On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Education published a video entitled, “Culturally Responsive and Inclusive 9/11 Commemoration,” detailing how Virginia public school teachers should handle the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 jihad terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. The emphasis on that day and thereafter must not be on the ideology of the attackers or the ongoing jihad terror threat; rather, the focus is entirely on acknowledging and eradicating what the video calls “anti-Muslim racism.”
The video is narrated by a hijab-wearing woman, Amaarah DeCuir, who describes herself as “Professorial Lecturer, School of Education, American University & Paragon Education Consulting, President.” One would think that with all her expertise, Ms. DeCuir would know the elementary fact that Islam is not a race, and that there are Muslims, and Islamic jihadis, of all races. And of course she does know that, but she is operating in this video on the basis of the Leftist contention that opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women really stems from an irrational animus against Muslims as a people, and hence is a “racialized” form of “hatred.”
Yes, it’s toxic nonsense, but that’s the Left for you. In any case, Virginia public schools that implement DeCuir’s recommendations (and since the Virginia Department of Education published her video, it would appear that the department wants that to be all of them) will give students a presentation on the twentieth anniversary of the worst attacks ever on American soil that will portray Muslims as the primary victims of those attacks, and make herculean efforts to deflect attention away from the extremely inconvenient fact that the attacks were perpetrated in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings.
If you doubt that fact, note that in March 2009, five masterminds of the 9/11 plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin As-Shibh, Walid bin ‘Attash, Mustafa Ahmed AI-Hawsawi, and ‘Ali ‘abd Al-’Aziz ‘Ali – styling themselves as the “9/11 Shura Council” – wrote a lengthy communiqué titled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations.” In it, they called the 9/11 attacks an “act of Jihad,” and explained: “The Jihad in god’s [sic] cause is a great duty in our religion.” They quoted numerous Qur’an verses, including the notorious “Verse of the Sword”: “Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush” (9:5) and another enjoining Muslims to “strike terror into the heart of the enemies of Allah” (8:60).
Attorney and columnist Marina Medvin, who broke the story of this video, notes that the 9/11 Commission Report “mentions ‘Islam’ over 1,000 times and the word ‘Muslim’ over 1,000 times,” for obvious reasons. But Virginia students will learn nothing about any of that. Instead, they’ll be taught about “phobias stemming from 9/11,” “anti-Muslim racism spikes,” and the evils of the fictional “Muslim Ban.” DeCuir offers as an example of “harmful teaching” any “teaching about Islam and/or Muslims” in connection with 9/11, except, evidently, insofar as Muslims were victims of the American response to the attacks.
All of this is designed to help teachers “disrupt anti-Muslim racism by implementing existing district anti-bullying policies.” The video offers three examples of Muslim students who claim to have faced this bullying. One says: “9/11 every single year is so awkward…the administrators would be like, ‘On this fateful day, this happened’…then the Muslim jokes would come up, like ‘don’t blow us up. Don’t do this.’ When I was younger it bothered me, but now I’m desensitized to it.”
Well, that’s a shame. Certainly, schools should do what they can to avoid bullying of all kinds. They should also remember a truth that has been lost: Children are often cruel to one another on whatever pretext they can find, and if it isn’t based on one thing, it will be on another. No Muslim students should be bullied. Making all teaching on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 about Muslims being victimized, not just personally but also politically by counterterror measures in the U.S., however, is spectacularly wrongheaded. Students should be taught that no one is guilty of any criminal or terrorist act except those who plotted and perpetrated it. At the same time, students should be taught about the ideological wellsprings of the 9/11 attacks, just as they should be taught about the ideological wellsprings of Pearl Harbor and the Nazi invasion of Poland: so as to work toward ensuring that such acts of violence and hatred are never repeated.
To pretend that 9/11 didn’t spring from beliefs and assumptions that can be found in Islamic teaching is simply to deny reality, and denying reality never ends well. This doesn’t remotely mean that all Muslims are terrorists or that any innocent Muslim should be victimized. But Leftists frequently claim that enunciating truths they don’t wish to acknowledge will result in the victimization of innocent people; they never seem to notice this possibility when it comes to their own poisonous race-baiting and classist rhetoric.
On September 11, 2001, the United States of America was attacked by Islamic jihadis acting in the name of Islam and in the service of its 1,400-year cause. To claim anything else is to outrage the truth, history, and those who have given their lives to defend our beleaguered republic since then, including the 13 service members killed in Kabul on the same day the Virginia Department of Education posted this video.