Following the 9/11 attacks on our nation, President Bush addressed a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001 and said, “Our ‘war on terror’ begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”
In order to defeat an enemy, we must be able define our enemy. In the days since 9/11, our nation has been involved in a war most Americans were not aware we were even fighting. It is a war we are currently losing – a war of information.
The 9/11 Commission was a bi-partisan group that investigated the 9/11 terrorism attacks on our nation. This Commission “interviewed over 1,200 people in 10 countries and reviewed over two and a half million pages of documents, including some closely guarded classified national security documents.” A final report of the Commission’s findings was released on July 22, 2004.
The language used to describe the attacks on our nation in the 9/11 Commission report reflected the research of the Commission. Here are some examples of the words used and the number of times they appeared in the report: Enemy (39), Jihad (126), Muslim (145), Islam (322), Muslim Brotherhood (5), Religious (65), al Qaeda (36), and Violent Extremism (3).
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) along with other Muslim groups attacked the report. MPAC said, “Terminology is important in defining our goals as well as removing roadblocks into hearts and minds. The 9/11 Commission identifies Islamist terrorism as the threat. The Muslim Public Affairs Council recommends that the US government find other terminology.”
This began a sterilization of the language our government uses regarding terror that continues today.
For example, in 2008, the FBI Counter-terrorism Analytical Lexicon was published. The document’s stated purpose is “to help standardize the terms used in FBI analytical products dealing with counterterrorism.” In this document, the words enemy, jihad, Muslim, Islam, Muslim Brotherhood, and al Qaeda are no longer used. Violent extremism is used 29 times and religious only 3 times. Our enemy, terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda have been quite clear regarding their motivation. Removing language that is part of that motivation simply makes it more difficult to defeat them.
Major Nidal Hasan, a US Army officer shot and killed 13 people and injured 32 at the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) as he shot the unarmed soldiers and civilians. Hasan had met Anwar al-Awlaki, now deceased al-Qaeda leader and exchanged e-mails with him prior to the attack. After the attack, a Senate report described it as “the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001,” and said Hasan had become an adherent of “violent Islamist extremism.”
In 2010 the Department of Defense released, Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood a review of the Fort Hood incident. In this report the word “religious” is used 59 times, but there is no mention of enemy, Muslim, Islam, or jihad. Although Major Hasan was in contact with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, neither one of these organizations are mentioned in the report. Even more incredibly, Major Hasan, the single shooter in the Ft. Hood incident is never mentioned in the Fort Hood report. In addition, the Department of Defense labeled the incident “workplace violence.”
PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT
- If an enemy cannot be identified, it cannot be defeated. Pray that our government will stop being politically correct and use language to define the enemies against our nation honestly, thoroughly and accurately.
- Pray for leaders within our government to stand up and stop allowing outside interest groups to control the language of security documents that are further weakening our country.
- Pray that any group that has a voice within the government of the United States will first give allegiance to our government over any foreign ties.
- Pray that Muslims and Muslim organizations who desire to live in peace and who support the U.S. Constitution will rise up, take a stand and make their voices heard.