NER, By Jerry Gordon:
Anyone who witnessed the events of 9/11, what we described as the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century”, that took the lives of 3000 innocent people, knows the truth about what motivated the 19 Al Qaeda perpetrators from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It was radical Islam or Islamist terrorism spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood rejectionist doctrine of Egyptian Sayyid Qutb grounded in doctrinal Islam. Over the 13 years since those horrific events on 9/11, that took down the iconic twin towers in lower Manhattan, there have been continuing efforts by Muslim and fringe groups to suggest otherwise. Even to the point of engaging in blood libel, accusing Israel of perpetrating the attack. Bizarre Truthers even suggested that the CIA might have been involved. Those untruths are reflective of a disturbing aspect of Islamic Doctrine, taqiyyah – religiously sanctioned dissimilitude and kitman, omission of facts. That is reflected in obfuscation and outright denial of Jihad, calling it the inner struggle, instead of warfare against non-believers in furtherance of conquest of Dar al Harb, the realm of war.
Benighted Muslim and non-Muslim interfaith groups have made these articles of dialog. They propound the view that it was Al Qaeda terrorism and not Islam that former President Bush declared on 9/12 in a tableau at the Washington Islamic Center was a religion of peace. Hardly the case with more than 23,000 attacks since 9/11 against non-Muslims and nominal Muslims across the Umma, the global community of believers. One only has to bring up the images of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram – rejecting the West – slaughtering thousands in the areas of Nigeria that divide the Islamic north from the Animist Christian South. Or the burning of Churches in Egypt and extrajudicial violence perpetrated by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists against Coptic women. Or the beheading of Catholic priests in Syria by Al Qaeda affiliates, the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Then there are the attacks on Christians in Pakistan. In both Canada and America we have witnessed the honor killings of Muslim wives and daughters by professing Muslim fathers and husbands.
Which brings us to the matter of the controversy over the 7 minute film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda” produced by the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The film endeavors to tell the truth about the motivation of the 19 Jihadists who perpetrated the deaths of thousands of innocents in Lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia and in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A fateful late summer day in 2001 that is forever riveted in the minds of all who witnessed the horror up close and from afar.
The New York Times in a report in today’s edition noted the controversy over the film’s imagery:
The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations
The controversy was created by a review of the film by a panel from the Interfaith Center in New York led by its executive director, Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal priest and daughter of US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She who had ministered to the injured and families of survivors following 9/11. The controversy followed the comments in a letter to the Museum’s director by a panel member Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy of the Masjid Manhattan Mosque who wrote:
The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum. Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.
In a separate interview, Elazabawy was reported to have said:
Don’t tell me this is an Islamist or an Islamic group; that means they are part of us. We are all of us against that.
Joseph Daniels, President of the non-profit museum issued a statement in rebuttal to Sheik Elazabawy, noted by the New York Times article on the controversy, saying:
From the very beginning, we had a very heavy responsibility to be true to the facts, to be objective, and in no way smear an entire religion when we are talking about a terrorist group.
What helps me sleep at night is I believe that the average visitor who comes through this museum will in no way leave this museum with the belief that the religion of Islam is responsible for what happened on 9/11. We have gone out of the way to tell the truth.
9/11 families had reviewed the film and expressed some disquiet over the content. But it was left to the Interfaith Center panel who reviewed the film and related exhibit at the Museum to create the controversy. As the New York Times report noted they were pleased with pictures of grieving Muslims and the comments of US Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim. However, what really disturbed the interfaith panel were the uses of the terms “Jihadists’ and “Islamism” that they conveyed in a letter on Monday to the Museum director and staff.
The Interfaith Center was previously involved in the support for the controversial Lower Manhattan Mosque, the so-called Cordoba Initiative championed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Last night, Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News’, The Kelly Files, weighed into the controversy of the Museum 9/11 film, especially the obsessive public correctness of the Interfaith Center panel and its leader, Rev. Chloe Breyer. Kelly, who had previously tackled the Honor Diaries, a Clarion Project film, and the CAIR contretemps, brought back into the discussion Brooke Goldstein of The Lawfare Project. She ably contested the arguments by Breyer and Sheik Elazabawy of the Interfaith Center panel. The contrasts between the positions of Rev. Breyer and Goldstein were stark. Breyer supported the Interfaith panel and Elazabawy’s requests for redaction of the Museum film, while Goldstein vigorously and effectively argued that you cannot deny the truth of the extremist Islamic doctrine that motivated the 9/11 perpetrators to commit mass murder.
Watch this You Tube video of Fox News host of The Kelly Files, Megyn Kelly’s interview with Rev. Breyer of the Interfaith Center and Brooke Goldstein of The Lawfare project:
We will publish an interview with Ms. Goldstein about this and related issues of Lawfare in the May edition of the New English Review.