CHARLOTTE, NC, April 25, 2014 – It hasn’t even opened and already the 9/11 Museum in New York City is embroiled in controversy. Should we have expected anything less?
Once again, Muslim apologists and political correctness are meddling by parsing words about the differences between Al-Qaeda and Islam. The terms in question relate to a seven minute documentary film narrated by news anchor Brian Williams which include Islamists, jihadists and Islamic terrorism.
In a New York Times article by Sharon Otterman, she quotes Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy as saying.“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.”
Elazabawry continued, “…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.”
True, there are nearly one and a half billion Muslims worldwide, the high percentage of whom have no intention of becoming terrorists, However that does not alter the lessons and teachings of Islam and its goals. Consider that more than 22,000 terrorist attacks have taken place around the globe since 9/11/01. Most of which have been perpetuated by Muslims. That is a sobering number, even for the “religion of peace.”
In the film, titled The Rise of Al Qaeda, the 9/11 terrorists are called “Islamists” on a mission of jihad. Prior to its scheduled opening on May 21, museum officials have previewed the film to a number of groups, including an interfaith group comprised of members of the clergy. Despite objections and requests for changes by the interfaith council, the museum declined to alter the contents of the documentary.
“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,” wrote Sheikh Elazabawy in a letter to the museum’s director.
Now there is a unique concept, “greatly offending” Muslims.
Already the 9/11 Museum has removed the term “Islamic terrorism” from its website due to protests from roughly 100 members of academia. The experts say it would be better to describe the 9/11 attackers as “militant jihadists” or “militant/radical Islamists.”
Though Otterman interviewed Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch about his perspective on the controversy, Spencer’s comments were not included in the story. As Spencer explained, the most accurate way to describe the events of 9/11 is to use the words of the terrorists themselves.
At the time of the attacks, the 9/11 Shura Council, which is what the Al-Qaeda plotters called themselves, said “Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause and to defend Islam and Muslims. Therefore, killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion….We ask to be near to God, we fight you and destroy you and terrorize you. The Jihad in god’s (sic) cause is a great duty in our religion.”
There is no distinction in those words which defines the terms requested by academia and clergy for changes In fact, in a letter to the American people by Osama bin Laden in November of 2002 he summed his intentions up in just 11 words, “The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.”
It is hardly an ambiguous statement.
One of the professors from Princeton University who vetted the script had an opposing view.“The critics who are going to say, ‘Let’s not talk about it as an Islamic or Islamist movement,’ could end up not telling the story at all, or diluting it so much that you wonder where Al Qaeda comes from.”
Despite the controversy, Michael Frazer, a spokesman for the museum, emphasizes that the facility has gone out of its way to show that Al-Qaeda represents “a far fringe of Islam.”
President and CEO of the museum, Joseph Daniels, stated 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.”
Thus, Daniels’ words demonstrate that the museum has already capitulated to outside pressure. A museum created to document the events of 9/11, no matter how honest or unbiased, cannot possibly be anything but controversial.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club(www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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