Sometimes posts are just meant to be written. All signs today have pointed to this one, so who am I to resist? It's Friday and it's been a long week.
This morning I read an opinion piece in a Philadelphia newpaper online. The columnist, Stu Bykofsky, wrote a very interesting, thought provoking article with his idea being this country has long forgotten we must be unified in knowing who our true enemy is out there. It is not each other - it is not President Bush, Hillary Clinton, or any other American we might disagree with. The terrorists are our enemies.
Bykofsky's headline read, "To save America, we need another 9/11." I knew what he meant, I in no way thought he meant we 'need' another attack. He meant we must get back to being a unified country, to feel as we did immediately after the attacks of 9/11. Our collective outrage and motivated call to action has been lost.
He rightly says Americans demand quick, easy solutions to big problems. "We like fast food and fast war." The 1991 Gulf War's outcome was declared victorious after 100 hours by former President Bush. Problem is, the war we are undertaking now has no set battleground. It is global, on multiple fronts, with civilians as soldiers.
He has taken a good amount of criticism over the headline of his column. He didn't write the headline, though, someone at the newspaper does that. He is not some blind Bush supporter, either. He points out that the war in Iraq has been badly mishandled, as most Americans now agree, and this has contributed to our national unrest.
Then this morning I tuned into C-SPAN, as I have a habit of doing, and I watched several interesting taped talks before audiences given by western Muslims. Muslims from America and Canada, mostly.
The first was a talk given by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of "Infidel", on 2/13/07 at the American Enterprise Institution where she has a six month fellowship. I have watched previous talks given by her and am always so impressed with her presentation. Ayaan's book tells the story of her life, beginning with her Somalia tribal Muslim life to her 14 years in Amsterdam. She was a colleague of Theo van Gogh, the film maker in Holland who was killed by Muslims. She is a very calm, very well educated and clear in her speaking.
Ayaan told the story of her life to a writer, not wanting to write her own story. It is not a book full of data and statistics, on purpose, just her story. She is worried about the lack of concern by the majority of Americans over the threat of radical Islamists. Complacency is deadly, she said. "The generation of the West who is enjoying all the freedoms is not the ones who built it." "The current generation doesn't know what freedom costs."
She said in Europe, younger, more aggressive Muslims are impatient for the bliss of the Caliphate. In the West, Muslims in the U.S. are older, more financially successful and patient. They are using the means of persuasion though our judicial system, media, universities and are willing to wait for change.
The next was a speech made on 1/22/04 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam". She is a Canadian, born in Uganda, currently a professor at the University of Toronto. She is a different type of speaker, quite animated and coarser in language. She is very entertaining to watch, as I have also seen her several times. She, too, was berating the apathetic feelings of Americans of the coming threats to western ways. She said the IslamoFacists think of Islam as the consummate faith, like God 3.0. They take the chronological timetable literally to mean that the religion of Islam is superior since the Koran comes after the Torah and the Bible.
Irshad said Americans are so apologetic, not wanting to ever offend any one's feelings, that we don't make a convincing case against the ways of radical Islam.
Both women are still Muslims. Both women now must live with security protection due to death threats. Not only are they speaking out in favor of moderate Muslims, true Muslims, but they are also women. The radicals want women covered, silent and in the home.
The third appearance I watched was a conversation with Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Copenhagen newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which published the cartoons of Mohammad from 2/7/06. He apologized for offending some in the Muslim community but said radical Dane Imams were behind the turmoil caused after the cartoons ran 4 months prior to the outcry. He said the Danes didn't have harsh reactions to the newspaper, with a circulation of 160,000 (Denmark's largest), so the radical Imams went on a campaign throughout Europe to stir things up.
A panel was taped on 2/6/06 featuring the American Muslim Society in D.C. at the National Press Club. Their panel was of several speakers, including an American who converted to Islam and is active in the Interfaith Alliance Foundation in Arizona. She was covered and spouting the party line. She angered me to no end. She claimed her organization fights religious discrimination of all religions. And, so did Don Parker, the president of the national Interfaith Alliance Foundation. He said since 9/11 American Muslims have been unfairly targeted for poor treatment. Blah, blah, blah.
Where was the American Muslim Society and Interfaith Alliance Foundation, both claiming to be champions for religious freedom for all and fighting disrespect of any religion when the cross was in a glass of urine, funded by a government grant? Where were they when creches were removed from public squares during Christmas, a Federal holiday with a religious foundation? Where were they when temples and synagogues came under attack from vandals and the gunman in Seattle? Only after the cartoons about Mohammad did we hear from them.
An Arab public school, funded with NYC taxpayer money, with Muslim teachings is being opened in Manhattan. Is this ok with them? The principal resigned today after the ruckus over the t-shirts for the school became known to the public. They said "Intifada NYC" on front of them. She tried to lie about the meaning of the word Intifada. Who will replace her in a school that shouldn't be in existence with public money?
And, last was a talk by Salman Rushdie. "Language is important. You have to name things properly."
Our national lack of unity has not served us well in the war in Iraq, piling onto the poor decisions made by the administration over the past 4 years. Our determination to bow to politically correct speech and actions is the most dangerous of all to our way of life. I would much rather be reading a column with the 9/11 headline than the idiotic, publicity grab by the New York Times with their new blogger, Steven Leavitt, asking for thoughts on how the readers would carry out a terrorist attack on our country.