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After 9/11, the normal and decent question that normal and decent people — people who fully and happily recognize the existence of vast numbers of normal and decent Muslims in the world — would have posed is this: What has happened in the Arab world and parts of the Muslim world?
But as this, the most obvious question that 9/11 prompted, has not been allowed to be asked, what lessons can possibly be learned?
The answer is, of course, none.
But that has not stopped our media and academic elites from drawing lessons.
And what are those lessons? One is that America — not the Islamic world — must engage in moral introspection. The other is that we must oppose all expressions of religious extremism — Jewish and Christian as well as Muslim, since, according to the Left, America’s conservative Christians are as much a threat to humanity as are extremist Muslims.
Perhaps the best-known exponent of these non-lessons has been Karen Armstrong, the widely read religious thinker and former nun. She was invited to give a presentation on compassion at the nation’s religious memorial service this past Sunday. And what was her message?
“9/11 was a revelation of the dangerous polarization of our world; it revealed the deep suspicion, frustration and rage that existed in some quarters of the Muslim world and also the ignorance and prejudice about Islam and Middle Eastern affairs that existed in some quarters of the West …”
There you have it: Muslims have rage and deep suspicion; the West has ignorance and prejudice.
If that’s what the world learns from 9/11, those who died that day died in vain.
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