Seventeen years is a long time.
Or it is for younger people; for someone of my advanced age, events of seventeen years ago seem like just the other day. Assuming I can remember them at all, that is.
September 11, 2001 is one of those days I can remember quite clearly: what I was doing, the course of events during the day and for the next few days. I assume it’s the same for many people in my age bracket: those hours are now permanent markers, stuck fast in the brain until the final dissolution removes everything.
In contrast, consider someone who has just graduated from high school. He was just a tiny infant back then, so everything he knows about 9/11 — assuming he is aware of it at all — he learned from his parents, or his teachers, or the TV, or his phone.
A young woman who just graduated from college this past spring is not that much better off. She was probably aware that the adults around her were upset and acting strangely. She probably saw some confusing and disturbing images of destruction and panic on television. But other than that, her knowledge of 9-11 would be from her elders, the TV, her phone, and her college professors.
The cohort who took their doctorates last spring — with a median age of what? 26, maybe? — fare slightly better. They were in grade school at the time, and in the days following surely they heard discussion in class from teachers who had not yet fully assimilated the politically correct line on what happened in Manhattan and Washington on that beautiful fall day.
And so it goes, on up through the age groups until you reach us geezers, who definitely remember. Or at least some of us do.
I saw a hash tag yesterday: #NeverForget911.
My reaction was immediate and cynical: It should read #WeForgot911.
But how much forgetting has really taken place? Of those who were adults in the fall of 2001, how many paid attention, assimilated the memories, and incorporated them into a meaningful structure that was permanently retained? And how many simply went back to the way they had lived before, letting 9/11 become a brief blip in an otherwise undisturbed succession of life experiences?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. My intuition tells me that many younger people — who have been subjected to far more relentless indoctrination than I ever have — regard 9/11 through the politically correct lens that their education and the media have so painstakingly constructed for them.
My intuition also says that those of us who were over fifty when it happened probably retain a slightly less propagandistic memory of it. But only slightly, most of us — my generation stares at the vidscreen a lot, too.
For some of us, however, the events of September 11, 2001, were the beginning of seventeen years of close investigation of Islam. Back then I had read V.S. Naipaul’s Among the Believers. But nothing else. The Sword of the Prophet by Srdja Trifkovic was to come later. The writings of Robert Spencer later still. And then Reliance of the Traveller and Steve Coughlin. And much more in the years since.
In seventeen years I have learned enough to know that the dominant Western cultural narratives about Islam are simply false. If you do your investigations with due diligence — and especially if you follow Maj. Coughlin’s advice, and read sources written by Muslims, intended for a Muslim audience — you learn the extent to which you have been lied to and misled by your own leaders, who themselves have listened to the whispers of Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators.
The construction of what became the current Narrative began shortly after 9-11 with President George W. Bush, the man who inspired us all when he stood on the rubble of the World Trade Center. Islam was proclaimed to be the Religion of Peace (and eventually the “Religion of Peace and Love”, by Condoleezza Rice). A great religion had been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. The words “Islamism” and “Islamist” were coined to provide good cover for our friends, the nice Muslims, the “moderate” Muslims. The word “Islamophobe” gained greater and greater currency to describe those who refused to swallow the Narrative.
And so on and so forth, until we arrive at the present day, seventeen years later, when it is no longer possible to publicly assign the problem to Islam itself. Islam unmodified, without prefixes or suffixes. The core ideology, which is not religious, but political. A totalitarian ideology which has world domination as its long-term goal — 1,400 years and counting.
You can’t say those things and expect to hold onto your job, even if it’s with a private corporation. If you wear a slogan like that on a t-shirt, you risk a public beating.
And there are more Muslims now in all Western countries, and more official or unofficial rules against offending them, more public recognition of their sacred days and customs and sensibilities.
At least enough of us did to facilitate the eventual victory of the Sword of the Prophet.