...And ask­ing all the wrong ques­tions 10 years later

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

In at­tempt­ing to un­der­stand 9/11, the first ques­tion asked by the world’s elites, as ex­em­pli­fied by lead­ing me­dia and aca­demics, was, “What did Amer­ica do to pro­voke such ha­tred?”

Ten years later, the same peo­ple are still ask­ing the same ques­tion.

And it is as morally re­pul­sive now as it was then.

It was al­ways on par with “What did the Jews do to an­tag­o­nize the Ger­mans?” or “What did blacks do to en­rage lynch mobs?”

As long as peo­ple keep ask­ing what Amer­ica did to incite such hate, noth­ing will have been learned from 9/11.

The Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks oc­curred be­cause of a law of hu­man life that has been true since Cain killed Abel:

The worst hate the best (and the sec­ond best and the third best and so on). Evil hates good. The United States of Amer­ica is a flawed so­ci­ety.

As it com­prises hu­man be­ings, it must be flawed.

But in terms of the good­ness achieved in­side its bor­ders and spread else­where in the world, it has been the finest coun­try that ever ex­isted.

If you were to mea­sure the moral gulf be­tween Amer­ica and those who de­spise it, the di­vide would have to be cal­cu­lated in light-years.

If the aca­demic and opinion elites of the world had moral courage, they would have asked the most ob­vi­ous ques­tion pro­voked by 9/11:

Were the mass mur­der­ers who flew those air­planes into Amer­i­can build­ings an aber­ra­tion or a prod­uct of their cul­ture?

As far as those elites are con­cerned, only the first ex­pla­na­tion ex­ists.

The 19 mon­sters of 9/11 were, for all in­tents and pur­poses, freaks.

They were ex­cep­tions, no more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Arab or Is­lamic worlds than se­rial killer Jef­frey Dah­mer was of Amer­ica.

Ac­cord­ing to the elites, the hi­jack­ers hap­pened to be Mus­lim, only in name, we have been con­stantly re­as­sured, but were not pro­duced by any­thing within Arab or Is­lamic so­ci­ety.

Even to whether any­thing in those worlds pro­duced the 9/11 ter­ror­ists, or Bri­tain’s 7/7 ter­ror­ists, or Madrid’s March 2004 ter­ror­ists, or Pales­tinian ter­ror­ists, or the Tal­iban, or Ha­mas, is to be a bigot, or an “Is­lam­o­phobe,” the in­ge­nious post-9/11 la­bel to de­scribe any­one who merely asks such ques­tions.

It can be said, there­fore, that not only has the world learned noth­ing from 9/11; it has been pro­hib­ited from learn­ing any­thing.

The Mus­lim regime of Iran vi­o­lently re­presses its peo­ple and (along with the Mus­lims of Ha­mas and of Hezbol­lah) vows to ex­ter­mi­nate the na­tion of Is­rael.

Mus­lim mobs mur­dered in­no­cent peo­ple be­cause of car­toons in Den­mark.

The Mus­lims of the Tal­iban throw acid in the faces of girls who at­tend school.

Mus­lim mobs kill Chris­tians and burn churches in Iraq, Egypt, Nige­ria and else­where. And we are told that the mere men­tion of these facts is an act of big­otry.

Af­ter 9/11, the nor­mal and de­cent ques­tion that nor­mal and de­cent peo­ple, peo­ple who fully and hap­pily rec­og­nize the ex­is­tence of vast numbers of nor­mal and de­cent Mus­lims in the world, would have posed is this:

What has hap­pened in the Arab world and parts of the Mus­lim world?

But as this, the most ob­vi­ous ques­tion that 9/11 prompted, has not been al­lowed to be asked, what lessons can pos­si­bly be learned?

The an­swer is, of course, none.

But that has not stopped our me­dia and aca­demic elites from draw­ing lessons.

And what are those lessons? One is that Amer­ica, not the Is­lamic world, must en­gage in moral in­tro­spec­tion.

The other is that we must op­pose all ex­pres­sions of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism, Jewish and Chris­tian as well as Mus­lim, since, ac­cord­ing to the Left, Amer­ica’s con­ser­va­tive Chris­tians are as much a threat to hu­man­ity as are ex­trem­ist Mus­lims.

Per­haps the best-known ex­po­nent of these non-lessons has been Karen Armstrong, the widely read re­li­gious thinker and former nun.

She was in­vited to give a pre­sen­ta­tion on com­pas­sion at the na­tion’s re­li­gious me­mo­rial ser­vice on Sept. 11. And what was her mes­sage? “9/11 was a rev­e­la­tion of the dan­ger­ous po­lar­iza­tion of our world; it re­vealed the deep sus­pi­cion, frus­tra­tion and rage that ex­isted in some quar­ters of the Mus­lim world and also the ig­no­rance and prej­u­dice about Is­lam and Mid­dle East­ern af­fairs that ex­isted in some quar­ters of the West . . .”

There you have it: Mus­lims have rage and deep sus­pi­cion; the West has ig­no­rance and prej­u­dice.

If that’s what the world learns from 9/11, those who died that day died in vain.

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