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Terrorism and the Muslim "Veil"1
Texas A&M University School of Law
Prior to the September 11th terrorist attacks, Americans' limited exposure to Islam was shaped by Orientalist depictions of Arabs as oil rich Gulf Sheikhs, exotic belly dancers, and brutal dictators along the lines of Saddam Hussein and Muʿammar Qadhdhāfī.2 While international terrorism pre-dated 9/11, its association with Islam was often narrowly limited to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.3 On the domestic front, homegrown terrorism evoked images of white males such as Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber.4 Thus, Americans paid little attention to Muslims in the United States, so much so that Arab American Muslims often complained of being an invisible minority.5
The September 11th attacks, however, marked a sea change in the level of scrutiny placed upon Muslims in America.6 The association of Arabs and Muslims with terrorism became the quintessential stereotype evoked in national security debates.7Media images of dark-skinned, bearded Middle Eastern men permeated the mainstream media, allowing for misinformation about Islam as a violent ideology proliferated among Americans otherwise lacking any exposure to Islam, the Middle East, or Muslims.8 Indeed, the word terrorism axiomatically referred to Muslims, notwithstanding the marked growth of militant nativist groups considered to be right wing extremists by the government and anti-hate watch groups.9
While such scapegoating and stereotyping of American minority groups during times of conflict is a staple of American race politics,10 the post-9/11 era was different in that ethnicity, race, andreligion were at play. Not only were Muslims, whether of South Asian, Arab, or other descent, stereotyped as the "Terrorist Other," but the religion of Islam itself was recast as a political ideology as opposed to a religion.11 No longer was Islam viewed as a religion whose adherents deserved legal protection pursuant to freedom of religion principles, but rather Muslims were viewed as political actors whose faith had been constructively evicted from the protected category of religion.12 Once this shift in the public's perception occurred, criticism and adverse treatment of Muslims went from being considered bigotry or unlawful religious discrimination to being patriotic and "smart" national security policy. In the end, it was as if the burden of protecting the nation fell squarely on the few million Muslims in the United States, who were to pay for this security with their civil rights and liberties.
This paradigm shift had far reaching effects on Muslim communities throughout the United States, ranging from heightened government scrutiny in the form of selective criminal and immigration enforcement to private acts of discrimination in the workplace, schools, and public places.13 An oft-overlooked adverse effect of 9/11 is the notable shift in attitudes toward Muslim women from one of pity and patronization to suspicion and resentment.
The Headscarf as a Symbol of Terrorism
One component of the West's Orientalist approach to the Middle East has been its condemnation of the Muslim woman's "veil" as a tool of subjugation within a larger patriarchal structure.14 While patriarchy is certainly a reality within many Middle Eastern societies, for both Christian and Muslim citizens, the Muslim headscarf has been coopted by many women as part of a larger women's rights movement wherein they seek equal educational opportunities, employment, and status as professionals whose contributions to the welfare of the state extend beyond their homes.15 As such, headscarved Muslim women have touted their freedom to move about easily in their societies without the harrowing eye of men seeking to sexualize their bodies.16 They have also boasted feeling self-respect and dignity when wearing the headscarf in accordance with their personal moral beliefs.17 Indeed, the proliferation of the headscarf in countries like Egypt have transformed it into a fashion item whose color and texture matched young women's trendy clothing and glamorous makeup.18 These women incorporated the headscarf into their daily lives as university students, doctors, engineers, and professors, making a symbol of liberation rather than control. Notwithstanding such sociological shifts taking place in some parts of the Middle East, American feminists for the most part continued to deride the "veil" as a tool of oppression.19 That simplistic, dichotomous monologue was the extent to which the Muslim headscarf was discussed within American society.
But the September 11th attacks changed everything. Feminists' anti-subjugation rhetoric became moot and eclipsed by more existential debates about protecting ourselves from the enemies within our borders. An anxious and angry public called for systematic profiling and heightened scrutiny of Muslims.20 The most visible target was the "marked" Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. Suddenly, her headscarf no longer evoked feelings of pity or confusion, but hatred and suspicion. She found herself a target of racial violence in public places and workplace discrimination.21 She feared for the safety of her school-aged children whose teachers and fellow students harbored anti-Muslim sentiment arising from stereotyping in the media.22 And she questioned whether she should give up her religious right to wear the headscarf to preserve her and her families' safety as well as retain employment needed to financially support her household.23 And yet she had few organizations she could turn to in defense of her rights at the intersection of four identities: a Muslim, a woman, a racial or ethnic minority, and usually an immigrant.
Muslim women of color experiences what is known as "intersectional discrimination" in critical race legal theory.24 Intersectionality discrimination goes beyond an aggregation of factors such as race, gender, or religion by acknowledging the discrimination that arises from an interaction of these characteristics.25 Hence, it aims to provide an account of a whole person whose subjectivity is shaped by different discourses in a particular social historical context. As such, the headscarved Muslim woman does not merely face one-dimensional discrimination as a woman, a practicing Muslim, an immigrant, or a person of color. Rather, she faces intersectional discrimination experienced only by "headscarved Muslim women of color."
Muslim headscarved women face multiple stereotypes that portray them as oppressed, subjugated, and coercively domesticated. Since 9/11, she has faced the additional stereotypes of being a disloyal and anti-American terrorist or terrorist-sympathizer.26 Meanwhile, she is subject to the broader societal biases against women that penalizes them for exhibiting behavior associated with men. For instance, women who are assertive and openly ambitious are stereotyped as "bitches," not being a team player, or feeling undeservingly self-entitled. Also, women who do not wear makeup or dress feminine are criticized as unprofessional, masculine, and unappealing. As a result, women in America continue to face challenges in the workplace particularly in terms of equal pay and equal opportunity to high level leadership positions notwithstanding advances in women's rights.27
Intersectional discrimination against Muslim women is manifested in various forms. The most glaring is in public spaces where many headscarved women have found themselves victims of attacks while driving their cars or walking in public.28 The image of the headscarf triggers a violent reaction from strangers who scream out racial and religious epithets such as terrorist, a "f*ing Muslim," along with demands that they "go home" and get out of America. Many Muslim women have their headscarves ripped off by their assailants.29 By late 2010, the frequency of violence committed against Muslim women based on racial and religious animus rose at a troubling rate. In a span of two months, at least six reported cases of hate crimes across the country were committed against Muslim women wearing a headscarf.30
Discrimination against Muslims in employment also rose dramatically after 9/11.31 Many employers have either refused to hire Muslim women applicants who donned the headscarf or changed their policies to coerce their Muslim women employees to remove their headscarves.31 Some used pretextual no-hat policies, while others claimed that the scarf frightened customers and reminded them of 9/11.32 Ironically, the right to work and be economically independent had long been a priority of Western feminists' in their attempts to "save" Muslim women from patriarchy. And yet, Muslim women faced obstacles to employment in the United States while American women's organizations remained deafeningly silent.
But Muslim women's experiences with intersectional discrimination are not limited to mainstream America. They often face obstacles to attaining equality within intra-community hierarchies that limit their influence to subjects affecting the home or children.33 Muslim communities are led predominantly by men who were born and raised abroad in Muslim-majority countries.34 Thus, they incorporate their cultural norms, which range from patriarchal to patronizing, in their dealings with Muslim women. Predominantly male perspectives cause resources to be directed toward forms of discrimination common to Muslim men, thereby obscuring the discrimination experienced by Muslim women. Muslim leaders and spokespersons claim to speak for Muslims, but often fail to incorporate women's perspectives beyond a superficial defense of their right to wear a headscarf. Resources are used to protect the right to build mosques and religious accommodation in the workplace, as well as to counter the media's negative stereotyping of Muslim men.35 In contrast, the focus on discrimination unique to women is often limited to a case-by-case basis rather than a more effective systemic approach with women integrated into the anti-discrimination campaign.
While well-intentioned and pious, many Muslim leaders do not prioritize Muslim women's grievances in their institutional agendas. Whether the issue is equality of facilities in mosques, equal access to mosque boards of directors, or intersectional discrimination by mainstream society, women's priorities rarely make it into Muslim institutions' top initiatives.36
Further complicating the predicament is the onslaught of anti-Muslim prejudice directed at Muslim men and Muslim communities writ large. As communities across the country experience mosque vandalism, hate crimes, forced exile on no-fly lists, profiling in airports, and aggressive law enforcement tactics that border on entrapment,37 intra-community gender rights are quickly marginalized. Therefore, the allegations that internal power struggles are rooted in male dominance, even if true, only reinforce negative stereotypes of (male) Muslims as oppressive, pathologically authoritarian, and deserving of suspicion.
Challenging male patriarchy within the Muslim communities also subjects a woman to allegations of harming the collective interests of Muslims in America—additional harms they cannot afford in light of political and physical attacks by the public and the government. These practical concerns deny Muslim women the ability to contest gender-biased interpretations of religious doctrine and cultural practices thereby stifling a healthy evolution of Islam in America. In the end, the new generation of Muslim women leaders may have little choice but to support defensive strategies that collectively marginalize Muslim women within American Muslim communities.
Rethinking Post-9/11 Leadership Strategies
As the post-9/11 era enters its thirteenth year, the persistent discrimination against Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians can no longer be characterized as mere backlash. Public bias is on the rise, and the government continues to ratchet up its aggressive preventative counterterrorism campaign against Muslims.38 The stereotype of the "Terrorist other" is now deeply entrenched in American race politics. Because women bear a significant brunt of the adverse consequences, a rethinking of post-9/11 civil rights strategies is long overdue.
Four specific strategies would go a long way toward empowering, de-essentializing, and granting agency to Muslim women. First and foremost, the unique forms of discrimination and subordination experienced by Muslim women, particularly those easily identifiable as Muslim, must be acknowledged and incorporated into anti-discrimination campaigns. Toward that end, there needs to be more media coverage about how Muslim women experience post-9/11 discrimination and are uniquely impacted by anti-Muslim bias in ways that their male counterparts are not. Second, more Muslim women must be included in leadership positions in Muslim advocacy groups, American women's rights groups, and national security advocacy groups. Hate crimes and discrimination against them should be viewed as a woman's rights as well as a national security issue, not just a religious bias issue. Third, Muslim women in advocacy leadership positions should be diverse in order to ensure the various political viewpoints, religious practices, and ethnic backgrounds are represented in all decision-making processes. Fourth, government efforts to prevent post-9/11 backlash through community outreach efforts or civil rights litigation must purposely include a diversity of Muslim women in the relevant meetings and dialogues with the Muslim communities. If Western feminists want to be taken seriously in their call for universal women's rights abroad, they must face the skeletons in their own countries' closets. Their organizations must confront the double standards whereby they adamantly defend the rights of women in the "Muslim East" yet neglect their own society's discrimination against Muslim women. Such subordination is not limited to garden variety discrimination but also occurs in the national security context, which can make it prohibitively hazardous to wear the headscarf.
Despite having more than ten years to arrive at this realization, many American women's rights groups have yet to include post-9/11 discrimination in their scholarly and activist agendas because they shortsightedly view it as a national security issue.39 Although some feminists may feel no loss at the end of the Islamic practice of veiling, which they believe contradicts the values of liberalism, they cannot escape their own culpability in stripping Muslim women of agency and individuality—two fundamental principles undergirding American feminism. Muslim women in the United States, just like their non-Muslim counterparts, deserve the social and political space to make their own decisions on how to live. But, as this paper argues, the status quo has made it difficult to do so without paying a high personal price in the form of unemployment, physical assault, and social and political marginalization. Western feminists should be looking to Muslim women to take the lead in developing strategies and projects tailored to experiences that only they can articulate. By inviting more Muslim women into women's rights organizations and campaigns, the inclusion of diverse voices will occur organically. Likewise, non-American Muslim feminists can support existing efforts by Muslim women rather than attempting to lead or speak on their behalf.
Although there is no singular, unitary "Muslim woman" that can represent the diversity of women who identify as Muslim, many Muslim women experience similar adverse consequences because they are collectively stereotyped as meek, powerless, oppressed, or in the post-9/11 era sympathetic to terrorism. Overt acts of violence and insidious forms of economic discrimination against some headscarved women restrict a woman's freedom of choice in practicing her religion. The threat this poses to a woman's life and livelihood should not be taken lightly. The right to work directly impacts a woman's self-esteem, individual autonomy, and placement in the power hierarchy of her family and community. Similarly, her inability to feel safe because of the headscarf strips her of a fundamental right to safety and religious expression.
The challenge now rests with Muslim civil rights, American women's rights, and civil liberties advocacy groups to uphold the rights of all women and all Muslims, rather than subordinate these women's interests to the dominant group's agenda. The urgency of this project does not stem from merely abstract notions of justice, but from real civil rights violations—headscarved women have increasingly become targets of entrenched anti-Muslim attitudes, and consequently suffer palpable harm. Addressing this challenge is essential not only to restoring their dignity, but also to strengthening American values of religious freedom and gender equality.******
Sahar Aziz is an associate professor at Texas A&M University School of Law where she teaches national security, civil rights, and Middle East law. Her work has been published in the Harvard National Security Journal, the Gonzaga Law Review, the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, and the Middle East Institute. She is a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and a member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association (www.earla.org).
1This essay is based on a longer article entitled "From the Oppressed to the Terrorist: American Muslim Women Caught in the Crosshairs of Intersectionality," 9 Hastings Race & Pov.y L. J. 1 (2012), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1981777
2See Nadine Strossen, "Freedom and Fear Post-9/11: Are We Again Fearing Witches and Burning Women," 31 Nova L. Rev. 279, 306 (2007).
3See Richard T. Micco, "Putting the Terrorist-sponsoring state in the Dock: Recent Changes in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Individual's Resource Against Foreign Powers," 14 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 109, 109 (2000); Roberta Smith, "America Tries to Come to Terms with Terrorism: The United States Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 v. British Anti-Terrorism Law and International Response," 5 Cardozo J. Int'l & Comp. L. 249, 257 (1997).
4See generally Michael J. Whidden, "Unequal Justice: Arabs in America and United States Antiterrorism Legislation," 69 Fordham L. Rev. 2825, 2849 (2001); Ari D. McKinnon, "Counterterrorism and Check and Balances: The Spanish and American Examples," 82 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 602, 608 (2007).
5Rachel Saloom, "I Know You Are, But What am I? Arab-American Experiences Through the Critical Race Theory Lens," 27 Hamline J. Pub. L. & Pol'y 55, 76 (2005).
6"About Islam and American Muslims," CAIR, http://www.cair.com/AboutIslam/IslamBasics.aspx (last visited May 4, 2012).
7See Editorial, "Terrorists Hiding in Hijabs: Muslims Seek Special Treatment to Elude TSA Groping," Wash. Times, Nov. 17, 2010, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/17/terrorists-hiding-in-hijabs (arguing that by granting religious accommodation to Muslim women who wear the headscarf, terrorists will use it to elude security measures).
8See Robert A. Kahn, "The Headscarf As Threat: A Comparison of German and U.S. Legal Discourse," 40 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 417, 419 (2007) (finding that Judge Thorpe repeatedly identified the headscarf as the means for accomplishing terrorist acts in her ruling and discussed the idea that an "insincere" terrorist could threaten national security by falsely posing as a religious Muslim at the department of motor vehicles stating that "wearers of full face cloaks would 'pretend to ascribe to religious beliefs in order to carry out activities that would threaten lives.'"); see also Kathleen M. Moore, "Visible through the Veil: The Regulation of Islam in American Law," 68 Soc. Of Religion, 269 (2007) (While most Muslim women in the United States choose not to wear the hijab, the visibility of it as a focal point for controversy influences American perceptions about what constitutes Islam. Such cases as the Florida driver's license case of Sultaana Freeman putatively pit a benighted image of Islam against the necessities of national security, and only serve to entrench already polarized opinions about the nature of Islam. Worse, such a binarism posits gender relations as an essential point of divergence between the Islamic world and secular democracies, and promotes the simplistic view that cultures are set on an unavoidable collision course, a clash of civilizations. Not only is the hijab a volatile emblem that can be viewed as a symbol of male oppression or of modesty and religious or cultural identity, it is also intertwined with discussions about the assimilability of Muslims in western societies.).
9See Widden, supra note 3, at 2829.
10Alexander Zaitchik, "Glenn Bleck rises again," Salon (Sep. 23, 2009, 06:22 ET), http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/23/glenn_beck_three; see Sheryll Cashin, "To Be Muslim or 'Muslim-Looking' In America: A Comparative Exploration of Racial and Religious Prejudice in the 21st Century," 2 Duke F. for L. & Soc. Change 125, 126-130 (2010) (citing evidence that bias against Muslims is more likely to be expressed explicitly and accepted without public outrage in contrast to bias expressed against other minority groups).
11See Greg Bates, "Back with a Vengeance: The Return of Racial Profiling," Counterpunch (Aug. 20, 2010), http://www.counterpunch.org/bates08202004.html (summarizing a statement by Rudy Maxa, the travel expert in residence on the public radio program Marketplace from Aug. 11, 2004, that, "No subject is more controversial right now than racial or ethnic profiling. Paying special attention to passengers of Middle East descent can get an airline in trouble. Pull more than two such passengers aside per flight for special scrutiny, and an airline risks a lawsuit. But captured al Qaeda documents show that Arab men are probing for weaknesses in U.S. security. So, is secondary profiling at airports a civil rights violation? I say no. Not if done efficiently and with respect and courtesy. Political correctness mustn't get in the way of security"); see The Boks Man, Dan Fanelli Ad, YouTube (May 6, 2010), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umTITWQuXwY (documenting an ad campaign by Dan Fanelli, a Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Alan Grayson in Florida, speaking against "political correctness" and explicitly supporting racial profiling).
12See Mark H. Hunter, "SLU Professor Talks About Significance of Hijab," The Advocate, Dec. 5, 2010, http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/latest/111333919.html (discussing the hijab's role internationally and in the Muslim experience).
13See Am. Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., The 2010 ADC Legal Report: Legal Advocacy & Policy Review 2 (2011), available at http://adc.org/fileadmin/ADC/Pdfs/2010_ADC_Legal_Report.pdf; see Questions and Answers About the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, U.S. Equal Emp. Opportunity Comm'n, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/backlash-employee.cfm (last visited Jan. 10, 2012).
14Adrien Katherine Wing & Monica Nigh Smith, "Critical Race Feminism Lifts the Veil?: Muslim Women, France, and the Headscarf Ban," 39 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 743, 750 (2006) (discussing the origin and significance of the headscarf in Islamic history and in the French headscarf debate); see also Alia Al-Saji, "The Racialization of Muslim Veils: A Philosophical Analysis," Phil. & Soc. Criticism 875, 888-893 (2010) (discussing the significance of the headscarf in the American context).
15See infra note 15.
16See Pamela K. Taylor, "France, Spain and Syria: To ban or not to ban the burqa?," Wash. Post (Jul. 23, 2010), http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/modernmuslim/2010/07/france_spain_and_syria_to_ban_or_not_to_ban_the_burqa.html (seeing the hijab (the headscarf and long, loose clothes) as the "ultimate 'up yours' to the cult of causal sexuality that seemed to have overtaken American youth, the abusiveness of the beauty industry, and the objectification of women by Hollywood and advertisers that had spawned an epidemic of anorexia and bulimia among young women and its flip side, an epidemic of obesity, which left practically no woman happy with her body" and felt the "hijab was delightfully freeing, a way of stepping outside that game and rejecting it utterly."); see also Cecile Laborde, "Female Autonomy, Education and the Hijab," 9 Critical Rev. of Int'l Soc. & Pol. Phil. 351, 365, available at http://www.sss.ias.edu/files/pdfs/Laborde-Female-Autonomy.pdf (discussing that the hijab liberates them from the perceived dictates of Western fashion and from the pervasive sexualization of women's bodies).
17See supra note 15.
18Asra Q. Nomani, "Hijab Chic," Slate, Oct. 27, 2005, http:// www.slate.com/id/2128906/ (describing a Nordstrom fashion show in Virginia that was directed to conservative Muslim women); Shaimaa Khalil, "Muslim Designers Mix the Hijab with Latest Fashions," BBC, May 14, 2010, http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/10105062; Theresa Perkins, Unveiling Muslim Women: The Constitutionality of Hijab Restrictions in Turkey, Tunisia and Kosovo, 30 B.U. Int'l L.J. 529, 534 (2012).
19See Code Pink in Iraq, CODE Pink, http://www.codepink.org/section.php?id=19 (last visited Dec. 24, 2011); Discrimination in Law, EQUALITY NOW, http://www.equalitynow.org/our-work/discrimination-law (last visited Dec. 24, 2011) (listing nations in which EQUALITY NOW is working; the United States is not on the list).
20See H.J. Res. 1056, 52nd Leg., Reg. Sess. (Okla. 2010).
21See, e.g., Tarice Gray, "Muslim American Girls Taunted, Assaulted at School for Wearing Hijab", Change.org (Dec. 21, 2010), http://education.change.org/blog/view/muslim_american_girls_taunted_assaulted_at_school_for_wearing_hijab (reporting that "The Greater Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) says it's hearing from students and their parents saying that children are being verbally harassed and tagged with labels like 'terrorist' or 'jihadi,' just for being Muslim and that girls have reported being physically assaulted for wearing hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women."); see also Engy Abdelkader, "In Post-9/11 World, Anti-Bullying Bill Carries Special Significance", N.J. L.J., Dec. 20, 2010 (reporting that post-9/11 harassment of American-Muslim and South- Asian youths has dramatically worsened including derogatory name-calling and physical threats and violence); see also Felicia Sonmez & Michelle Boorstein, "Few fireworks at hearing examining civil rights of American Muslims", Wash. Post (Mar. 29, 2011), http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ few-fireworks-at-hearing-examining-civil-rights-of-americanmuslims/2011/03/29/AFykZtvB_story.html (testifying that evidence indicates that religiously-inspired bullying of youth also is increasing.); see also John Doyle, "New 'Bias' Attack on SI Muslim," N.Y. Post (Oct. 14, 2010), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/staten_island/new_bias_attack_on_si_muslim_1OLCBmqaQg0IoZigpIufsO (reporting that a man was arrested for punching a headscarf-wearing woman and her four-year-old son from Staten Island); see also Tracy Clark Flory, "Abercrombie Hates Your Hijab," Salon (Feb. 25, 2010), http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/ feature/2010/02/25/hijab_abercrombie_hollister_discrimination (discussing a Muslim employee of Abercrombie & Fitch Co.'s allegation that she was fired for not removing her headscarf when she was initially told she could wear one. She was later told by a visiting district manager that scarves were not allowed during work hours. She said that she was fired when she refused to take it off.); see also Amy Joyce, "External Symbols of Faith Can Unfairly Add to Interview Stress," Wash. Post, Sept. 25, 2005, at F6 (telling the challenges in obtaining employment faced by a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf due to employers discomfort with her headscarf).
22But see All-American Muslim (TLC television broadcast series, premiered Nov. 13, 2011), the first reality show depicting Muslims as ordinary people with diverse beliefs and lifestyles. Unfortunately, TLC has received threats demanding that it stop airing the show because it misinforms viewers about the serious threat regarding the terrorist inclinations of all Muslims. Sheila Musaji, "American Companies Accused of Joining the All-American Anti-Muslim Bandwagon," Am. Muslim (Dec. 20, 2011), http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/all-american-muslim/0018896.
23See supra note 20.
24See Strossen, supra note 1, at 306 ("Before Sept. 11, Muslim women who wore head scarves in the United States were often viewed as vaguely exotic. The terrorist attacks abruptly changed that, transforming the head scarf, for many people, into a symbol of something dangerous, and marking the women who wear them as among the most obvious targets."); John Blake, "Muslim Women Uncover Myths About Hijab," CNN (Aug. 19, 2009), http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-12/us/generation.islam.hijab_1_hijab-muslim-women-muslim-americans? (reporting that "some hijab-wearers say that strangers treat them as if they're terrorists"); see also Nadine Naber, "'Look, Mohammed the Terrorist Is Coming!' Cultural Racism, Nation-Based Racism, and the Intersectionality of Oppressions after 9/11," Scholar & Feminist Online (Summer 2008), http://barnard.edu/sfonline/immigration/naber_01.htm (identifying cultural racism as a "process of Othering that constructs perceived cultural (e.g., Arab), religious (e.g., Muslim), or civilizational (e.g., Arab and/or Muslim) differences as natural and insurmountable" and nation-based racism as a construct that treats certain immigrants as potentially criminal or immoral).
25See Iyiola Solanke, "Putting Race and Gender Together: A New Approach to Intersectionality," 72(5) Mod. L. Rev. 723 (2009) (highlighting that additive discrimination claims fail "to acknowledge the black woman as 'an integrated, undifferentiated, complete whole' with a 'consciousness and politics' of her own." Quoting Regina Austin, "Sapphire Bound!," 1989 Wis. L. Rev. 539, 540 (1989)).
26See Gowri Ramachandran, "Intersectionality as 'Catch 22': Why Identity Performance Demands Are Neither Harmless Nor Reasonable," 69 Alb. L. Rev. 299, 302 (2006) (noting that intersectionals "experience a qualitatively different kind of subordination").
27See Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In 162 (2013).
28See infra note 29.
29See Mackenzie Carpenter, "Muslim Women Say Veil is More About Expression than Oppression," Pittsburgh Post- Gazette (Oct. 28, 2001), http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028muslimwomennat3p3.asp; see also Franchesca Benzant, "Donning the Hijab: My Day As an Undercover Muslim Woman," Clutch (Dec. 9, 2011), http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/12/donning-the-hijab-my-day-as-an-undercover-muslim-woman/2/ (detailing the author's experience as part of an outreach effort by the Muslim Women of Maryland challenging women to wear a hijab for a day. The author also recounted another participant's post-9/11 experience, stating, "One girl who was Muslim admitted that this was her first time wearing the hijab since 9/11. She used to be teased to the point students would yank her hijab off of her head and once it was even thrown in the toilet."); see also Nadine Naber, "'Look, Mohammed the Terrorist Is Coming!' Cultural Racism, Nation-Based Racism, and the Intersectionality of Oppressions after 9/11," Scholar & Feminist Online (Summer 2008), http://barnard.edu/sfonline/immigration/naber_01.htm (citing incidents of school children having their headscarf pulled off while commuting to school).
30See John Doyle, "New 'bias' attack on SI Muslim," N.Y. Post (Oct. 14, 2010 1:14 am), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/staten_island/new_bias_attack_on_si_muslim_1OLCBmqaQg0IoZigpIufsO; see Janet I. Tu, "Woman charged with hate crime against two Muslim women," The Seattle Times (Oct. 22, 2010), http:// seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013220695_muslimwomen22m.html.; Gina Potthoff, "FBI Investigates Reported Assault on Local Muslim," The Columbus Dispatch (Dec. 20, 2010), http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/12/21/columbus-muslim-reports-harassment-assault.html?sid=101.; Harassment Allegedly Began After Victim Began Wearing Islamic Scarf, Novanews (Dec. 22, 2010), http://www.shoah.org.uk/2010/12/23/harassment-allegedly-began-after-victim-began-wearing-islamic scarf/; see "CAIR: FBI Asked to Probe Bias Motive for Harassment of Ore. Muslim," PR Newswire (Dec. 21, 2010), http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-fbi-asked-to-probe-bias-motive-for-harassment-of-oremuslim- 112274619.html.; see Ben Botkins, "Twin Falls man arrested for allegedly harassing Muslim," Magic Valley News (Dec. 24, 2010), http://www.magicvalley.com/news/local/twin-falls/article_cc705188-c402-534f-8d71-7e5f64fe9283.html.; see Levi Pulkkinen, "Hate Crime Charge Filed in Seattle Grocery Store Attack," Seattlepi (Jan. 4, 2011), available at http://http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2011/01/04/hate-crimecharge-filed-in-seattle-grocery-store-attack/ (reporting the man was charged with a hate crime of malicious harassment); "CAIR: Seattle Muslim Targeted in Bias Attack," Breitbart.com (Jan. 5, 2011), http://www.breitbart.com/article. php?id=xprnw.20110105.DC25496&show_article=1.; Jamie Schram and Maura O'Connor, "Muslim Gal assaulted in Harlem," N.Y. Post (July 8, 2011), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/muslim_gal_assaulted_in_harlem_tpbqmgjLNjlRdJzTtcpnKO.; Editorial, "Tennessee Knife-Wielding Driver Shouts "I'll Kill You," Spews Religious Slurs at Muslim Mother and Son," Al-Jazeerah (July 28, 2011), http://www.aljazeerah.info/News/2011/August/1%20n/Tennessee%20Knife- Wielding%20Driver%20Shouts%20I'll%20Kill%20You,%20Spews%20Religious%20Slurs%20at%20Muslim%20Mother%20and%20Son.htm.; "CAIR-MI Asks FBI to Probe Threat Against Muslim Driver," PR Newswire (August 7, 2011), http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-mi-asks-fbi-to-probe-threat-againstmuslim- driver-127096513.html.
31See "Religious Freedom Has a Place in the Workplace," FindLaw (Nov. 9, 2010), http://knowledgebase.findlaw.com/kb/2010/Nov/208334.html; see also Marisol Bello, "Controversy Shrouds Muslim Women's Head Coverings," USA Today, (Apr. 15, 2010), http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-04-14-headscarves-muslim_N.htm; "Discrimination Against Muslim Women-Fact Sheet," ACLU (May 29, 2008), http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief-womens-rights/discriminationagainst-muslim-women-fact-sheet (article with statistically backed numbers as to discrimination or harassment complaints that stemmed from head covering); Elizabeth K. Dorminey, "Veiled Meaning: Tolerance and Prohibition of the Hijab in the U.S. and France," The Federalist Society For Law And Public Policy Studies (May 29, 2012), http://www.fed-soc. org/publications/detail/veiled-meaning-tolerance-and-prohibition-of-the-hijab-in-the-us-and-france (addresses the EEOC statistics for 2010: "In FY 2010 the EEOC reported receiving 3790 charges from individuals alleging religious discrimination or harassment. Of these, the EEOC reported that 3782 were resolved. Following an investigation, the EEOC issued 'no cause' determinations—a finding by the agency that there was no evidence from which they could conclude that discrimination or harassment had occurred—in 2309 cases. Seventy-three cases were successfully resolved through conciliation; there were 847 'merit resolutions,' which means that the case was probably resolved through litigation, and more than $10 million in monetary benefits were paid to employees by employers. An unscientific review of reported cases in which plaintiffs has completed the EEOC process and filed lawsuits suggest that the vast majority of religious discrimination or harassment cases in recent years have been brought by, or on behalf of, Muslims." Further, also addresses the EEOC v. GEO Group, Inc. case and brings up another case, EEOC v. Kelly Services).
32Campbell v. Avis Rent A Car Sys., Inc., No. Civ.A. 303 CV737H, 2006 WL 2865169 at 2 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 5, 2006); EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch, Co., No. CV10-3911-HRL (N.D. Cal. 2010).
33See Kimberlé Crenshaw, "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, 1989 U. Chi. Legal F. 139 (examining the failure of anti-discrimination law to account for the multiple influences of racism and sexism on the lives of black women); see also M. Imran Hayee, "For Muslim Women, Wearing a Veil Isn't Oppression," Star Tribune (Aug. 17, 2011), http://www.startribune.com/opinion/ otherviews/127972598.html (The author, a male Muslim, justifies use of the headscarf as a religious marker, notably omitting his wife's narrative and thereby exemplifying her denial of agency within the community).
34See Ahmed Eid, "UnMosqued: Why Are Young Muslims Leaving American Mosques?," Huffington Post (17 Oct. 2013), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-eid/young-americanmuslims_b_4109256.html?utm_hp_ref=religion.
35In nearly every joint national press conference called by Muslim organizations, the individuals speaking in a representational role are consistently males despite their 50 percent female constituency. One of many examples includes the joint press conference responding to President Obama's speech on May 18, 2011, about democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. The Council on American Islamic Relations issued a joint statement citing the following Muslim leaders of the largest American Muslim organizations, all of whom are males: "Those who watched or spoke following the president's speech included CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America, Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Dr. Mohammed Elsanousi of the Islamic Society of North America, Mouaz Moustafa of the Libyan Council of North America, and Dr. Louay Safi of the Syrian American Council." Press Release, "CAIR: Obama's 'Arab Spring' Address Sets the Right Tone," CAIR (May 19, 2011, 4:15 pm), http://www.cair.com/ Article Details.aspx?mid1=777&&ArticleID=26779&&name=n&&currPage=2; Press Release, "CAIR: CAIR Calls for Reform of FBI's Training on Islam, Muslims," CAIR (Sept. 21, 2011, 6:15 pm), http://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?mid1=777&&ArticleID=26881&&name=n&&currPage=3.
36Jen'nan Ghazal Read and John P. Bartkowski, "To Veil or Not to Veil?: A Case Study of Identity Negotiation among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas," 14 Gender & Society 395, 406-07 (2000), http://www.soc.duke.edu/~jgr14/pdfs/gs_pub.pdf (shows a struggle between what society deems good or appropriate and what the individual who wishes to be veiled views as good); Jehanzeb Dar, "Part 1: Time to End Gender Segregation in Mosques," Altmuslimah.com (Nov. 30, 2011), www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/mca/3413 (discussing the various ways in which Muslim men are privileged within the American Muslim community).
37See, e.g., "Hamden Mosque Vandalized," EyewitnessNEWS3 (Feb. 25, 2011) http://www.wfsb.com/news/26998327/detail.html (reporting that a mosque in Hamden, Connecticut, was marred with spray-painted profanity and graffiti, having experienced such vandalism four times in the past two years.); see also, John Doyle, Frank Rosario & Jessica Simeone, "'Drunk' desecration at mosque," N.Y. Post (Aug. 26, 2010), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/drunk_desecration_at_mosque_fA7FZKYh59hx3Bjika6UGN?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME# (reporting on a man who barged in began cursing at the mosque attendees and ultimately urinated on the prayer rugs before he was able to be escorted out); see also "CAIR: Southern California Mosque Vandalized," CAIR-CA (Dec. 13, 2009), http://ca.cair.com/losangeles/news/cair_southern_california_mosque_vandalized (accounting the vandalism of a mosque in Los Angeles where vandals shattered windows and glass doors of the mosque and broke into the donation boxes, further commenting that an Oregon mosque was previously targeted with hate graffiti reading, "Allah is a pig"); See Robert Koenig, "Discrimination, hate crimes against Muslim Americans rising, officials say," St. Louis Beacon (Mar. 29, 2010, http://www.stlbeacon.org/issues-politics/280-washington/109204-discrimination-against-muslims-on-the-rise (documenting that "while Muslims represent less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, officials said about a quarter of religion-related workplace discrimination cases involve Muslims, as well as more than 14 percent of the overall number of federal religious discrimination cases" with the Anti-Defamation League reporting "an intensified level of anti-Muslim bigotry'"); see Press Release, "ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Unconstitutional 'No Fly List'," ACLU (Jun. 30, 2010), http://www.aclu.org/national security/aclu-files-lawsuit-challenging-unconstitutional-no-fly-list; "Wrong Then, Wrong Now: Racial Profiling Before & After September 11, 2001," Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, Feb 21, 2003, at 27 (documenting and critiquing "terrorism Profiling" specifically the profiling of Arabs, South-Asians and Muslims at airports).
38See David Cole & Jules Lobel, Less Safe, Less Free, 26–33 (2007) (explaining the government's "preventative" approach of detaining people based on "group identity or political affiliations"); President George W. Bush, Address Before the United States Military Academy Graduating Class (June 1, 2002) ("If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long…The war on terror will not be won on the defensive.") (transcript, video recording, and audio recording available at The White House, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html (last visited Jan. 5, 2012)). Attorney General John Ashcroft prepared the following statement: In order to fight and to defeat terrorism, the Department of Justice has added a new paradigm to that of prosecution - a paradigm of prevention…Our new, international goal of terrorism prevention…involves anticipation and imagination about emerging scenarios, the puzzle pieces of which have yet to come into alignment. John Ashcroft, U.S. Att'y Gen., Remarks Before the Council on Foreign Relations (Feb. 10, 2003) (prepared remarks available at U.S. Dep't of Justice, http://www.justice.gov/archive/ag/speeches/2003/021003agcouncilonforeignrelation.htm (last visited Jan. 5, 2012)).
39Similar to domestic violence programs that do not gain White support until it is viewed as affecting the white community, the collective punishment of Muslim women arising out of terrorist acts by Muslim (men or women) that undermine gender rights is ignored unless white women experience an analogous context. See Crenshaw, supra note 32 at 1258–59 (discussing the prerequisite for domestic violence to affect White communities before domestic violence programs that affect minority communities are supported by mainstream White communities).
edited by Jerry Gordon (September 11, 2012)
Today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11; the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.” On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists, well educated young men – Saudi, Egyptian, and Yemeni nationals - hijacked four airliners (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175 from Boston’s Logan airport, American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles airport and United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark Airport). With captive passengers aboard, they flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Brave actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 led to the first counter-attack within thirty minutes of the sky-jacking. The Flight 93 heroes overcame the Islamic terrorists and diverted the aircraft from its ultimate target the Capital building in Washington, crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania instead. All told 19 Jihadi hijackers and more than 2,977 innocent victims including the 246 air passengers on the four planes seized were killed as a result of the murderous jihad airborne attacks in lower Manhattan, northern Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3000 innocent victims perished in a Jihadic holocaust masterminded by the late Osama Bin Laden. Bin laden, who founded Al Qaeda, was killed by US Navy Seal team six on May 2, 2011 in a raid on a compound in Abbattobad, Pakistan, virtually within sight of the Pakistani Military Academy. The special operations, known as Operation Neptune Spear, is chronicled in a new book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, published today, by one of the Seal team commanders, who adopted the nom de plume Mark Owens. As the author said on a CBS 60 Minutes interview, “we were just doing our job” in an operation long in the planning stages and fraught with daunting difficulties, including the crash of one the stealth Black Hawk helicopters. According to the author’s account, the operations yielded a treasure trove of intelligence in the long war against Islamic Jihadism. This despite Pentagon accusations that No Easy Day may have violated Pentagon security reviews, although the author insists that no real secrets were revealed.
Within days of arrival of Seal team Six back in the US, a tableau was organized by President Obama at Fort Campbell Kentucky, home of the famed Screaming Eagles, the 101st Airborne to celebrate this victory in the counterterrorism war against Al Qaeda, the murder of Bin Laden, the creator of an Islamic terror enterprise that has morphed into a global jihadist network. The Seal Team Six team involved was flown to Fort Campbell in an old C-130 aircraft that survived the failed attempt during the Carter Administration to rescue the 44 hostages taken by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the US Embassy in 1980. President Obama congratulated the Seal Team Six raiders at the Fort Campbell event and, according to No Easy Day author Owens, asked who pulled the trigger that killed Bin Laden. As Owens said during the 60 Minutes interview, no one stepped forward, because they viewed these successful special operations as a team effort.
President Obama has promoted the view that the death of Bin Laden marked the end of the war against Al Qaeda after years of intelligence gathering and a lucky break that identified the Al Qaeda courier that lead to the Seal Team Six raid on the Abbattobad compound. He has always maintained that the US counterterrorism effort following 9/11 was not a war on Islam. Both he and former President Bush propounded the catechism that the US was engaged in a war against Al Qaeda and not against Islam, “a religion of peace.” The Obama Administration in cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in America undertook a thorough purging of Islamic jihad doctrine underpinning of the credo of Al Qaeda as exemplified by the radical Sunni ideologue Sayyid Qutb in his book Milestones. Qutb helped foster an unrelenting violent Jihad war against unbelievers so as to impose a world Islamic Caliphate governed under Sharia law.
The Obama counterterrorism doctrine led to a selective drone war involving targeted assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders of affiliates across the Muslim Ummah in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Administration finds itself in a quandary, while trying to foster a peace deal with former Afghan enemy the Taliban, the State Department ponders designation of the Haqqani network in neighboring Pakistan as a foreign terrorist group. Haqqani is allegedly supported by Jihadist cadres of the nefarious Inter-Service Intelligence agency.
The Pentagon has unfortunately denied the realities of homegrown Muslim terrorists within the US Military. We have Maj. Nidal Hasan, whose court martial trial is about to begin at Fort Hood Texas on charges of committing a murderous Jihad massacre of soldiers and civilians at a deployment processing center in November 2009. Then there was AWOL 101st Airborne Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo who was tried and convicted at a federal court in Killeen, Texas on charges of planning another attack at Fort Hood to avenge US military combat against his Muslim brothers in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the 9/11 Iran Links trial in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, we learned that the Islamic Republic of Iran was deeply involved in facilitating training and transportation of the 9/11 perpetrators. The Islamic Republic now threatens a super version of 9/11 via a possible nuclear holocaust or Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack against the US and its ally, the Jewish State of Israel with nuclear weapons and other forms of WMD. An Islamic Republic whose Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard earnestly believe that such apocalyptic acts will make the Imam Mahdi re-appear to lead an Islamic Army to conquer the world.
In commemoration of 11th anniversary of 9/11, we solicited essays in response to a question: “Is the War Against Islamic Terrorism Over? And if not, what remains to be done?”
What follows are selected essays submitted by a diverse group of scholars and experts. From these respondents we selected essays by Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, noted theologian, former university president and author of Jihad and Genocide, Professor Paul Eidelberg is President of the Israel – American Renaissance Institute, Daniel Mandel, is a Fellow in History of the University of Melbourne, Director of the Zionists of America Center for Middle East Policy, Shoshana Bryan, Director of the Washington, DC based Jewish Policy Center, and Reza Kahlili former CIA-agent who did undercover work inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. We appreciate all of the submissions made.
Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein – On Terrorism
Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus of the University of Bridgeport and Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion Emeritus at Florida State University and author of many works including most recently, Jihad and Genocide.
It is very likely that there will always be some Muslims somewhere willing to blow themselves up or otherwise inflict harm on the non-Muslim world. According to a 2009 report of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the total world Muslim population at the time was 1.57 billion and growing (“Mapping the Muslim Population”). We ought to keep in mind Bernard Lewis’ comment that the struggle between Islam and Christendom has consisted in “a long series of attacks and counterattacks, jihads and crusades, conquests and reconquests” that have lasted over fourteen hundred years. (“The Roots of Muslim Rage,” The Atlantic, September 1990) There is no reason to believe that the cycle of attack and counterattack has stopped in our time. There is no such thing as an end to Islamic terrorism.
Terrorism is not a combatant in a conflict. It is a strategy used by combatants. As long as there are Muslims who believe that violent aggression is a legitimate strategy to be employed against unbelievers, the world will be afflicted with Islamic terrorism to one degree or another. When the West is strong and undeceived, there will be fewer terrorists; when the West lets down its guard, terrorism will increase.
Unfortunately, America’s hands have been tied by the Obama administration’s refusal realistically to identify the Muslim motivation of terroristic acts. By no means did all Muslims approved of 9/11 nor do they all approve of terrorism. Nevertheless, this writer believes that President George W. Bush did the country a disservice when, ten days after 9/11, he declared to a joint session of the U.S. Congress that the 19 terrorists were “traitors to their own faith, trying in effect to hijack Islam itself.” Professor Mary Habeck of Johns Hopkins University was closer to the mark when she observed concerning Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna, the thinkers who inspired Al-Qaeda that “None of these theorists could have had any impact in the Muslim world if their arguments had not found some sort of resonance in the religion of Islam.” (Knowing the Enemy, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 41).
When Islamists find a realistic opportunity for jihad, there is simply no inducement non-Muslims can offer that will move them abandon their efforts. As the Islamic Affairs Department of the Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington posted on its website, the purpose of jihad is “to make the word of Allah supreme in the world.” The 9/11 terrorists were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to kill thousands and damage both the nation’s financial and political centers. They saw their sacrifice and the death they inflicted on unbelievers as their supreme service of Allah. They were not afraid of death; they welcomed it.
Nevertheless, while there is nothing the West can do to bring terrorism to an end, there are things it can do to minimize the threat. In addition to airport security, immigration control is in need of attention. We must cease to regard all or almost all human beings as equally eligible to become citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Human beings are not numerical abstractions. Some men and women come to our shores passionately committed to transforming our society into one in which Shari’a law governs all Americans either directly or indirectly, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Something must be done about our immigration policies. Unfortunately, nothing will be done as long as craven politicians regard such newcomers as potential members of their political base. While we cannot control the opinions or commitments of American citizens, we certainly have the right to determine realistically which immigrants are likely to accept our fundamental values and reject those who are likely to seek to overturn our system. We did it during the Cold War. There is no reason why we cannot defend ourselves now.
Unfortunately, as long as our educational and cultural institutions are committed to multiculturalism, we will have neither a moral nor a cultural compass. There is something weird about the current liberal-left alliance with Islam. Should it continue, the day will come when the liberals, who prize their freedom above all else, will find that they no longer have any freedom because the system has been rigged and the “word of Allah” has truly been made supreme in their world.
Finally, a word should be said about the problem of infiltration into our government and prison system. If, for example, persons with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood continue to serve as senior advisors to our government, we are asking for trouble. Admittedly, the situation is worse in Europe but, unfortunately, under Obama we are becoming more, not les,s like Europe.
Paul Eidelberg: The Tragedy of 9/11 and American Exceptionalism
Professor Eidelberg is President of the Israel–America Renaissance Institute and expert in Constitutional Law.
What may we learn from 9/11, the Islamic attack on the United States on September11, 2001? Osama bin Laden had already declared war against the U.S. on August 23, 1996. Al Qaeda forces had already attacked two American embassies in Africa on August 7, 1998 and a U.S. naval vessel on October 12, 2000. So what is so significant about 9/11 when hijacked commercial airliners struck the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon?
Of course, we cannot forget that almost 3,000 innocent human beings were murdered on that day by Muslims terrorists. They were cheered as martyrs throughout the Arab-Islamic world. Let us try to elicit the significance of this tragedy and its relation to American Exceptionalism.
Consider the targets struck on 9/11: the World Trade Center, the pinnacle of commercial wealth, and the Pentagon, the seat of unequaled military power. Juxtaposing these two targets we behold monuments of a secular democratic State whose scientific technology stands in stark contrast to pre-modern, feudal Islam—now on the path to acquiring that technology. Evident here is a theological conflict, which America, steeped in materialism, does not want to face.
America has become the avant guard of pop culture. This pop culture is spreading throughout the world as a result of America’s commercial and military hegemony—indicative of America’s own ambitious albeit benign imperialism.
This benign imperialism has been vulgarizing humanity. It has magnified hedonism. It has undermined spiritual values. It has stultified the mind by removing reverence from the human soul.
Pop culture constitutes the greatest threat to all tradition-based societies whose core is religious. This is one reason why Muslims deem America the “Great Satan”—the great tempter. Let us face the truth: America’s political and intellectual leaders have abandoned America’s Biblical heritage abbreviated in her Declaration of Independence.
That document affirms the Creator of heaven and earth. It proclaims that "all men are created equal." The same document refers to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God," the basis of man’s unalienable rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The same document appeals to the "Supreme Judge" of the world. This is not only a political document. No, it is also theological document that acknowledges Divine Providence.
Clearly, the Declaration of Independence is based on ideas drawn from the Bible of Israel and should be understood as a Judeo-Christian document. This, dear reader, is the only solid foundation of American Exceptionalism. It is the heart and soul of America which has been abandoned by its political and intellectual leaders.
Let us open our eyes and understand the metapolitical significance of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—the monoliths of a secular democratic state that has lost its purpose as a nation under God.
America has become a norm less democracy, where freedom and equality have no rational and ethical constraints, where wealth is the measure of human worth, where the here and now is the preoccupation of men and women, where change, change, change devalues all values, shatters personal identity, erodes a sense of community and national purpose.
9/11 should have been a wake-up call, but not merely to an external "Axis of Evil." That evil was superficially and misleadingly identified as "international terrorism," when in truth that evil was the most aggressive manifestation of Islamic Imperialism, the successor to Atheistic Communist Imperialism. Yes, this resurgence of evil has to be countered by unrelenting force. Unlike the Soviet Union, however, the threats issuing from Islam are perceived by liberals as a manifestation of a peace-loving religion.
Those threats come from everywhere yet cannot be attributed to anyone. Not that this Hydra-headed evil is invincible; but to vanquish it we need to overcome our own homegrown evil: the erosion of America's ancient faith. This faith we can find in ourselves; it only needs to be awakened to inaugurate a new chapter of American Exceptionalism.
I mentioned the Declaration, its reference to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God." These laws were understood in colonial America as the Noahide laws of universal morality. These laws enable diverse men and nations to cooperate, to live in peace while cultivating their own personal and national customs. These metapolitical laws, the true foundation of the American Constitution, united the American people. They underlie the tremendous power and accomplishments of American Exceptionalism. They made the American Constitution a viable model for mankind, a model that can reconcile permanence and change by means of the rule of law sustained by a set of institutions designed to maximize reason and deliberation, as well as moderation in public affairs.
No longer does America offer this model for mankind. America’s ruling class has lost sight of the theological and moral foundations of America’s Declaration of Independence, the soul of the American Constitution. What has happened in America? I will tell you in a direct way:
What you most boast of, freedom and equality, are corrupting you. Your unrestrained freedom spawns licentiousness and undermines the family. Your indiscriminate equality undermines excellence and levels all moral distinctions. Your ever-expanding government and entitlements eviscerate personal responsibility and self-government. Your value-free capitalism fosters avarice and envy. Your university-bred doctrine of multicultural relativism erodes national loyalty and fosters atheism and cynicism.
This is the result of turning away from the Noahide laws which the Declaration of Independence abbreviated as the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God." This is what bonds Israel and America in the crisis of our times signified by 9/11. We need to redeem that terrible tragedy. We need to engage in serious soul-searching. We must not only redeem ourselves, but we must also make the victims of 9/11 meaningful so that their lives will not have perished in vain.
Let us therefore cease worshiping, without neglecting, wealth and power, which we shall sorely need in the crisis of our times. But let us also cease worshiping the false god of norm less or live-as-you-like democracy and restore the normative and dignified democracy of our Founding Fathers. Let us revive the vision to which American Exceptionalism aspired. Let us build a nation where freedom dwells with virtue, equality with excellence, wealth with beauty, the here and now with love of the Eternal.
Daniel Mandel – The Long War against Islamic terrorism
Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in history at Melbourne University, Director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London: Routledge, 2004).
"Is the War Against Islamic Terrorism Over?" The answer is no. A war cannot be said to be over when the aggressor, al-Qaeda, remains a going concern of any size and reach; when its original Afghan base and supportive Pakistani hinterland remain receptive hosts; when Iran, bankroller and controller of several Islamist terror groups, has edged ever closer towards a nuclear weapons capability and the benefits and immunities this would encompass; when the jihadist cause has been taken up in several countries; and when those of its ideological compatriots sophisticated enough to abstain from its trademark terrorism in preference for the careful, patient work of foreign subversion continue to make progress, often undetected at the time. This goes doubly when those ideological compatriots, the Muslim Brotherhood and associated franchises, to give them their name, have risen to power in the most powerful and populous Arab state, Egypt. Still more so, when the formerly most staunchly secular of Muslim states, Turkey, has come since 9/11 ever more firmly under the sway of patient Islamists.
According, what remains to be done is, first, to absorb the fact that our victories (Iran, Afghanistan) have been but partial and may prove temporary; second, to understand that the patient, non-violent jihadists remain by far our deepest long-term threat and accordingly require a great deal more of our efforts; third, that the war will be lost, whatever other successes we might enjoy, if we fail in our paramount objective of preventing Iran from going nuclear; and fourth, ensuring that we head off the looming danger of a depleted U.S. military which, shorn of innovations and numbers as it currently stands to be, would drastically overextend its mission and invite avoidable disasters.
Shoshana Bryen – The Symbiotic Relationship between Terrorists and Sponsors
Shoshana Bryen is the Director of the Washington, DC-based Jewish Policy Center.
"War" against any pathology is doomed. The Wars on Drugs, Poverty and Terrorism have no matrix for success, so you wouldn't know when you'd won; you could never stop fighting. President Bush's formulation, "The war against terrorists and the states that harbor and support them," got to the heart of the symbiotic relationship between terrorists and their sponsors - terrorists need money, territory, arms, passports, etc. that can only be supplied by states; states need the ability to commit mayhem with plausible deniability (i.e., Saudi support for al Qaeda). The war would be won when the territory across the region is governed by sovereigns who decline support for transnational terrorist organizations. Without such support, you would still have isolated incidents - a man in a marketplace with a grenade - but the large-scale, country-changing, spectacular terrorism of 9-11 or Bali or London would be almost impossible. This does not mean those governments would be our friends, be democratic, like Israel, be secular, and/or not have wars. It simply means that support for al Qaeda and other such would dry up. To the question of whether we're winning - no. Particularly in the past two years, the Obama administration has withdrawn from Iraq (which was fragile), overthrew the Libyan government (which was anti-al Qaeda and now supports al Qaeda across North Africa and in Mali), and welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood while doing nothing to constrain Iran or Saudi Arabia (who support opposite sides, but both of whose sides hate us). The incentive for governments to withhold support for anti-Western or anti-Israel terrorism has been reduced, not increased by the Obama Administration.
Dexter Van Zile - Islamist Totalitarianism
Dexter Van Zile is the Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). His opinions are his own.
Islamist totalitarianism remains the single most important threat to world peace and human rights in the world today.
Christians and other religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are the targets of an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Elites in the West need to send a clear signal to governments in the region that further acts of violence and oppression against these minorities will result in their diplomatic and economic isolation.
We also need to make it perfectly clear that international institutions such as the UN and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and church organizations such as the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches that fail to publicize and condemn human rights abuses in Muslim majority countries contribute to their own de-legitimization. This is true for the Vatican as well.
We must also break the transmission belts of dhimmitude in our own society. Our churches, our colleges and our media failed to warn us about the threat of Islamism prior to 9/11 and to varying degrees have failed to educate us about the impact of Muslim doctrine on human rights since the attack. This is inexcusable.
One last thing. Americans must learn to celebrate their success and value their achievements. We are on the verge of becoming a spacefaring people. Our civilization is worth defending.
God has blessed the American people.
May He continue to do so.
Reza Kahlili – Iran’s Terrorist Threat Exceeds that of Bin Laden
Reza Kahlili is the pseudonymous author of A Time to Betray, an award winning chronicle of his undercover work as a CIA-agent inside Iran’s Revolutionary guard. The following is an adaptation of an opinion article originally published by Fox News in the immediate wake of the death of Bin Laden in may 2011.
The demise of Bin Laden should be the beginning of our search as to how we got into such vulnerable position in the first place. We must make sure that no enemy can ever again be allowed to bring harm upon us because of our own failings.
Bin Laden, who founded Al Qaeda in the late eighties, began terrorizing the world shortly thereafter with bombing attacks in Yemen, Egypt, and the U.S. Embassy in East Africa where over 300 souls lost their lives. The U.S. did not take notice until October, 2000 when the suicide attack on the USS Cole took 17 servicemen’s lives.
Bin Laden was emboldened with each subsequent act of terror because the lack of action by U.S. was seen as a weakness and further verification that he was invincible. Clearly, it appeared to him, Allah was on his side.
He then began his most aggressive act and took it directly from the Koran (8:12): "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
His commitment was total and led to the most heinous crime ever executed on America soil 11 years ago. It instigated our fight on terror and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Billions of dollars have been spent, draining our economy to the point of bankruptcy, and costing the lives of thousands of our heroes. Yet it is our failure to know and understand the enemy and the ideology that drives him that allowed one hateful individual to grow so powerful as to bring us to such profound harm.
There is an eerie similarity here with the radicals ruling Iran. They proudly bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 killing over 240 of our best and then boasted about it. Mohsen Rafiqdoost, then the Minister of the Revolutionary Guards, publicly stated that: “Both the TNT and the ideology, which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marine’s headquarters, were provided by Iran.” In response, we removed our forces from Lebanon.
The Iranians formed Hezbollah, helped Islamic Jihad, armed and trained terrorists across the region and took hostages with fatal results. For their efforts, we rewarded them with arms in exchange for the freedom of a few (Iran Contra). Our actions, or lack thereof, again signaled our weakness and affirmed their belief that Allah is the one and only God and that they have his protection.
The Iranian leaders, encouraged with their continuing success, became ever more aggressive carrying out terrorist attacks through their proxies such as the Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia and the Jewish community center bombing in Argentina. And the West meekly offered negotiations as the only solution to their atrocious acts. The Iranians have for years armed and trained Shiite militias in Iraq with a strategy to bring down our forces, harm them, and drain the U.S. economically. Given the evidence in the 9/11 Links case in New York, we know that Iran was directly complicit in facilitating the training and transportation of the Munich Cell of the 9/11 perpetrators from Al Qaeda Bases in Afghanistan to Iran to Saudi Arabia and eventually on to Europe and America.
Today the jihadists in Tehran, strengthened by their actions and reassured by their beliefs, know that they are Allah’s chosen ones to bring about the demise of America and the destruction of Israel. They are encouraged to aggressively continue on with their terrorist activities around the world, and their ongoing support of terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and others in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Africa. All the while, they expand their missile delivery system and achievement of their nuclear bomb project nearly within reach.
The Revolutionary Guards currently hold more than a 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Riyadh, U.S. bases in Iraq, the Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain and capitals in Western Europe. At the same time, they are working with the North Koreans and the Chinese on intercontinental ballistic missiles and the nuclear weaponization of their warheads. Iran has tested launch of Scud Missiles from commercial vessels in the Caspian Sea demonstrating the capability of conducting a possible Electronic Magnetic Pulse attack against the Great Satan, America, and its ally, Israel, the little Satan.
Many of the Iranian leaders are known terrorists and on the Interpol’s most wanted list. This includes the current Iranian defense minister and former Quds Force commander and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards, Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted for the 1994 Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured hundreds. As the defense minister, Mr. Vahidi is directly responsible for the Iranian nuclear bomb and missile programs, and is also in charge of the proliferation of arms to terrorists in the Middle East and the world.
We cannot allow history to repeat itself. Today we are facing an evil much worse than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Appeasement and vacillation do not work. World peace, global stability and millions of lives are on the line. Our first priority should be to stop these radicals in their tracks and to help Iranians free themselves from this evil. A new regime in Iran could transform the world for the better securing global stability and an end to much of terrorism throughout the world.
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