Remembering 9/11 in the Age of Trump

Remembering 9/11 in the Age of Trump. By Bruce Bawer.

Mainstream European commentators attributed the terrorist attacks to legitimate Muslim grievances against America, and breezily dismissed suggestions that Europe might soon be struck as well. Sweeping aside Osama bin Laden’s claims, President Bush asserted that the attacks had nothing to do with Islam, which he called a “religion of peace.” He then sent armed forces to “liberate” Afghanistan and Iraq, on the premise that the people of those countries, if allowed to vote in democratic elections, would choose a democratic path.

It all turned out to be spectacularly wrong. The European savants were shown up by the horrific attacks on Madrid, Beslan, London, and elsewhere. Their perpetrators put the lie to the “religion of peace” rhetoric, repeatedly announcing that they were committing jihad, a core Islamic concept. Some people in the West understood. But the West’s cultural elite turned away. And Western leaders, while sending young men to fight abroad, left the gates wide open at home.

In Western Europe, this recklessness had an impact well beyond terrorism. Sharia enclaves. Violent crime. A financial burden that has forced welfare states to cut back on education, health care, elder care. While other immigrant groups integrated into European host cultures, Muslims demanded – with increasing success – that those cultures adapt to Islam.

9/11 was the most dramatic of warning shots; every new terrorist is only a reminder: we’re under siege. Yet countless Westerners still turn away. …

Finally, in Donald Trump, America has a president, and the Free World has a top dog, who gets it.

Yes, Trump could go further, in both words and actions, on Islam. But he’s already gone light years beyond his predecessors. He’s certainly gone far enough to outrage bien pensant types everywhere. And he’s gone far enough so that Americans who get it know beyond question that he gets it – and that he’s on their side. And they’re behind him.

As his rock-star reception in Warsaw last year reflected, most Eastern Europeans – who, unlike the editorial board of the New York Times, recognize a champion of freedom and a totalitarian ideology when they see them – are behind him, too, and are giving the finger to EU leaders who demand that they let in a Trojan horse. …

Islam is pushing Western Europe to the brink of either ruin or revolt. And seventeen years after 9/11, we have reason to hope that America is at last headed in the right direction.

hat-tip Stephen Neil