The September 11, 2001 jihad terror attacks were twenty-one years ago, and Americans have moved on. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) was widely ridiculed and even reviled a few years ago for breezily characterizing 9/11 as the day when “some people did something,” but she has had the last laugh: the coverage of the attacks every year is a study in avoidance, with the establishment media focusing on anything and everything besides the motivating ideology and goals of the attackers. As always, the media’s favorite preoccupation is the persistence of Muslim victimhood: every 9/11 anniversary, we’re inundated with stories about how Muslims suffered on that day, and continue to suffer, from racist and unwarranted suspicion that has made their lives in America, a land to which they came with so much hope, a veritable living hell.
Another conspicuous omission is coverage of the persistence of the threat of which 9/11 was one manifestation. Most Americans assume that that threat, insofar as it ever existed, has passed, and no longer need trouble anyone. Recently an emailer taunted me by informing me that I was “very 2005,” and I got the point: sounding the alarm about the jihad threat at this late date? Really? It would seem passé to me also, in this age of the confidently advancing authoritarianism of the Left, to tout the global jihad as a threat to freedom today, were it not for the fact that there are still jihad terror attacks every day, more than I am able to report on. And for another reason as well.
What many people who are well aware of the menace the Left’s thirst to crush dissent poses for free people everywhere, fewer are aware of the reason for the persistent fact that puzzles so many people: why Leftists are generally so contemptuous of Christianity and determined to snuff it out, while so welcoming and even obsequious toward Islam. The answer lies in their shared tendency toward authoritarianism and totalitarianism. A hadith puts into Muhammad’s mouth the saying, “You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.” (Bukhari 9.93.7142) This statement has become notorious because of its casual racism: the most outlandish ruler Muhammad can think of, and the one who appears to be least worthy of obedience, is a black man. Overlooked, however, is the absolutism of Muhammad’s statement: one must obey the ruler even when the ruler appears absurd and unworthy of obedience.
How convenient such a statement is for those forces in the world today who wish us to accept the Left’s absurd rule today, with all the reality-denying claims that go with it: men can become women, drag queens belong in primary schools, the ridiculous dementia patient in the White House is a competent and capable leader, and all the rest of it. Throughout its history, Islam has lent itself to authoritarian rule, with Turkey being the sole example of a secular republic in a majority-Muslim state, and a poor example at best, as modern Turkey was founded upon an explicit rejection of political Islam, and now Turkish secularism is rapidly eroding under pressure from its Islamizing president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It’s understandable, then, that those who wish to crush all opposition to their rule would see that crushing religion itself is impossible, but that one religion above all the others will give them a docile, obedient population, as long as its own freedom to grow is respected. No problem there, as far as the Leftist political elites are concerned; they’re happy to foster Islam’s growth in the West, so as to break down the free societies they hate so much and complete their victory over the Judeo-Christian tradition that has given the world such inconvenient notions as the irreducible dignity of every human person. So the propaganda media establishment gives us endless stories of the benign and beneficial aspects of Islam, and of the victimhood of Muslims at the hands of white, racist, Christian “Islamophobes,” and the magnificent contributions of Islam to human civilization. It’s all meant to quiet resistance to their mass migration agenda, as well as ultimately to their crushing of the freedom of speech. And it’s working well.
As a result of all this, 21 years after 9/11, most people assume that sounding a warning about the jihad threat is as unwarranted and in poor taste as sounding a warning about imperial Japan would have been on December 7, 1962. But by 1962, imperial Japan was a dimming memory. The jihad, with help from its powerful Leftist friends, continues to advance. That advance will eventually become clear to everyone who dismisses and denies it now, but by then, there will be no time for reconsideration or recriminations.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 25 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.