In 1997, the New York Daily News wrote an upbeat story about Mehdi’s Star and Crescent, which envisioned Islam blending in merrily into the holiday season.
New York may seem a little brighter this holiday season as the glowing Muslim crescent and star symbol nudges its way onto a seasonal landscape of Christmas trees, menorahs and Kwanzaa candles.
Watch out, ho, ho, ho-ing Santas you might get drowned out by cheery folks yelling, “Allahu akbar!”
Four years later, cheery folks yelling “Allahu Akbar” had filled downtown Manhattan with ashen snow and brightened it with the flames of the burning towers of the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 hijackers left behind notes, which said among other things, “Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers”. If there were any Santas on those planes, they were certainly drowned out by the cries of “Allah Akbar”. And if that didn’t drown them out, having their throats being slit by the cheery folks with box cutters surely did.On the Christmas of 2001, New York City was a city with an open wound. Muslims had finally made their impact on the holiday season in a truly unforgettable way. At Ground Zero, workers were still struggling to search through the remains, looking for bodies or parts of them. “It would be like a gift for somebody,” a police officer said, who was spending his holiday searching through the debris. A gift for the non-believers on that holiday season from Islam.While Muslims were stuffing their faces in November of 2001, Americans were mourning their dead. While Abdul, Mohammed and Raisa were picking through their lamb stew, Americans were picking up the pieces of their loved ones. And yet it was Americans who were repeatedly told to be sensitive to Muslim concerns.
From Pakistan, Musharraf urged the US to suspend bombing his Taliban allies during Ramadan… in the name of sensitivity. New York City schools were making arrangements for Muslim prayers out of “heightened sensitivity to Muslim concerns after the Sept. 11 attack”. Instead of Americans being on the receiving end of “heightened sensitivity”, the ideology that had conspired to murder them was.On the 9th anniversary of 9/11, Islam had another gift for us. Having bought up a building damaged in their own attack, they plotted to set up a grand mosque near Ground Zero. Another gift to New Yorkers from the religion that kept on giving. Another Crescent and Star.The same people who did not learn the lesson in 1997, and allowed the Crescent and Star to fly at the World Trade Center, were eager to let the Ground Zero Mosque go forward in the name of tolerance. But despite the Crescent and Star, appeasement proved to be no defense. 3,000 people died on 9/11 because American leaders preferred to appease, rather than confront. And we are still busy appeasing, like never before.
Allah Akbar and Ho, Ho, Ho.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.