And so it is September 11th again and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that another year has passed in which we have not had a massive terrorist attack against our homeland.
Because we have escaped mass slaughter at the hands of Islamic extremists, we are now experiencing a different kind of narrative.
It goes something like this:
The Bush administration overreacted and because of that we are saddled with two wars, uncomfortable and rigid security measures at airports, government and office buildings and every other place which are entry points for people.
The level of disruption, discomfort and annoyance has been costly and wastes our time, energy and resources.
Al Qaeda is too demoralized and inept to mount a terrorist attack on the United States on the same scale as nine eleven.
There is no real threat. The nine eleven attack can never happen again. There are too few Jihadist extremists to gather the resources to make another terrorist attack on a grand scale possible.
While there are some who may still acknowledge that we are at risk, the facts are that only small scale attacks by fanatic Jihadists of American extraction have happened in the United States, mostly carried out by a single person influenced by an Imam who teaches his fanaticism on the Internet from a safe haven in Yemen.
There never was more than a tiny percentage of Muslims involved in terrorist attacks anyway and our giant protective infrastructure is an expensive folly.
The result of all this security results in Muslim bashing, where we blame all Muslims for the acts of a few fanatics. This undermines the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and provides fuel to our enemies by illustrating that we are an intolerant nation especially when it comes to the way we treat our Muslim citizens.
We have to keep spreading fear so that our State and National governments can fund their security projects.
It goes on and on and these views and arguments are on daily display in the mainstream media which panders to such views and gives them legitimacy and credence.
All of these observations and arguments can be answered by a few simple assertions.
It is true that most Muslims are not Jihadist extremists but ordinary upstanding people who live peaceful and virtuous lives and who want nothing more than to bring up their families in peace. Indeed, the “small” percentage of these extremists is mostly pegged at about 7% of the world wide Muslim population of more than a billion and a half people. Thus a mere 7% amounts to (gulp) eighty million people.
By that commonly researched yardstick there are eighty million Muslim extremist advocates who are eager to see Western civilization eliminated and who pursue or support murderous activities to accomplish the goal of a worldwide caliph to replace traditional western Judeo-Christian values and establish the rule of Sharia as the governing principle for everyone.
To have potential and active enemies of those “minor” proportions is, to be blunt, scary. Worse, one wonders why the 93% of peace loving Muslims are not up in arms and actively trying to rid their religion of such a destructive and murderously fanatic internal army.
Perhaps they are, but if so their efforts seem to be drowned out by the voices who actively support the eighty million. Either that or many of the vast majority are secretly in support of the idea being promulgated by the mere 7% of their co-religionists.
Powerful, fanatic and committed minorities often control the actions of the majority masses. Card carrying Communists and Nazis were a minority during those unfortunate times in which they held sway.
I must admit that I am squeamish in illustrating these numbers. I am a dedicated, committed constitutionalist who believes unwaveringly in religious freedom, even recognizing that there are many pretty weird cultish groups in America that call themselves religions and are recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service. Few would dare to meddle with people who band together under the banner of religion.
Because most of us believe strongly in that constitutional concept we have trouble understanding the militancy of some world religions and have not figured out how to cope with them other than to oppose the militancy of their activities on other grounds.
This is a dilemma that, quite obviously, has no easy solutions or may not have any solutions at all under our constitutional safeguards. How can we fight a religious fanatic who wants to kill us in the name of his or her religion and still profess that he or she has every right to practice that religion, even though a branch of it has a murderous agenda that is based on religious teachings of faith and conformity?
I wish I knew the answer.