Today, September 11, 2013, is a solemn day of remembrance for Americans. Or, at least it should be. For many of our fellow citizens, and for most of those who work inside the D.C. Beltway, the remembrance takes on a Kafkaesque quality. Yes, they too remember the 2,977 victims of this aerial jihad, but they have reduced in their minds the jihad to some generic extreme act of terrorism, without source, without doctrine, without purpose.
To be sure, we will all remember the innocent victims of 9/11/01. Indeed, we now have the Benghazi 9/11 victims to recall as well. Along with the U.S.S. Cole victims, the U.S. embassy bombing in Lebanon victims, the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon victims, the Fort Hood “Workplace Violence” attack victims, the Boston Marathon bombing victims, and many many more.
But, what is astounding about so many Americans and especially about our political leadership from both parties and the massive national security bureaucracies they now employ to keep us safe presumably is the absolute disconnect, or fear, to see the Islamic elephant in the room and around the globe. Terrorists who murder in the name of Islam are jihadists or mujahideen, as they term themselves. The doctrine they all follow, even though they speak different languages, come from different countries and cultures, and even from different Islamic sects, is sharia or Islamic law. Hundreds of millions of Muslims understand this law as binding on them as a matter of religious divine dictate and they also understand that it requires a global political hegemony called a caliphate where every man, woman and child is ruled by sharia. That is, if you blaspheme Allah, the Prophet, Islam, or the Umma, you may very well be subject to death. We of course call this blasphemy free speech. If you apostatize from Islam, you will be subject to death. We of course call this apostasy religious freedom.
Now, to be sure, there are presumably hundreds of millions of men, women, and children who consider themselves Muslims and practitioners of Islam who reject classical, traditional, and authoritative sharia. They wish to be peaceful and respectful of others. But even granting this as empirically true, all that means is that there is an Islam that seeks global dominion through violence if necessary, and another Islam beating in the hearts of otherwise good people. Moreover, a studied or even a quick look at the Muslim world demonstrates beyond any reasonable argument that the politicized, militarized, violent, and aggressive Islam is dominant, or at least, dominating events across the Muslim world and wrecking havoc in our Western world.
Yet, the Beltway types and the leftists and even the libertarian types refuse to acknowledge what we all see daily in the news. They claim these acts are not of the “true” Islam. The problem they have, of course, is that they cannot tell us how to distinguish true Islam from untrue Islam without relying on an incoherent tautology. That is, when asked how they know which is “true” Islam, they say it is the one they deem peaceful. The problem with this definitional bootstrapping beyond the illogic of it all is that the politicized, militarized, violent, and aggressive Islam has the better doctrinal and historical pedigree. Moreover, muscled Islam also seems to have captured the hearts, even if only passively, of a solid majority of the Muslims who have been surveyed around the Muslim world. Thus, year after year, survey after survey, a majority of Muslims tell us that they desire a global caliphate ruled by sharia, imposing capital punishment for blasphemers and apostates.
So, how is it possible that we don’t remember this connection to Islam on 9/11? The answer my friends is not blowing in the wind. It is the existential truth that is now the progressive West. We hold no truths to be self-evident except that there are no truths, at least there are no truths that cannot be quantified by mathematical physics. If a thing cannot be measured or placed within a probability equation, it is no longer certain and it must therefore be belief. Beliefs, or what we typically call in modern parlance, opinions, are notoriously uncertain, fleeting, and malleable. Our “belief” in the uniqueness and the superiority of our country, of our political system, of Western civilization is no longer an article of faith, and thus true. It is but one opinion among many other equally uncertain opinions or beliefs. Who are we to judge Islam or jihad? Let’s just reduce it all to body counts and call it a kind of extremism or generic terror or workplace violence. It is not for us to look up from the sand in which we’ve buried our heads to see the rampaging Islamic elephant.
We shall not judge another man’s Islamic beliefs. No, we shall only remember things that can be measured. All else, Gd, family, country, these things have no truth of existence based in a common Judeo-Christian faith. They are to be reduced to “things” that can be measured and reconfigured like a mathematical equation. What was once our Founders’ Gd, is now humanism. What was once our beloved and sacred country, is now the Global Village predicated upon transnationalism devoid of borders and full of merely temporarily undocumented workers. What was once our family, is now torn asunder and reduced to body counts of two things, be they men, women, or presumably any two (or more?) bodies moving in time and space.
With so many “things” to remember and no faith to anchor our existence, with but beliefs and random opinions to be counted daily by pollsters to tell us the “truth” of the numbers, is it hard to understand why we don’t remember what needs to be remembered on 9/11?