Ten years ago today a band of mostly Saudi nationals, led by a Saudi terrorist mastermind, funded mostly by Saudi money, launched a deadly terror attack on America.
Saudi Arabia exports large quantities of crude oil. Everyone wants to be its friend. Some are pretending to respect the Saudis; others really do respect them.
With 9/11 Saudi Arabia also went into the business of exporting terror. Its government had not made a decision to do so, but its indoctrination efforts were the breeding ground for 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center.
Saudi Arabia expends considerable money and effort proselytizing its own brand of Wahhabi Islam. You know about this extremist and fundamentalist form of Islam.
In March 2002 a fire broke out in a girls’ school in Mecca. Girls were not allowed to leave the building because the morals police, the Mutaween, had determined that they were not properly covered.
The Mutaween feared that rescue workers would lose their minds and their morals if they were exposed to these school girls. Some of the girls who managed to escape were sent back into the burning building. Others were prevented from leaving.
Of course, this occurred after 9/11, but if the Wahhabis are willing to incinerate their own children in the name of extremist principles, it would not be too far a stretch to imagine that children brought up in that tradition would be nonplussed about incinerating infidels.
To say that the 9/11 terror attacks were, in some way, the fruit of Wahhabi Islam does not feel like too much of a stretch.
Of course, 9/11 was a major embarrassment for Saudi Arabia, in particular, and for Muslims, in general.
How then is the event being celebrated… I mean, commemorated… in Saudi Arabia?
Fortunately, we do not have to travel to Riyadh to find out. We need but look to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Funded by famed Saudi investor, Prince Alaweed bin Talel, the Center just presented a program to commemorate the terror attacks.
While it was not the only event at Harvard that marked the occasion, the Center’s program drew special attention for its focus and its thrust.
The program did not set out to study or to combat terrorism. It did not ask how it could have happened that nearly all of the hijackers had been brought up in Wahhabi Islam.
It ignored these issues in order to focus on American Islamophobia. The real worry of the scholars and students who attended this presentation was that Americans do not have a positive view of the Muslim religion.
Hillel Stavis reports that there were no representatives from any of the victims groups, from the first responders, or from the civil service.
In his words: “The session’s components were designed not to commemorate the dead and to discover the role played by al-Qaeda and its jihadist antecedents, but to examine the ingrained bigotry of non-Muslim white Americans. The CMES sought to reduce the murders to a PC lesson plan for high school teachers….”
If you’re surprised, you have not been paying attention to what is going on in America’s best universities.
If you are in the habit of contributing to universities that house such horrors, you would do well to reconsider your giving habits.
Of course, there’s more to this than the guilt trip that Saudi money is trying to lay on America. Unless I miss my guess Prince bin Talel is most concerned with the matter of reputation.
Beyond the unspeakable horrors that Islamic terrorism has done to America lies the damage it has done to the reputation of Islam.
Unfortunately, Muslims are not devoting themselves to questioning how it happens that their co-religionists are the primary practitioners of terror in the world today. They are upset that the actions of these people have maligned the reputation of Islam, in particular, of Wahhabi Islam.
Terrorist actions are designed to sow fear but to show strength and power. They are trying to instill new values and a new faith in the Judeo-Christian West.
Apparently, a significant number of Muslims believes that strength lies in the ability to destroy what others have built. And a significant number of Muslims believes that courage lies in blowing yourself up in order to kill infidels, even Muslim infidels.
Is the world wrong to hold Islam accountable for what has been perpetrated in its name? Is it wrong to see suicide bombing as the religion’s modern signature?
Scarcely a day goes by when some Muslim, acting in what he sees as his religion, kills himself and some of his co-religionists in the name of doctrinal purity.
9/11 stands out for its audacity and its mindlessness. It might have been committed by only a small band of terrorists, but it arose from a specific community, a community that has been loath to attack the terrorists and extremists in its ranks. Lest we forget, terrorism has significant support in the worldwide Muslim community. It is not just the world of a handful of crazed outliers.
Blaming it all on prejudice and bias feels like an added outrage.
If Muslims are now discovering that their rhetoric, translated into action, has damaged, if not destroyed, their good name and the good name of their religion, they need to rectify their behavior and clean the terrorist elements out of their own communities before blaming anyone else.