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When Will Our Leaders Get The Message Of 9/11?

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in New York, struck the Pentagon in Washington, DC and brought down United Airlines Flight 93 in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, President George W. Bush said: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."

Time and again since President Bush spoke those words events have proven him wrong, yet American political 911 memorialand military leaders persist in trying to sell – and perhaps believing – that “Islam is peace.”

What those who are ignorant of Islam – as President Bush obviously was – fail to grasp is that the peace that Muslims value and claim to stand for is the peace of the Ummah – the worldwide community of Islam – not peaceful coexistence with those of other faiths or those who have no faith at all.

Believing the lie that “Islam is a religion of peace” is why President Trump’s current national security team – or more correctly the Obama holdovers running Trump’s national security operation – are such a threat to our ability to even hold our own in the war that was joined on 9/11, let alone win it.

They don’t seem to see the nexus between the fact that the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that one of the purposes of the IRI is to spread Islam throughout the world and Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and draw the obvious conclusion that it is in pursuit of that goal, not for the purposes of self-defense, that Iran is pursuing its nuclear weapons and missile program.

However, terrorism and nuclear weapons aren’t the only, or even the most effective, weapon Islam has deployed to undermine America and American values; the export of Sharia through cultural jihad and the doctrine of hijra – invasion through immigration – have been much more effective.

And in that form of warfare, our “friends” the Saudis are certainly not proponents of a religion of peace.

For more than two centuries, Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia's dominant faith. It is an austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don't practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies.

So, to be strictly accurate, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and the Islamic State aren’t radical Islamic terrorists; they are Wahhabis or Salafists.

And as Ali al-Ahmed, a Shi'a Muslim who grew up in Saudi Arabia, told NPR's Frontline, the “religious curriculum in Saudi Arabia teaches you that people are basically two sides: Salafis [Wahhabis], who are the winners, the chosen ones, who will go to heaven, and the rest. The rest are Muslims and Christians and Jews and others.”

Students in Saudi Arabia are told, “They are either kafirs, who are deniers of God, or mushrak, putting gods next to God, or enervators, that's the lightest one. The enervators of religion who are they call the Sunni Muslims who ... for instance, celebrate Prophet Mohammed's birthday, and do some stuff that is not accepted by Salafis.”

And observed Ali al-Ahmed, “all of these people are supposed to be hated, to be persecuted, even killed. And we have several [Muslim] clergy -- not [just] one Salafi clergy -- who have said that against the Shi'a and against the other Muslims. And they have done it in Algeria, in Afghanistan. This is the same ideology. They just have the same opportunity. They did it in Algeria and Afghanistan, and now New York…

Wahhabism's explosive growth began in the 1970s when, as NPR observed in a Frontline analysis, Saudi charities started funding Wahhabi schools (madrassas) and mosques from Islamabad to Culver City, California.

The reach of the Saudis has been stunning, reported the New York Times, touching nearly every country with a Muslim population, from the Gothenburg Mosque in Sweden to the King Faisal Mosque in Chad, from the King Fahad Mosque in Los Angeles to the Seoul Central Mosque in South Korea.

Support has come from the Saudi government; the royal family; Saudi charities; and Saudi-sponsored organizations including the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the International Islamic Relief Organization, providing the hardware of impressive edifices and the software of preaching and teaching.

The result of lavish spending on religious outreach for half a century, estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. The result has been amplified by guest workers, many from South Asia, who spend years in Saudi Arabia and bring Saudi ways home with them.

In many countries, Wahhabist preaching has encouraged a harshly judgmental religion, contributing to majority support in some polls in Egypt, Pakistan and other countries for stoning for adultery and execution for anyone trying to leave Islam.

In the realm of extremist Islam, the Saudis are “both the arsonists and the firefighters,” said William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar. “They promote a very toxic form of Islam that draws sharp lines between a small number of true believers and everyone else, Muslim and non-Muslim,” he said, providing ideological fodder for violent jihadists. Yet at the same time, “they’re our partners in counterterrorism,” said Mr. McCants.

The President’s advisers, who want to convince Americans that the problem is “Radical Islamic Terrorism” and not the teachings of Islam and the doctrine of cultural jihad, will try to rebut this argument by saying the Saudi government has condemned what happened on September 11 and other terrorist acts and even now is funding the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology that the President lauded in his remarks in Riyadh.

The Saudis are now our partners in combatting terrorism as a matter of self-preservation, not because they have suddenly abandoned the Wahhabist teachings they have spent billions spreading around the globe.

We believe that President Trump is personally committed to winning the war Islam has declared on the West, and from that perspective he would be well-served by ignoring H.R. McMaster and listening to what Ali al-Ahmed told NPR:

Yes, Prince Nayif [of Saudi Arabia] condemned bin Laden, and other princes... Prince Turki condemned bin Laden. They did not condemn that message. They condemned bin Laden. …Bin Laden learned this in Saudi Arabia. He didn't learn it in the moon. That message that Bin Laden received, it still is taught in Saudi Arabia. And if bin Laden dies, and this policy or curriculum stays, we will have other bin Ladens.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Generals Nicholson and Votel apparently understand nothing about Islam and its core beliefs and values, because it appears they really believe that that Islam is a religion of peace, that the Iranians want peace and will abide by the nuclear weapons deal Obama gave them and that through the sacrifice of an unknown number of more American lives in Afghanistan they can negotiate a political settlement in Afghanistan that includes the Salafist Taliban.

In so believing they’ve failed to grasp the essential lesson of 9/11: Islam is a religion of peace only in the sense that the world will enjoy peace only when the Ummah encompasses the whole world, and all its peoples have the peace that living under Islam allegedly bestows.

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