What I Have Learned Since 9-11


I was on my way back from a vacation when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. My wife and I were listening to music on a CD and enjoyed our ride home, and knew nothing about it. When we got home, we listened to our messages. The first two were from family members hysterically crying, "We've been attacked! America is at war!"

My first thought, of course, was the ever-eloquent, "What the fuck!?!"

We watched the news, and I was baffled. Why would anyone do such a thing? I was about as ignorant about this as someone can be. But I'm a learner. It's what I like to do. And since that day, I've learned a lot.

I learned that this was not an isolated incident. Attacks had become more frequent and more deadly over the years. I just hadn't noticed.

And I eventually learned that this is not just a problem of generic "terrorism," but a global movement based on teachings from the Koran and the example of Muhammad. I learned that Islam is a unique religion because it's a political system and a system of law as well as being what most people would call a religion. Its goal is world domination, it has explicit permission for (and approval of) violence in its holy books, and it is intolerant of non-Muslims. Its laws even include legally-imposed discrimination against non-Muslims (and all women). (Read more about that here.)

I learned that an almost-uninterrupted jihad has been waged against non-Muslims for 1400 years. The attacks are near constant. So far since 9-11, Jihadis have carried out 23,795 deadly attacks. Most of us don't see it as a war. We see isolated attacks. If you take in the whole global view, however, or listen to the point of view of a Jihadi, or read this, you will see it for what it is: A global war — orthodox Muslims against everybody else.

The majority of the conflicts in the world today consist of Jihadis fighting non-Muslims or Muslims who are considered insufficiently Islamic. If you removed jihad from the world right now, it would be a fairly peaceful place.

I also learned that one of the main reasons democracies have so much trouble dealing with Jihadis is because of an important conflict within democracies. Specifically, most people in the free world believe 1) everyone has a right to worship as they wish, and 2) discrimination of any kind is wrong. These are important foundational principles of liberal democracies around the world.

Why is this a problem? Because the simplest way to deal with Islam would be to discriminate against it. In other words, to openly admit Islam is unique (because of its political aspirations and religious duty to overthrow all other forms of law and government), and stop all concessions to Islam and roll back any concessions already made.

We "can't do that" because it violates important values of our societies. Or does it necessarily? This dialog needs to happen and solutions need to be created for it. But of course, that can't happen as long as the majority of people in free countries remain ignorant of the most elementary facets of Islam. And it's not just ignorance. Many people have a real resistance to hearing anything about it because even talking about it seems to violate the principles of decency and kindness!

So the final thing I've learned is that the solution to this problem starts with a grassroots movement: Those who know something about Islam's dangers to the free world must talk to people who don't, and successfully educate them. Once enough people are educated, national conversations can happen that could result in new, carefully-crafted policies that retain our democratic freedoms while limiting the destructive and insidious encroachment of orthodox Islam.

If you want to participate in this grassroots movement (and I hope you do), start here: WhatYouCanDoAboutIslam.com.

Please add your comments below. What have you learned since 9-11?


Anonymous 1:29 PM  

Great working and practical tribute. As usual, you hit the nail on the head CW. Great tribute, people must never forget. We must never refuse to recognize evil.
we will NOT forget
you 9/11 victims
will get justice
painful truth -
9/11 should be our
wakeup call
get Bin Laden -
we just need big SWAT team
and search warrant

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
there is no good or evil

everything's relative
don't judge a terrorist

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
Help Halt Terrorism Today!
We will NEVER forget!


Citizen Warrior 2:37 PM  

Thanks, USpace! I appreciate that.

Always On Watch 8:56 AM  

For the first 9/11 since 2001, I didn't have much time to spend on the web. Work obligations!

But...I did begin teaching this year's course in American Government yesterday. Because the text we use is dated 1997, I had the opening to talk about changes in our government and our way of life since 9/11.

No notes.
I spoke from all the research I've been doing and included some personal material as well. I think that yesterday might have seen the best class I've ever taught in some 35 years of teaching! The students were rapt by the information I shared.

I hope that the rest of the term's classes are as effective.

Note: I teach groups of homeschoolers. We are politically incorrect!

Always On Watch 8:57 AM  


I forgot to thank you for this excellent post. Well done!

Citizen Warrior 9:14 AM  

Thanks, Always On Watch. I appreciate the compliment, especially coming from you.

And what a satisfying class to teach! That's the kind of history and insight those kids would never get in a public school. I know what you teach because I read and recommend your excellent blog, Always On Watch. Semper Vigilans!

Citizen Warrior 11:05 AM  

I thought this was good. Someone asked "what you remember" from the day the World Trade Center was attacked. Several people have answered:

Where Were You

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

You're most welcome CW, and good for you on your teaching AOW, we need more like you.

Now, for my flashback: I was getting ready to get ready for work; Howard was on the radio, the TV's sound was muted.

I finally looked up and saw the tower with smoke pouring out of it and said "what the...", and then turned the sound on and just then my sister called and we watched and talked about it for a few minutes until the 2nd plane hit.
We were both "Oh my God..."

For the next week or more my nabes was like a demilitarized zone or something, only official traffic allowed. Lots of firetrucks and buses filled with fireman and rescue workers streamed through the neighborhood on their way down to Ground Zero.

Thankfully I lost no one, but know many people who did, including a friend at work who had joined us from Cantor Fitzgerald after being there for 10 years. He lost over 100 friends and acquaintances, including 3 of his best friends who I had met at a birthday party at a club about 6 months before.

They loved the nickname I had given him.

A friend of mine called his wife at home and said "Go and get a few hundred dollars out of an ATM, quick!" She finally had to go way uptown to find one that still had cash in it. But on the way back to their apartment she ran into many upper-class Mommies out on the streets (with their husbands still on their way home from work, hopefully) with their little kids and no way to get cash, and all of them crying and scared, and so little by little she gave away all her money to these scared and crying young Mothers.

So many stories, maybe I'll recount more next year.

We must NEVER let people forget.


hate evil
embrace the feeling
- but what is it?

history's fascists -
those ones Christian were
led NOT by Bible

Muslim ones claim God's will
words of Koran justify

Citizen Warrior 11:12 AM  

Thank you, USpace. You were right there. Wow.

Yes, please. More stories.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

Good Grief -- What I have learned !!!
I began reading about Islam, its history, economics, customs and taking notes. Notes grew into a book that now has been published. THE MUSLIM ECONOMIC TRAP. I can't begin to summarize it here.


Walter Sieruk 7:23 AM  

With this thirteenth anniversary of the heinous jihad affront that occurred on September 11, 2001 by those Al Qaeda operatives who were both evil and deluded. They were evil because their violent and vicious actions resulted in the murder of so many people. They were deluded because they believed that they would receive a lust filled paradise with many virgins,houris,in it. Each virgins for his use only. This is the outcome of this outlandish ,bizarre and far-fetched [Islamic] doctrine of a sex filled place with virgins. which resulted in the mass murder of so many people. This strange and weird belief resulted in the actions of evil men action in very deadly ways. This type of terrible mindset may be described by the French philosopher ,Voltaire, who wrote. "As long as men continue to believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."

Walter Sieruk 7:30 AM  

With this thirteenth anniversary of the jihad affront against both humankind and America it would be wise to have both Fortitude and vigilance. For the enemy is still scheming for a future attack. As Thomas Jefferson had stated "Fortitude...teaches us to meet and surmount difficulties; no to fly from them." and "Let the eye of vigilance never be closed."

Anonymous 7:05 PM  

what have I learned? I have learned that all muslim islamics want to turn the whole world into an muslim. islamic where only mislim islamics have the right to exist and any human on earth that doesn't bow to them is as good as dead.


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