Controversy has erupted just weeks before the May 21, 2014 formal opening of the 9/11 Museum beneath the World Trade Center Plaza. The source of this imbroglio is a brief documentary film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” which apparently confirms that the mass murderous September 11, 2001 attacks were motivated by the ideology of jihad. As the New York Times’ Sharon Offerman observed on 4/23/14:
The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum. But it has over the last few weeks suddenly become a flash point in what has long been one of the most highly charged issues at the museum: how it should talk about Islam and Muslims.
What Offerman alludes to as a “flash point” is actually a threadbare effort—linking the irrefragably jihadist organization Al-Qaeda, and Islam’s institution of jihad war—to push back against the relentless campaign of doctrinal and historical negationism waged by Muslim and non-Muslim apologists for Islam.
Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, who was interviewed by Offerman for her story, epitomizes this negationist trend in all its brazen hypocrisy. Ahmed opined,
The terrorists need to be condemned and remembered for what they did. But when you associate their religion with what they did, then you are automatically including, by association, one and a half billion people who had nothing to do with these actions and who ultimately the U.S. would not want to unnecessarily alienate.
The namesake for Ahmed’s American University “Chair,” Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), was a seminal Muslim historian, and jurist, who wrote the following about jihad, summarizing six centuries of prior, well-established Islamic jurisprudence:
In the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force… The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
Ahmed’s strident, pseudo-academic disingenuousness, and the documentary film kerfuffle, notwithstanding, the 9/11 Museum’s exhibit also obfuscates the nexus between Islam, and the cataclysmic jihad terror attacks nearly 13 years ago. This guiding mentality of pious cultural relativism was made explicit by Joseph C. Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum:
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.
Mr. Daniels and the entire 9/11 Museum organization must be made aware, repeatedly, of the following:
- How Sheik Muhammad al-Gameia (Gamei’a) —who on September 11, 2001, was an Egyptian imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, and the American emissary from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the pinnacle of religious authority, and education, in Sunni Islam—characterized the 9/11 attacks, during an October 4, 2001 interview, in Egypt. (Original Arabic interview here; Translated extracts here)
- Frank analyses of the doctrine and history of jihad, a living Islamic institution.
- Data on contemporary global jihad terrorism, which validates this doctrinal and historical legacy of jihad, and provides the ongoing, expansive “context” for the Al-Qaeda-orchestrated carnage of 9/11/2001.
Moreover, Daniels and the 9/11 Museum should be consistently encouraged to add this material (and other similar materials) to future “updates” of the exhibit.
Since its founding in 973 C.E., Al Azhar University (and its mosque) have represented the apogee of Islamic religious education, which evolved into the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam.Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Al-Gameia, the Al-Azhar University representative in the U.S., and Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, was interviewed for an Al-Azhar University website, on October 4, 2001. Sheikh Gameia returned to Egypt after September 11, 2001 alleging, without any substantiation, that he was being “harassed.”
Gameia’s interview (original Arabic; extracts translated here) was rife with conspiratorial Islamic antisemitism, which riveted upon his invocation of the central Koranic motifs of Jew-hatred. Al-Azhar’s representative to the U.S. melded this sacralized anti-Jewish bigotry to virulent calumnies against Americans, and threats to the U.S.—witless “dupes” of the Zionist Jews.
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