Liberals may joke about people who live in the sticks – the truck driving, plaid wearing variety. The type that sit on their front porch chewing a blade of grass with a shotgun resting on their lap. They may be labeled as uncultured but they definitely cannot be labeled stupid. If you trespass with intent or resulting damage to their property or persons, you better believe you’ll be at the other end of that barrel.
There’s a lot at stake post 9-11 that’s much more relevant than individual person or property, and that’s the great republic built brick by brick through the culminated sweat and blood of generations of visionary Americans. At its core, America symbolizes freedom and possibility – a dream that reaches the most desolate corners of the world. As with any with dream, there are always those looking to destroy it.
The September 11th attack by 19 Al-Qaeda members was designed to destabilize the foundation of our society. Ten years later, failed American leadership has ensured just that.
Things were arguably pretty bad when Bush was in office; but they worsened with Obama. Bush engaged in questionable and seemingly unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that to date have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 110,000 total to 3,500 civilian deaths respectively. Despite best efforts on the part of sincere individuals working tirelessly to bring about a better tomorrow, Iraqis feel their lives have delved into uncertainty in a post Saddam era; better the devil you know they say. On the Afghan front, a majority the uneducated class left behind after a mass migration in the 70’s and left to suffer a hellish fate, hadn’t even heard of 9-11. Add to their hellish fate a brutal war that will never be won.
With already shredded lives left in ashes after U.S. invasions, with a death toll of over 100,000 compared to our 2,977, it’s clear to see that our leadership didn’t just fail Americans…it failed humanity.
With Obama, some believed “Hope and Change” would fix everything. Though if you strip away a grand national stage showered with rhetoric and glitz, it’s all nothing more than an empty chime drawing in wide-eyed kids. And like the suckers we are, we fell for it again.
Obama made the most fundamental of errors. He surrounded himself with “safe” Muslims by hiring Muslims who fit well into his liberal agenda. He ordered a change in the language we used to deal with terrorism by dropping references to Islamic extremism and eradicating the phrase “war on terror” – though he and press secretary Robert Gibbs stumbled a few times leading us to think that it’s more show than policy.
“The threat to the United States has grown exponentially in ten years. A report from the Department of Justice in March of 2010 showed that of 228 terror-related arrests 186 of them were Muslim. That is over 80 percent from a Muslim community that represents less than 2 percent of the U.S. population.
What this report does not tell us is that of the 186 Muslim arrests almost certainly all of them were Muslims that believed in and adhered to an Islamist ideology. Since this report we have seen upwards of another 28 terror-related arrests of Muslims including the likes of Faisal Shahzad — the Times Square bomber — and Pvt. Naser Abdo who was preparing a second attack on Fort Hood who both claimed to be “Muslim soldiers” fighting for the ummah (Muslim nation).
The threat is increasing because the ideological message has largely gone unchecked. To change that we need to empower reform-minded liberal Muslim leaders. We need the political will from the Administration and Congress to identify political Islam as the problem and devout reformist Muslims and enlightened Islam as the solution. We need our government, media, and academe to have the skill set to not cower when terms like “Islamophobia” are leveled against those who are smart enough and brave enough to call out political Islam as the problem and we need for Muslims to separate religion and state to defeat Islamism. Unless we do that, our “whack-a-mole” approach to security will eventually miss one.”
If there’s anything to be taken from this it’s that the solution lays in empowering Muslims reformers – not in avoiding truthful dialogue, not in entrapment, not in blanket surveillance of Muslim communities, and certainly not in playing into delusions of Muslim victimization.
According to Paul Achter, associate professor of rhetoric and communication at the University of Richmond, Virginia, “television news producers, political leaders, and others have a role in shaping what is shared and how it is presented. “They can’t prescribe history, but they can set the agenda.’ That, in turn, can sway viewers’ ideologies.”
It would seem then that America is struggling with systems of ideology – Islamic fundamentalism and their own struggle to make it through the next decade. For now it seems America is losing both battles.
9-11 will eventually become a calendar footnote as each passing year dims our memory just a little more until the last generation witness to it also fades. What is for certain though is that the events set in motion by that tragic day have forever changed the American (and Muslim) landscape.
Ninteen terrorists aimed to shake the bedrock of American society – and they have. I don’t think they expected their acts to also affect Islam – which it has. Islam has never evolved as quickly or as dramatically as it has in the last ten years. Those who deny the possibility of an Islamic reformation simply need to see how much the dialogue has evolved, how many more Muslims are gaining a voice, whatever it may be and whatever their shortcomings in seizing the full potential of that opportunity.
An Islamic reformation was sparked by 9-11. It remains to be seen if an American Reformation is in the cards as well – but that would first require genuine leadership.