Eighteen years after the September 11 jihad attacks that murdered nearly three thousand people, this is where we are: the Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church in Michigan has canceled an event called “9/11 forgotten? Is Michigan surrendering to Islam” under pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. And so the answers are clear: yes, 9/11 has been forgotten, and Michigan is indeed surrendering to Islam.
The event was to feature an ex-Muslim, Shahram Hadian, speaking on “How the Interfaith Movement is Sabotaging America and the Church” and economist and investigative reporter Jim Simpson discussing “How Islam is Destroying America from Within.” The event will go on tonight as a webinar, but it will not take place at the church, despite the fact that last week, the church’s pastor, Donald McKay, denied that it was an “anti-Muslim” event: “Islam is a growing threat in the United States of America,” said McKay. “We don’t hate Muslims, we hate the ideology they are identified with.”
The distinction McKay made, however, made no difference whatsoever. Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter, fumed: “We find it incredibly irresponsible for a church to invite someone who has the objective of spewing clear anti-Muslim bigotry.” Two Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Michigan, Andy Levin and Debbie Dingell, issued a joint statement admonishing the church that there is “no place for hate in Metro Detroit, in Michigan or anywhere in the United States. We implore the Bloomfield Baptist Church to forgo the anti-Muslim events planned for next week and instead recognize America’s rich cultural and religious diversity as we reflect on one of the most painful days in our country’s history and heal from recent acts of white supremacist violence.”
So evidently Walid, Levin, and Dingell believe that it is “anti-Muslim” “hatred” and “bigotry” to oppose an ideology that calls for warfare against and the subjugation of those who don’t accept it, denies the freedom of speech and equality of rights of women, and is inveterately anti-Semitic. This demonstrates clearly that all these years after 9/11, the victory of the forces of jihad is nearly complete, at least in terms of our ability to discuss the ideology of those who attacked New York City and Washington, D.C., on that day.
If Michigan and the rest of the United States have surrendered to Islam, in the sense of not being able to study the motivating ideology behind jihad terror, that surrender began on September 17, 2001, when President George W. Bush appeared at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., in the company of several prominent Muslim leaders, and said: “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that….The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”
As Americans still searched the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center for the remains of their loved ones, President Bush cautioned Americans against thinking ill of Muslims, as if the 9/11 attacks had been perpetrated by Americans targeting Muslims, rather than by Islamic jihadis targeting American landmarks and civilians: “Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value. I’ve been told that some fear to leave; some don’t want to go shopping for their families; some don’t want to go about their ordinary daily routines because, by wearing cover, they’re afraid they’ll be intimidated. That should not and that will not stand in America,” said Bush.
These remarks were extremely curious. Muslims were not being subjected to wholesale vigilante attacks in the United States, at that time or at any point subsequently. Yet Bush was by no means alone. Political leaders all over the West echoed his words about Islam being a religion of peace, having nothing to do with terrorism. After September 11, this became a commonplace of the Western political discourse, rejected only by a small minority, who were quickly stigmatized as cranks.
Eighteen years later, it is clear: Bush’s speech set the pattern. After every jihad attack, non-Muslim leaders have followed his example, making it their highest priority to affirm that Islam is peace and that Muslims are victims. Bush deformed the West’s response to the resurgent jihad, and poisoned the public discourse so that attempts to discuss this problem honestly are consigned to the realms of “Islamophobia” and condemned by all right-thinking people.
This could be Bush’s most enduring, and most damaging, legacy. Today, we see it at the Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church in Michigan. The jihad threat can emanate from anywhere the Qur’an and Sunnah are preached and believed. But saying that in America eighteen years after 9/11 won’t result in any public consternation or calls for the monitoring of mosques; it will only get you defamed as a “racist” and an “Islamophobe,” to be dismissed and shunned by all decent people.
9/11 was a great victory for the forces of the global jihad, because since then the principal target of those attacks, the United States government, has been so concerned with not appearing to be “anti-Muslim” and not “going to war with Islam” that it quickly became, and remains, afraid to enunciate, much less to confront, the motivating ideology behind those attacks. And that fear has become a cultural reflex, a habit.
So on this eighteenth anniversary of the murder of nearly three thousand Americans by the warriors of Allah, we can ask the question, “Has Michigan, and has the United States, surrendered to Islam?” And we can answer: most certainly. A group with ties to a jihad terror organization can lobby successfully for the cancelation of an event exploring the ideology held by the 9/11 hijackers, and get approval in doing so from two members of Congress. And perhaps worst of all, no one among the political opponents of these Representatives will dare say a word about this. The submission is bipartisan, and very nearly complete.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.