At a community college in California last week, a student group was denied permission to hold a 9-11 commemoration because it would make some students “uncomfortable.”
We shake our heads in bewilderment at such extremes of political correctness. And yet, the rest of the country is not far behind in towing the line.
Many of the prominent 9-11 “remembrance” ceremonies announced for the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack have something missing. The really uncomfortable thing is that we all know what that missing something is: there will be no naming of Islamic radicalism as the motivation and the instrument of the murder of thousands of innocent people on that beautiful September morning fifteen years ago.
Yes, there will be mention of this documented fact in some news commentaries and obviously, in personal conversations by millions of Americans — because we all know it to be true. But it is significant and profoundly disturbing that in the OFFICIAL 9- 11 commemoration ceremonies across the country, it will be considered “islamophobic” to name Islamic radicalism as the reason for that horrific loss of life.
What is going on here? Do we commemorate the sinking of the Titanic without mentioning the iceberg? Do we commemorate the Civil War without mentioning slavery? Do we commemorate Pearl Harbor Day without mentioning Admiral Tojo or D-Day without mentioning Hitler? No. But we are commemorating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil without mentioning who attacked us. Why?
The answer is as simple as it is troublesome: We are allowing the political establishment to hold our 9-11 remembrance ceremonies hostage to political correctness. Everyone laughs at political correctness run amok in our entertainment industry, our universities, and our news media, but who will stand up to it when it captures and corrupts our national recognition of both our loss and a war that is not yet won?
My home state of Colorado is no different. Our Governor will preside over a colorful and patriotic ceremony at Denver’s Civic Center Park involving a flyover, bell chimes commemorating the 9-11 victims, and special recognition of the over 400 firefighters and law enforcement officers who died at the World Trade Center.
And, of course, there will be rock music bands as part of the “remembrance” — how else can they attract 40,000 citizens to Civic Center Park on a warm Sunday afternoon in September? But in between the rock music and the military spectacles and the chimes, there will be no mention by the Governor of Colorado of the identities or motivations of the 19 terrorists who attacked our nation that day– or of the continuing jihad waged against America by radical Islam.
Like other ceremonies across the nation, the afternoon of September 11, 2016 will be a recognition of the bravery and sacrifice of our military and our first responders, and all that is all good and necessary. Every day we have reason to be grateful for their sacrifices. But on this very special day, any mention of the REASON for this event, the REASON we gather in solemn remembrance, would be considered in bad taste. No one must spoil the festive atmosphere by reminding people of who killed thousands of Americans fifteen years ago and who continue to plot more bloody massacres while we celebrate the healing powers of diversity.
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado represents dozens of religious faiths in dedication to social justice and human rights. Presumably, human rights are threatened by terrorism, but the progressive organization’s web page is silent on terrorism. The organization’s events calendar finds space for listing a late September event held in support of a higher Minimum Wage, but strangely, it has no room for mention of the September 11 remembrance rally in Denver. Evidently, the rock bands were not enough.
Making some Americans “uncomfortable” by the mention of Islamist radicalism is a small price to pay compared to the price our military and first responders are asked to pay every day of the lives.
College students or young urban millennials who demand we love all mankind and all religions equally might not be as “uncomfortable” as the first responders rushing into a burning building, the police officers confronting an Islamist terrorist armed with a suicide belt, or the parents of a soldier killed in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban, an Islamist outfit not well known for its celebration of diversity.
Mentioning radical Islam as the culprit in our remembrance of both heroes and victims of the 9-11 attacks would indeed make some people “uncomfortable.” But forgive me for thinking that maybe that is what we need this September as much as candles, chimes and rock music.