who in the book’s opinion are the ‘radicalized’ Muslims? The book lists a single criteria from the comprehensive Gallup study.
Muslims ‘radicals’ are those who told pollsters that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were “completely” justified.
Based on this question and this question alone, of the world’s Muslims what percentage were ‘politically radicalized’?
All other Muslims in Esposito and Mogahed study were labeled as ‘moderates’.
Get it? Not so scary right? Nine out of ten Muslims, worldwide are moderates and therefore pose no threat to the West.
Putting forth any narrative that would claim 9/11 is anything other than the act of a fringe group of religious extremists that are equally demonized by Muslims is feeding into the Islamophobic, colonial, racist Western disdain for people who are not white.
Here are the problems. The number 7% should be shocking and horrifying. That means 91 million Muslims around the world feel that the attacks on 9/11 were ‘completely justified’.
But it gets worse. Much worse. See the question that was asked by Gallup was rated on a scale of 1 to 5. One being ‘not at all justified, 5 being ‘completely justified’. True 7% of Muslims believe that the 9/11 hijackers were completely justified in murdering infidels in their work places and on their airplanes, but another 6.5% not mention in Esposito and Mogahed’s book feel that the attacks on 9/11 were ‘largely justified’, and yet another 23.1% of respondents, 300 million Muslims, support the statement that the attacks of 9/11 were ‘somewhat justified’.
So we are left with multiple definitions of who is a Muslim radical, and who is a Muslim moderate?
The answer that the political left wants you to embrace is that a Muslim that hates America, favors the implementation of Sharia law, supports suicide bombing but doesn’t ‘completely’ justify the attacks of 9/11 is a ‘moderate’.
The West has been fighting this war for fifteen years. One glance over at the European continent should confirm that we are not winning.
Winning starts with clearly defining who it is we are fighting. If we can not do that, then more and more 9/11 are sure to follow.