I’m writing these words in the wee hours of Tuesday, September 11th, 2012.
The same date eleven years ago was also a Tuesday, and the two days look to be similar in other respects. According to the weather forecast, today will be bright and sunny, with low humidity and a high in the mid-70s. New York City will be a couple of degrees cooler.
So the day appears to be a carbon copy of September 11, 2001. Except, of course, that the people who live west of the Hudson River won’t see the twin towers of the World Trade Center silhouetted against the sunrise when they wake up a few hours from now.
After eleven years I still remember exactly what I was doing that morning, and how the day unfolded. I expect most Americans who were ten or older at the time can say the same — just as we geezers have held on to our memories of November 22 1963 with such clarity for almost five decades.
That makes two such grim days within my own lifetime. How many more will there be before I shuffle off to that great keyboard in the sky?
My uncle will turn ninety in a few weeks. Over the course of his adult life he’s seen Pearl Harbor, D-Day, V-E Day, V-J Day, the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, and 9-11. That’s an awful lot of portent to pack into a single lifetime.
Almost half of those memorable days were happy occasions. Me, I’ve got the moon landing — and that may be the best I get, given current trends in public affairs.
A lot of things have changed in the past eleven years. My hair is nearly white now, and my joints complain a bit when I get out of bed in the morning. My presbyopia is so bad that I need this big old monitor to see what I’m doing. My “hippie ears” have gotten worse, so that I tend to say “Pardon me?” more than I did back in 2001.
My kid has gone to college, graduated from college, gone to grad school, finished grad school, and is now out on his own. All in just eleven years!
But what has really changed in the last decade-plus-one is my knowledge of Islam.
I didn’t know a whole lot about the PBUH prophet back then. My readings in history had taught me that Islam was spread by the sword, and my reading of V.S. Naipaul’s Among the Believers had taught me that Islamic scripture demanded the killing of infidels. But other than that I hadn’t paid much attention to it. When I was working in Northern Virginia, I saw the halal grocery stores in Annandale and Falls Church, but I didn’t attach any special significance to them.
But that was then, and this is now.
Now I know far more than I want to know about Islam. I know about taqiyya, and dhimmis, and the jizya, and Koran 4:34. I know about Aisha and Lepanto and the Sword Sura and the heaps of skulls in Macedonia and the Punjab.
I wish I didn’t know these things. I didn’t set out to acquire such knowledge. I just started reading blog posts and then writing them, and exchanging emails with people who knew more than I did. One thing led to another, and now here I am in 2012, burdened down with hideous, vile, loathsome facts about what has been happening for the last 1400 years.
Facts whose truth cannot be denied.
Facts I would rather forget.
These past eleven years comprise less than one percent of those fourteen centuries. We’ve come a long way since the days of the hijra, and I’m willing to bet we’ve got a long way to go before we can take a deep draught of nepenthe and happily consign all those painfully acquired facts to the oubliette of history.
For a while after 9-11 it really seemed that the West might wake up to the threat posed by the Islamic invasion. But then George W. Bush invented the Religion of Peace and told us that the enemy was a bunch of “extremists”. If we invaded the right countries and delivered enough JDAMs to the right targets, the war would be won.
Osama bin Laden is dead. So we’re finished, right? The threat from the “radicals” has passed, hasn’t it?
With every country we invade or assist, we create new legions of Muslim refugees. Being generous by nature, we feel compelled to import them into the USA. First Somalia, then Afghanistan and Iraq. And, since the Arab Spring has now taken hold, we can expect Tunisians, Egyptians, and Libyans. Coming soon: Syrians!
The result? The number of mosques in the United States has nearly doubled in the last eleven years. And New York City is #1 in mosque construction.
Will the next set of twin towers in New York City be gigantic minarets?
The average American seems not to realize that the office workers, the firemen, and the police officers weren’t the only figures that came staggering out of that choking dust cloud eleven years ago in Lower Manhattan. The mujahideen were walking right there beside them, and they’ve spread out across America and the rest of the Western world in the years since.
Not all of them wear masks and carry AK-47s. Many of them wear business suits and have engineering degrees. Some speak well and get elected to public office.
But it’s still jihad. And their goal — the world Caliphate — is well-attested in their own writings, if we would only take the trouble to have a look.
9-11 didn’t slow down the Great Jihad. If anything, it accelerated it, because so many well-meaning Americans were determined to prove how tolerant and inclusive they were. They felt compelled to allow more Muslims into the country, engage in more outreach, and share their worship spaces with their fellow “Abrahamic” believers.
How many veiled women did you see on the streets of your town in 2000? And how many do you see today?
So, as yet another bright and tenebral September 11th dawns, let’s consider how we might possibly turn the tide. This isn’t a matter of maintaining a strong military — although that is absolutely necessary — or blowing up terrorists in Waziristan.
This is about stopping stealth Islamization right here at home. It means educating our fellow citizens, somehow, against all the odds, about what has been happening to them while they weren’t paying attention. About the world they will bequeath to their children and grandchildren thirty or forty years from now.
Yes, it seems an impossible task. But so did Omaha Beach on D-Day.
I doubt I’ll make it through the surf, but some of you youngsters will. Don’t lose your climbing gear — you’ll need it when you get to that cliff.