Photo Credit: Denise Gould
The "Tribute in Light" memorial for the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

New York, that strange part-Dutch, part-English, part-Everything-Else city, runs on the creativity of the impossible. Starving artists, aspiring actors, failed musicians, real estate mavens without a dime and brokers trading thin air. This is a city that always seems on the verge of total anarchy and destruction. It is the city that filmmakers repeatedly choose to destroy in alien invasions and other catastrophes. And yet it is the city that keeps going on that strange half-mad creativity of making things happen.

For Islam, the game is strictly zero sum. If American civilization thrives, then their civilization is shadowed. If people are happy here, then their own happiness is marred. If there are two towers in New York City, then that takes away from the glory of their civilization. Islam is the bitter beggar forever looking to steal what it cannot have, worrying over the imaginary history of its own greatness and cursing the upstarts in the streets of a foreign city for taking what was rightfully theirs.

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The American who shares his good fortune with the rest of the world cannot understand that there are some people who would rather steal than accept a gift, who would rather destroy than build and who would rather drown the world in darkness than accept someone else’s light. With difficulty he might accept the existence of a small number of people who think this way, but the notion of a civilization built in this mold is too obscene an idea for him to accept.

As with so many other strange things that wash up in the concrete streets of a strange city, it is easier to leave the mystery unsolved, to let the blanket fall back over the clash of civilizations and go on forward. It is the way that things have always been done in the city and as twin rays of light bisect the sky, they remind New Yorkers of their own fortitude, and not of the enemy waiting outside the light.

Visit Daniel Greenfield’s blog, Sultan Knish.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Daniel:

    much of what you write about 9/11 and its aftermath is written like poetry and somewhat accurate..

    However, until December 2011 when my family and I made aliyah to Netanya, we lived for 30 years a mere mile and a half from the trade towers, bombed out empty hole in the ground.We had an unobstructed view of the towers from a large, 11th story, living room window..from which my husband watched the first tower in flames and saw firsthand the second tower hit by the plane as it circled its target.

    Those of us in New York and I wager also those near the Pentagon that day…and the victims families and MUCH of the USA were changed for life by that experience…in perhaps quite different, immeasurable and very personal ways….those changes may well be internalized and not easily discerned to the outside viewer…. thus an INCORRECT assumption that we have all moved on as individuals or as a nation.

    Much of downtown New York, Chinatown, Tri Be Ca, the Lower East Side and even some of the south Village have NOT yet fully recovered from the physical and economic devastation of that day 11 years ago…

    So, I do take issue with many of your poetic observations about what so many of us experienced in different ways than you describe…nor do all of us come away from the experience with the same conclusions of racial assumptions and hatred…..

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