As 9/11 has receded year by year into history, kids who weren’t even born at the time, or who were just infants, have grown into young adults. …
With relatively few exceptions, they’ve been told over and over, by teachers and the media and our presidents (first Bush, then Obama), that Islam is a Religion of Peace, that Muslims who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Allah have misunderstood the faith, and that the overwhelming majority of Muslims love peace and freedom and entirely abhor acts of terror.
They don’t know that Islam means submission. They don’t see the hijab as a symbol of female oppression. They either don’t know the word jihad or have been told that it’s a benign concept, referring to inner moral struggle. They don’t know about the caliphate. If they’ve ever read anything from the Koran in school, they’ve read one or two of the innocuous-sounding tidbits, pulled entirely out of context; they’ve never read any of the hateful stuff that makes up most of the book.
They don’t know about the more than a million Europeans who were taken into slavery by Muslims from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. They don’t understand that Islam has, from its very birth, been a religion of conquest; that its followers had to be beaten back again and again in their ruthless attempts to take over Europe, attempts which, if successful, would have resulted in the slaughter, enslavement, or forcible conversion of everyone on the continent; that the Crusades were attempts to regain conquered Christian lands, not wars of unprovoked aggression.
A recent example of the results of this education came after the recent Islamic terrorist attack that killed eight people in New York:
Sayfullo Saipov did his evil work at around the time that school was supposed to let out, but because he had turned the neighborhood into a killing field, the school was put on lockdown for two hours. What did the kids at Stuyvesant [, an elite high school down the street from what was once the World Trade Center,] make of this jihadist atrocity at their doorstep? …
[A] boy with a Bangladeshi name expressed anger at the media for mentioning Saipov’s religion and his shouting of “Allahu akbar.” “Putting our religion on the line,” this kid wrote, “is worse than people dying, since we are targets now.” He maintained that the real problem is not Islam but “white people” and that the solution lies in Communism. …
A couple of non-Muslim kids stated that Saipov was obviously an Islamic terrorist and that pointed out plenty of Muslims around the world are, in fact, killing non-Muslims simply for not being Muslims.
But other kids argued back with gusto: one insisted that Islamic terror isn’t any more widespread than other types of terror; another said that it “doesn’t help at all” to focus on Saipov’s motive and that doing so was a “tabloid” thing, an act of “yellow journalism”; a third took the position that such actions were the work of “evil…people, not a religion telling them to do something.” The kids debated as to whether this atrocity should even be called a terrorist act, with several blaming the media for linking it to Islam.
hat-tip Stephen Neil