Imams and Dhimmi Clergy Condemn Mention of “Jihad” and “Islamist” at 9/11 Museum Exhibit

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Last Letters of the 9/11 Muslim Terrorists: “Remind your brothers that this act is for Almighty Allah”

The “interfaith panel” of dhimmis and apologists have raised objections to the portrayal of jihad and Islam in a short 7-minute film that is part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. These seditious idiots were pleased with the photos of Muslims mourning 9/11, but wanted nothing at the Museum that would speak to the motive behind the biggest and bloodiest attack on the homeland in US history. Close to 3,000 of our friends, family, and first responders being slaughtered wasn’t terrible enough. We have to be polite to the slaughterers?

Deaths by Area of Attack Deaths
World Trade Center 2,606
Airlines 246
Pentagon Building 125
Hijackers 19
Total number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks 2,996
Casualties in the World Trade Center and Surrounding Area Deaths
Residents of New York 1,762
Persons in North Tower (Tower 1) 1,402
Persons in South Tower (Tower 2) 614
Residents of New Jersey 674
Employees of Marsh Inc. 355
Firefighters 343
Employees of Aon Corporation 175
Port Authority police officers 37
Police officers 23
Paramedics 2
1 firefighter was killed by a man who jumped off the top floors
Casualties on the Airplanes Deaths
American Airlines Flight 11 (North Tower) 87
United Airlines Flight 175 (South Tower) 60
American Airlines Flight 77 (Pentagon) 59
United Flight 93 (Shanksville, PA) 40
Casualties inside the Pentagon Deaths
Military and civilian deaths 125

If the museum went to the trouble of showing Muslims who mourned 9/11, did the museum also devote space to the Muslims who danced on 9/11 in Queens, New Jersey, Europe and the Middle East? If not, why not?

Dr. Ahmed said. “… when you associate their religion with what they did, then you are automatically including, by association, one and a half billion people who had nothing to do with these actions and who ultimately the U.S. would not want to unnecessarily alienate.”

We don’t associate their religion with what they did; the jihadists associate their religion with what they did. How insane is this conversation? The last letters left by the 19 Muslim terrorists said that the attack was in the cause of Islam, and cited Allah 90 times. Is that in the film?

They want jihad and islamist (a ridiculous word) scrubbed from the film.

The last letters from the 911 jihadis
The last letters from the 911 jihadis

Interfaith panels and dialogue go only one way: to submission and appeasement. The imam on the panel resigned in protest. If only imams would resign in protest of the jihadi doctrines that call for holy war and the wholesale slaughter  of non-Muslims and secular Muslims. And the non-Muslim “clerics” on the panel who are agitating for Islam stand silent in the face of the genocide of their own people, the Christians who are being slaughtered under Muslim rule in Islamic countries. These “reverends” would be defrocked in a just and rational world. Instead, these organ grinders’ monkeys sit on 9/11 museum panels and

 Peter B. Gudaitis with the Rev. Chloe Breyer, left, of the Interfaith Center of New York, and the Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger, of New York Disaster Interfaith Services. They are members of a panel that has raised objections to the film. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Peter B. Gudaitis with the Rev. Chloe Breyer, left, of the Interfaith Center of New York, and the Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger, of New York Disaster Interfaith Services. They are members of a panel that has raised objections to the film. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

attempt to enforce sharia restrictions on the 9/11 story. I have gone up many times against one of these tools, the Rev. Chloe Breyer of the Interfaith Center of New York, during the Ground Zero mosque battle. She fought hard for that victory mosque, and the Islamic supremacists behind that mosquestrosity loved using that witless clown.

Atlas readers know that I have raised strong objections to some of the 9/11 Museum management’s plans — like placing the human remains of over 1,600 victims in the Museum behind a wall, but in this case, they deserve to be applauded. They have refused to black out and edit the parts of this short film that tell the truth.

“Interfaith Panel Denounces a 9/11 Museum Exhibit’s Portrayal of Jihad,” NY Times

Past the towering tridents that survived the World Trade Center collapse, adjacent to a gallery with photographs of the 19 hijackers, a brief film at the soon-to-open National September 11 Memorial Museum will seek to explain to visitors the historical roots of the attacks.

The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed with his voice are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, rendered in foreign-accented English translations.

The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum. But it has suddenly become over the last few weeks a flash point in what has long been one of the most highly charged issues at the museum: how it should talk about Islam and Muslims.

With the museum opening on May 21, it has shown the film to several groups, including an interfaith advisory group of clergy members. Those on the panel overwhelmingly took strong exception to the film and requested changes. But the museum has declined. In March, the sole imam in the group resigned to make clear that he could not endorse its contents.


Sitting in his mosque, Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan, answered questions about why he found a film about Al Qaeda at the museum deeply offensive. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan, wrote in a letter to the museum’s director. “Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.”

Museum officials are standing by the film, which they say they vetted past several scholars.

“From the very beginning, we had a very heavy responsibility to be true to the facts, to be objective, and in no way smear an entire religion when we are talking about a terrorist group,” said Joseph C. Daniels, president and chief executive of the nonprofit foundation that oversees the memorial and museum.

But the disagreement has been ricocheting through scholarly circles in recent weeks. At issue is whether it is appropriate or inflammatory for the museum to use religious terminology like “Islamist” and “jihad” in conjunction with the Sept. 11 attacks, without also making clear that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful.

The terms “Islamist” and “jihadist” are frequently used in public discourse to describe extremist Muslim ideologies. But the problem with using such language in a museum designed to instruct people for generations is that most visitors are “simply going to say Islamist means Muslims, jihadist means Muslims,” said Akbar Ahmed, the chairman of the Islamic studies department at American University.

“The terrorists need to be condemned and remembered for what they did,” Dr. Ahmed said. “But when you associate their religion with what they did, then you are automatically including, by association, one and a half billion people who had nothing to do with these actions and who ultimately the U.S. would not want to unnecessarily alienate.”

The question of how to represent Islam in the museum has long been fraught. It was among the first issues that came up when the museum began asking for advice in about 2005 from a panel of mostly Lower Manhattan clergy members who had been involved in recovery work after the attacks.

Peter B. Gudaitis, who brought the group together as the chief executive of New York Disaster Interfaith Services, said the museum rejected certain Islam-related suggestions from the panel, such as telling the story of Mohammad Salman Hamdani, a Muslim cadet with the New York Police Department who died in the attacks and was initially suspected as a perpetrator.

There was wide agreement, however, that the exhibit space should make clear that Muslims were not just perpetrators, but also among the attack’s victims, mourners and recovery workers — an integral part of the fabric of American life.

A year ago, concerns about how the film might be viewed by Muslim visitors were raised at a screening by a select group of Sept. 11 family members, law enforcement and others. As a result, several months ago, museum officials invited the interfaith group to view the film and tour the still unfinished exhibits.

The panel was pleased to see photographs of Muslims mourning included in photo montages. The museum also includes stories of Muslim victims and the reflections of Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, on the impact of the attacks on America, the museum said.

“In general, everybody was very moved and impressed,” Mr. Gudaitis said.


Peter B. Gudaitis with the Rev. Chloe Breyer, left, of the Interfaith Center of New York, and the Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger, of New York Disaster Interfaith Services. They are members of a panel that has raised objections to the film. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

But then the group screened the Qaeda film and grew alarmed at what they felt was its inflammatory tone and use of the words “jihad” and “Islamist” without, they felt, sufficient explanation.

“As soon as it was over, everyone was just like, wow, you guys have got to be kidding me,” Mr. Gudaitis said.

He and another member of the panel, the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York, began to organize a response. On Monday, they sent the museum’s directors a formal letter on behalf of the 11 members of the interfaith group who had seen the film, asking for edits. Their concern was heightened by the personal experience many on them have had with anti-Muslim sentiment, including the national uproar over the construction of a mosque and Muslim community center a few blocks from ground zero.

The response from the museum was immediate, though accidental: Clifford Chanin, the education director, inadvertently sent the group an email intended solely for the museum’s senior directors, indicating he was not overly concerned.

“I don’t see this as difficult to respond to, if any response is even needed,” he wrote.

The museum did remove the term “Islamic terrorism” from its website earlier this month, after another activist, Todd Fine, collected about 100 signatures of academics and scholars supporting its deletion.

In interviews, several leading scholars of Islam said that the term “Islamic terrorist” was broadly rejected as unfairly conflating Islam and terrorism, but the terms Islamist and jihadist can be used, in the proper context, to refer to Al Qaeda, preferably with additional qualifiers, like “radical,” or “militant.”

But for Mr. Elazabawy, and many other practicing Muslims, the words “Islamic” and “Islamist” are equally inappropriate to apply to Al Qaeda, and the word “jihad” refers to a positive struggle against evil, the opposite of how they view the terrorist attacks.

“When you use the word ‘Islam,’ that means they are a part of us,” he said in an interview. “We reject that.”

For his part, Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, defended the film, whose script he vetted.

“The critics who are going to say, ‘Let’s not talk about it as an Islamic or Islamist movement,’ could end up not telling the story at all, or diluting it so much that you wonder where Al Qaeda comes from,” Dr. Haykel said.

The museum declined to make the film available for viewing by The New York Times.

Michael Frazier, a museum spokesman, said the film would be shown in a gallery that also had two large interpretive panels illustrating how Al Qaeda was portrayed as “a far fringe of Islam.” Museum officials emphasized that Mr. Chanin and the rest of the museum took the concerns about the film very seriously.

“What helps me sleep at night is I believe that the average visitor who comes through this museum will in no way leave this museum with the belief that the religion of Islam is responsible for what happened on 9/11,” said Mr. Daniels, the president of the museum foundation. “We have gone out of the way to tell the truth.”

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