Commemorating the 22 Anniversary of 9/11
The Islamist attack on the United States at the dawn of the third millennium was, in a sense, more far-reaching than the Japanese attack on Peal Harbor, as it sought to destroy the very institutions of America.
To commemorate this event in 2023, I begin with excerpts from my Reflections on the 17th Anniversary of 9/11.
In 1453, the Ottoman Turks ended the Eastern Roman Empire, renamed its capital from Constantinople to Istanbul, and turned the Basilica Aya Sophia into a mosque.
In 1683, an Ottoman army of 200,000 soldiers laid siege to Vienna for two months. The Hapsburgs received help from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire. The Ottomans’ defeat was followed gradually by the decline of their empire.
In WWI, the Ottomans joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies. The war ended with the defeat of the Ottomans and the dismemberment of their empire. The new leader of Turkey, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate in 1924, and initiated a program for the secularization of Turkish society.
The abolishing of the Caliphate sent tremors throughout the Muslim world. In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna. Its influence spread throughout the Arab world. Its goal was the re-establishment of an Islamic world order based on the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sunnat Muhammad.
The Brotherhood engaged in violent acts of assassinations of political leaders. When the Egyptian Army overthrew King Farouk in a coup in July1952, the Muslim Brotherhood was opposed to its policies of secularization. In 1954, its attempt to assassinate President Nasser failed and was followed by severe measures against its activities, including the execution of its ideologue, Sayyid Qutb.
The defeat of the Arab armies by Israel in the Six-Day War of June 1967, resulted in the revival of Radical Islam. A decade later, with Ayatollah Khomeini’s assuming power in Iran, Several Jihadist events followed.
The attack on U.S. Embassy in Tehran, on 4 November 1979. Sixty-six U.S. embassy personnel and Marine guards, were blindfolded and held captive. 52 of the hostages were held captive for 444 days.
Shi’ite terrorists attacked the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, on 23 October 1983, resulting in the death of 241 U.S. peacekeepers who were there with the UN’s approval.
The United States embasies were bombed on 7 August 1988, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and in Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in the death of more than 200 people.
On 12 October 2000, USS Cole, docked in Aden harbor for a fuel stop. A small boat carrying explosives and two suicide bombers approached the port side of the destroyer and exploded, creating a 40-by-60-foot gash in the ship's port side, killing 17 crew members, and injuring 39.
The intensification of the Jihad against the West took place on 9/11.
A remembrance ceremony was held at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Rev. Paul Britton, brother of a victim opened with prayer. Names of the victims were read by family members, while bells were tolling.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf spoke about the forty heroes who, after meeting and praying for guidance, voted to storm the cockpit. Their action prevented the destruction of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.
AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE AT THE PENTAGON, in Washington, D.C., Vice President Pence was the speaker. The Marine Corps Choir provided the songs, with a bell tolling as the names of the victims were read. The attack resulted in the death of 184 killed, military, civilians at work, and visitors, including a grade-school class with their teacher, visiting from California.
What I’ve been missing from the various published online accounts of the Attack, is any reference to the role of the Qur’an in galvanizing the wills of the hijackers, enabling them to commit their horrific attacks. Atta quoted from parts of the Qur’an known as the “Sword Texts” (Ayat al-Sayf.) They encourage Muslims to kill the Infidels. It’s as if political correctness, prevented highlighting the Qur’anic Ayas (verses) that teach violence against the Infidels!
My suspicion grew as I watched a televised program, hosted on Tuesday 11 September 2018, by the Bipartisan Policy Center, to honor the “9/11 Commission” Co-Chairs. The Bipartisan Policy Center honored former Governor Thomas Kean (R-NJ) and former Representative Lee Hamilton of Indiana (D-IN) for their work as co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission.
Dan Coats, Director of the National Intelligence, who delivered the keynote address, remarked about his experience on September 11, 2001, and how his position was created, because of recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. Dan Coats explained that full cooperation of all federal, state, and local authorities before 9/11, didn’t exist. And that no single electronic library existed for the security agencies. Now, all that has been remedied. The event held under the auspices of the Bipartisan Policy Center was very instructive. I was riveted by the lively discussion that took place.
However, I felt deeply disappointed. Not one word by any participant in the event, uttered the words, Islamic Terrorism. One member of the Bipartisan Policy Center referred often to the “Fragile States” where terrorism incubates. The implication was that Islamic terrorists came from underprivileged poor and marginalized homes.
In fact, most of the 19 hijackers belonged to middle class families. The leader, Muhammad Atta attended well-known universities in Egypt and in Germany. It wasn’t poverty that led him and his fellow-terrorists, to plan his acts; rather he was converted to Salafism (Islamic radicalism) at the Jerusalem Mosque in Hamburg, Germany.
Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Mosque in Hamburg, where Atta was radicalized, was closed by the German authorities nine years later, in 2010.
Because of the failure, or reluctance of Western political leaders to acknowledge the religious component of terrorism, Islamic terrorism will be with us for a long time. When a diagnosis of a problem is wrong, there can be no solution to the problem! So, this unconventional warfare, which was launched in earnest in 1979 by the new regime in Iran, will go on indefinitely since the Jihadists rely on their belief in a Divine mandate to engage in their murderous acts. Islamic Eschatology (teachings about the End Times) bolsters their beliefs, by painting a vivid picture of the violence that would attend the triumph of Islam globally.
As mentioned in my Introduction, while the early conquests of Islam took place rapidly, nevertheless, the Christian West stopped them at Tours, France, and at Vienna, Austria. Nowadays, the West’s secularized worldview keeps its leaders from realizing that Islam has resumed its Jihad against the West. To protect the West against this new kind of asymmetrical warfare, is to call it by its true name.
The URL for the Bipartisan Policy Center event on 11 September 2018 is: