There is much to be said about the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, most of which has already been said and repeated. The events leading up to that outrage and subsequent events are widely misunderstood, in my opinion. I intend to deal with that issue in a future post. For now, I wish to address the blizzard of Muslim apologetics from President Obama and virtually all the media.
It is asserted over and over that it's not the religion of Islam that's responsible for terrorist acts but rather a small fringe group of misguided fanatics. The Fort Hood assassin was "a self-radicalized, home-grown terrorist;" the Times Square bomber was a demented extremist and, most of all, the 19 hijackers that flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon were wild-eyed suicidal al Qaeda dupes. I wish that all were true, but it's not.
The motivation behind Islamic terrorism is in fact Islam. The Fort Hood assassin, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was a trained psychiatrist, certainly not an ignorant fool. The 19 hijackers included several educated professional men. The Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, was an account analyst although he does seem a bit unbalanced.
It is a mistake to assume that those who commit violent acts in the name of Islam and their supporters are all fringe Muslims following erroneous Islamic teachings. Islam, as widely preached and practiced today, is not a "religion of peace." Alone of all the major religions, it advocates aggressive and, "if necessary," violent worldwide expansion. Historically, there have been two major violent jihads. The first began shortly after Mohammad's death in 632 AD and reached into France before being stopped, and the second, promulgated by the Turks, also reached Europe before suffering a series of defeats by the Crusaders and others. This one led to what was called the Ottoman Empire.
Islam divides the world into two zones: Dar al-Islam (zone of submission) and Dar al-Harb (zone of war). All of the world is covered by one or the other of these two zones. We are located in Dar al-Harb. The United States, in fact, is the center of Dar al-Harb. We are the "Great Satan;" Israel is relegated to "Little Satan" status because it is not a significant obstacle to the expansion of Islam.
Most major religions encourage expansion--Judaism alone seems content to practice their faith in peaceful contentment. Christians call this evangelism. It is practiced by persuasion, ancient history notwithstanding. Islam also encourages conversion by persuasion, and in fact the Quran states that those who chose not to convert should be left alone in peace. However, if unbelief constitutes an obstacle to Islamic expansion, violence and death are justified. Guess who is the major obstacle to Islamic expansion in the world today?
The U.S. is an "infidel" economic and military superpower with major worldwide influence. We are the most significant anti-Islamic influence in the world today. We are morally corrupt, irreverent and arrogant. We treat women as equals. We will not tolerate Shari'a law or theocracy in any form. Islam alone among religions requires government inclusion--a theocracy. It's not just a religion, it's a form of government. Thus, we are the "Great Satan," the prime enemy of Islam and its primary target for destruction.
Certainly not all Muslims subscribe to this madness. In fact many are peaceful, mind-your-own-business citizens, mostly in the West. But make no mistake, many worldwide do subscribe to violent jihad. (The Quran does call for "jihad" as a military struggle on behalf of Islam. But the Quran also refers to jihad as an internal, individual, spiritual struggle toward self-improvement, moral cleansing and intellectual effort.) Recall the pictures of Muslims around the world celebrating the World Trade Center outrage.
Many Muslims, especially in this prosperous country (or at least it was), don't countenance terrorism or violent expansion, subscribing to the second definition of jihad above. They just want to practice their religion in peace. Despite this, we are the prime target of violent jihad. Israel is just a boil; we are the septic disease that must be "cured". That cure is either wholesale conversion to fundamental Islam or our destruction.
Uncomfortable as this may be to many, we ignore the threat to our peril. All the politically-correct speeches and warm-fuzzy newspaper articles will not change reality.
Certainly, all people, regardless of religious persuasion, should be considered individuals without stereotyping or pre-judgement. But the underlying aggressive and violent jihadic elements of Islam, very seldom disavowed by Islamic leaders, warrant great caution and vigilance.