Michael Copeland looks back to the moment when George W. Bush launched his enduring “Islam is peace” meme.
More than a generation has grown up who never knew 9/11. Very probably they are unacquainted with quite how it was that President George W. Bush came to misinform the nation, and the West, that “Islam is Peace”, the untrue slogan that, all these years on, still banefully blights the West.
“Islam is Peace” — The Anatomy of a Masterly Deception
by Michael Copeland
“Islam is peace”. We know that because Western leaders have told us: Blair, Brown, Cameron, they all said that. And, have you noticed, they all said it in a sort of special hushed reverential tone? What was going on? Why the drop in volume?
The hushed voice trail goes back to President George W. Bush. A few days after 9/11 it was he who told us all on television, in a special reverential manner, “Islam is peace”. This is where it comes from. This is where British leaders heard it, later repeating it complete with hushed voice, probably without even realising. We accepted the message. Bush was on television, so it must be true, no?
We are accustomed to the format: a Presidential or Prime Ministerial address from the state office. Everyone pay attention: this is our leader talking directly to us. Yet this broadcast was different. Bush was standing, with other people nearby behind him watching him speak, and watching rather closely. Who were they? Where was he? Why were they there?
Crafty and masterly
Bush was, most unusually, in a mosque. Now we all know that Bush is not a Muslim. Why was he in a mosque? Apparently the White House, already having Islamic sympathisers in place, had requested a meeting with the grandly self-styled “Council on American Islamic Relations”, CAIR. Also apparently this was a replacement for a meeting originally scheduled for 9/11, but which had been overtaken by events. Though the pretentiously named “Council” promote themselves as a civil rights advocacy group, they are a Hamas-linked foreign-funded pressure group for securing Muslim privilege. They make a point of gaining publicity and claiming to speak for America’s Muslims. CAIR is a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is outlawed in its native Egypt for being a terrorist organisation. They invited Bush not to their office in Washington, but to the mosque, a crafty and masterly move. The mosque being their territory, it empowered them with a Gamesmanship psychological advantage. It was a trap.
Obediently shoeless, and most inappropriately referring to the CAIR personnel as “the good folks standing with me,” Bush delivered the “Islam is peace” assurance to the camera. Hold it there for a moment. The camera? Mosques do not normally have cameras on hand. The press was there too, to take pictures. Who was it who arranged for them to be there? The White House with its Islamic sympathisers? CAIR? Perhaps we may never know. Certainly it had all been carefully set up. The broadcast was not live: the footage was recorded. The video can be seen on the internet.
By inference it was the location, a house of worship, that influenced Bush to adopt the hushed tones. Maybe that had been CAIR’s intention all along. The special calm and lowered voice comes across as extra sincere and personal. It is this reverential tone that has been unwittingly duplicated by other Western leaders. In delivering his speech, Bush stumbled on some of the words, and makes small mistakes. The CAIR people looked on critically, as if monitoring his performance. After Bush had spoken the imam made a short deceptive speech stressing peace, thereby sealing the deal.
A particularly curious feature of Bush’s “Islam is peace” broadcast is the striking way in which the West, within a nanosecond as it were, suddenly forgot that Bush is not a source of general knowledge. As if under hypnosis, so many people suspended normal critical faculties and drank in this learned guru of Islam. The reality is quite different: Bush was well-known for not being a source of knowledge. Collections have been made of his un-knowledgeable utterances. He is the president who thought Austrians speak Austrian, and that French does not have a word for entrepreneur. Why the sudden public memory loss? Quite probably it is to do with the persuasive manner, the sincere person-to-person assurance, that a lowered voice transmits. It also helps that the message is what people want to hear. Remember that at that time Western viewers knew very little about Islam, and the Left had been busy propagating its false assertion, “All religions are the same”. Bush’s assurance was received in good faith.
At about the same date that this meeting was happening, police in Switzerland, at the request of the USA, raided the house of an Arab banker. In it they found, in Arabic, a secret internal document of the Muslim Brotherhood, “The Project”. This had been composed by Said Ramadan, father of Tariq. It expresses Islam’s ongoing permanent objective of imposing a Caliphate on the entire world, by force if necessary, eliminating all other forms of government and enforcing Islamic law only. One of the instructions for achieving this is, “Use deception to mask intended goals.” Islam authorises deception of non-Muslims, kafirs, in the cause of Islam: it has an Arabic name, taqiyya. Unknown to Bush (presumably), he was in the wolves’ lair, being deceived and exploited as a high-value pawn. All this was unknown to the Western public at the time.
The deception of Bush was followed by the deception of Blair, Brown, Cameron, Clegg, May — all, as it happens, advised by serial liar Tariq Ramadan — and of the rest of the English-speaking world. The announcement was a masterstroke of PR. The guru had spoken. The dominoes fell. It was a huge success, an altogether amazing phenomenon. All the time it had been a lie. Anjem Choudary has given the correction: “You can’t say that Islam is a religion of peace”, he told BBC Newsnight, “because Islam does not mean peace: Islam means submission.” But, hey, Anjem Choudary is not a world leader or a Hollywood heartthrob, so he was not taken seriously by the telly-drugged public. Nor, very culpably, was he heeded by Western politicians, even though he is an authority on Islam. No, it was too late. The “peace” notion had been planted, reinforced by the imam speaking after Bush. It was welcomed by a Western audience almost completely new to the subject. The mind is always reluctant to undo what it has accepted.
The extra-sincere person-to-person hushed tone of Bush’s words distracts us from a detail that can be seen on the footage: he is following a script. Standing in the mosque with his hosts in a semicircle behind him watching like hawks, he has a lectern in front bearing a paper from which he is reading. Bush refers to having had a meeting with “the good folks standing with me”. The paper was evidently part of the meeting. Very probably it had been prepared beforehand. Who composed the text? It is an interesting question that may never be answered. There are clues, though.
A curious feature of the content is expressed when Bush dwells on a possible backlash, and how this must not be allowed to happen: no-one is to single out a Muslim woman just because of wearing a headscarf, and so on. This is distinctly odd. Such a caution is completely unwarranted in America, and completely un-Western. A backlash like that is not a feature of the West, nor, indeed, was it after 9/11. It is, though, very much a feature of the Islamic world. Time after time, when there has been some slight in the West against Islam, like the burning of a Koran, this is taken out in the Islamic world on local Christian communities, as in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Islam treats the kafirs, the non-Muslims, as complicit. In characteristic Islamic mob thuggery they are beaten up or even killed, their shops burnt, their houses destroyed. It is a very serious and predictable problem. This indicates that the text was composed from a Muslim viewpoint, articulating Islamic concerns.
Bush is no Islamic scholar: he would not have known that the wording was false. The points in his speech will have been provided to him: his own utterances tend to be accident-prone. The text is a string of untrue statements. Bush’s reading of it is a historic piece of artfully contrived propaganda theater.
“…the good folks standing with me… were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks.”
Not so. As Muslim Brotherhood members they were entirely in favour of this jihad attack on the “Great Satan”. The phrase “standing with me”, describing the CAIR members standing behind him, happens to have a convenient ambiguity: it can also mean “sharing my view”. They certainly did not share Bush’s view.
“… Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens.”
Not so. Muslims in many nations and communities, including in the USA, were celebrating, rejoicing, and handing out candy.
“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”
Not so. Kafirs, as Anjem Choudary explained to a scowling disbelieving interviewer on BBC Newsnight, are not innocent: they have chosen not to follow the path of Allah so are guilty of unbelief, kufr, and thus are the enemy. That is Islam’s teaching. “Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy”, says Koran 4:101. The Koran, part of Islamic law, commands, “Kill them wherever you find them” (2:191, 9:5).
“….we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth.”
Not so. Islam teaches that Muslims are “the best of peoples raised up for mankind” (3:110), while kafirs are “the worst of creatures” (98:6) who are to be regarded with “enmity and hatred forever” (60:4). Omar Bakri preached, “The life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.”
Bush’s script includes some statements that are meant to be disapproving, but are surprisingly revealing:
“These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”
Who can disagree?
As shown above, Muslim communities overseas routinely mete out violence to local kafirs in response to events in the West against Islam. Bush has this to say about such a response, were it to happen in the USA:
“Those who feel like they can intimidate our [Muslim] fellow citizens to take out their anger don’t represent the best of America, they represent the worst of humankind, and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.”
Bush said it: “they represent the worst of humankind”.
Not everyone was taken in. Commenter Davegreybeard Apr 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm writes:
“I was completely ignorant of Islam at the time….But I knew that the 9/11 hijackers claimed they were doing it for Allah and to watch GW proclaim that Islam was a religion of peace was just too much — I smelled a big rat.”
Commenter Chatillon writes, Apr 14, 2018 at 11:01 am
“I remember Dubya’s post 9/11 speech well; the feeling of betrayal, the complete disbelief of how he could have got things so wrong.”
Islam is peace? No. That was a set-up, a lie, a deception, and a phenomenally successful one. Islam is the ideology of ongoing “war against unbelievers” (Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller, o9.0) with jihad as “a permanent war institution” against kafirs (per Al Azhar in Cairo). Islam’s overriding command is hostile. Muslims are to spread Islamic rule, by force if needed, as the only governance — political governance — in a global Caliphate, “one nation to the exclusion of all others”.
The West was deceived. The “Islam is peace” refrain remains a hugely successful propaganda deception that has run and run. Alas, all these years later, it still continues to influence Western politicians. It was not dislodged even when the Caliph of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, qualified with a PhD in Islamic Studies, made it clear:
“Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.”
The peace deception has remained potent for too long. Now we have to become undeceived.
The sooner the better.
For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.