The politically correct version of the September 11 attacks holds that the Muslim world rejected such violence as un-Islamic and condemned the attacks. This is not true. The Muslim world celebrated the attacks.
I took a trip to Egypt a few years ago to do the usual tourist lap around the pyramids and up the Nile. Our guide was a Coptic Christian. During a quiet moment in Cairo, I asked him what the Egyptian reaction was to Sep 11. He said they celebrated. They marvelled at the cleverness of the attackers and considered it quite a victory. After a month, the government decided that such public celebrations of American deaths were not in its best interests and prohibited them. That stopped them cold, though they continued behind closed doors.
Here are some anecdotes of those celebrations, anecdotes that never seemed to have been picked up by the liberal media.
In Germany, Muslims celebrated with rockets:
But tolerance of Muslim immigrants began to change in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Parallel to the declarations of "unconditional solidarity" with Americans by the German majority, rallies of another sort were taking place in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Bottle rockets were set off from building courtyards, a poor man's fireworks: two rockets here, three rockets there. Altogether, hundreds of rockets were shooting skyward in celebration, just as most Berliners were searching for words to express their horror. For many German residents in Neukölln and Kreuzberg, Vogelsang recalls, that was the first time they stopped to wonder who their neighbors really were.
Whooping It Up
In Beirut, even Christians celebrated the atrocity.
BY ELISABETTA BURBA
Wall Street Journal; Saturday, September 22, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT
BEIRUT--Where were you on Sept. 11, when terrorists changed the world? I was at the National Museum here, enjoying the wonders of the ancient Phoenicians with my husband. This tour of past splendor only magnified the shock I received later when I heard the news and saw the reactions all around me.
Walking downtown, I realized that the offspring of this great civilization were celebrating a terrorist outrage. And I am not talking about destitute people. Those who were cheering belonged to the elite of the Paris of Middle East: professionals wearing double-breasted suits, charming blond ladies, pretty teenagers in tailored jeans.
Trying to find our bearings, my husband and I went into an American-style cafe in the Hamra district, near Rue Verdun, rated as one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Here the cognitive dissonance was immediate, and direct. The café's sophisticated clientele was celebrating, laughing, cheering and making jokes, as waiters served hamburgers and Diet Pepsi. Nobody looked shocked, or moved. They were excited, very excited.
An hour later, at a little market near the U.S. Embassy, on the outskirts of Beirut, a thrilled shop assistant showed us, using his hands, how the plane had crashed into the twin towers. He, too, was laughing.
Once back at the house where we were staying, we started scanning the international channels. Soon came reports of Palestinians celebrating. The BBC reporter in Jerusalem said it was only a tiny minority. Astonished, we asked some moderate Arabs if that was the case. "Nonsense," said one, speaking for many. "Ninety percent of the Arab world believes that Americans got what they deserved." ...In the seven days we spent in Lebanon, we saw one young Arab woman with teary eyes. "The stories of the victims touched me," she said, and I began to regain my trust in humanity. Then she added: "But in a way I am also glad, because for once the Americans are experiencing what we in the Middle East go through every single day." Back in Italy, I received a phone call from my friend Gilberto Bazoli, a journalist in Cremona. He told me he witnessed the same reactions among Muslims in the local mosque of that small Lombard city. "They were all on Osama bin Laden's side," he said. "One of them told me that they were not even worthy to kiss his toes.""An eyewitness to Arab 9/11 celebrations in Beirut," Elisabetta Burba, Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT
"In all honesty, and without beating around the bush: I am happy about [what happened to] America; I am happy about the great number of American dead. Let them accuse me of whatever they want. It doesn't matter and it does not lessen the happiness and excitement that overwhelm me. No one can make me take back what I say, no matter what their claims and explanations. All the innocent citizens who were killed are victims of America's barbarism and terror, ranging over half a century… Count up the number killed by American weapons in the world and compare it to the number of those killed in the US; you will find that the number of [American dead] is much less than one percent [of the latter]. I have a right to rejoice; I have a right to be filled with happiness; the Americans are finally tasting the bitterness of death."
Ahmad Murad, Al-Arabi (Egypt), September 16, 2001
"[Those moments of] exquisite, incandescent hell were the most beautiful and precious moments of my life. The towers, the walls, [symbols] of the [American] regime, were a modern, terrifying monster infiltrated by a brave and stinging hornet… This mythological monster was terrible in its pain, in its screams, and in its fall, that resembled Hell. All the media… broadcast these images for us over and over. The generations of the past, and, with Allah's help, the generations to come, will envy us for having witnessed them."
Muhammad Mustagab, Al-Usbu' (Egypt), September 17, 2001
(Describing his reaction to watching the skyjacked jets crashing into the World Trade Center)
"In the eyes of Muslims, the US is a force of oppression, thus the Muslims see what happened as divine retribution, carried out under the supervision of Allah by unknown soldiers. America practically said to the world: Only I will teach you who is Allah. Allah wanted to teach it a lesson… If not for what happened, if the lion had not been wounded in his den, we would think that our prayers were in vain and we would despair… The Americans thought they could not be defeated… They preferred the apes (i.e. the Jews) to human beings, treating human beings from outside the US cheaply, supporting homosexuals and usury. They have forgotten that in this universe there is a God whose punishment no one escapes… Allah came because they did not expect him, bombing their hearts with horror…"
Ammar Shammakh, Afaq Arabiye (Egypt), September 19, 2001
"If Osama bin Laden is proven to be involved in the attacks on the U.S., I will make a statue of him and set it in my home; I will also hang his picture in my office. Because he has proven to us that the U.S., which we thought was an undefeatable force, can be humiliated."
Salim Azzouz, Al-Ahrar (Egypt), September 24, 2001
"Although some were sorry about the killing of innocent Americans in Washington and New York, most of [our] people derived satisfaction from the insult to the American pride, and from the shaking of the faith that the American cowboy, Little Bush, places in the intelligence apparatuses and their agents throughout the world. There was nearly an Egyptian consensus on the matter, except for a few ministers who, in their hypocrisy, rushed to the American Embassy to ostentatiously offer their condolences."
General Sallah A-Din Salim, National Center for Middle East Studies, Al-Akhrar (Egypt), September 25, 2001
"As a lawyer, I say to Suspect No. 1, as the American government calls him: Oh Osama… you are a hero in the full sense of the word. [You possess] all the manly virtues, those [virtues] lacking in the half-men who control the Muslim and Arab resources (i.e. Arab rulers). For this reason, you will continue to live in our hearts and in our minds… Allah's peace, mercy, and blessings upon you; no peace, no mercy, and no blessings on the traitors and cowards who have been blinded to the truth by the pleasures of domination. May you eradicate America and its 'infinite justice'; victory to Islam and the Muslims."
To measure the reaction of the educated Egyptian-Muslim middle-class to 9/11, the Free Egyptians conducted opinion polls on a sample thereof on 9/11 and during the ensuing days when an atmosphere of euphoria and rejoicing took control of and overwhelmed the Muslim street. Release of results at an earlier date was not possible for security reasons. Part of the findings is outlined below.Of those interviewed,- 91% said they supported and rejoiced the attacks of 9/11.- 89% said America deserved to be attacked because it is an infidel country that supports the Jews.- 83% said 9/11 inspired so much zeal in them that they themselves were willing to volunteer as suicide bombers to carry out attacks against targets in America or Israel.- 94% said that 9/11 attackers died as shaheed ( martyrs.)
- 87% said that 9/11 marked the beginning of the end for America.
- 88% said that they supported more attacks on America.
After 9/11 there was celebration by Saudi's. The only way I can describe it was JOY. They were happy. I was there during 9/11 and many bombings of western compounds and the killing and beheading of Paul Johnson an American.
The days that followed were unreal.
“The planes were remote controlled by the Americans. That’s why it was easy for them to be slammed into the buildings.”
“They want to start a war to go after Afghanistan.”
“How could Osama pull off 9/11? He is thousands of kilometers away in Afghanistan.”
“The US is the superpower, isn’t it? So, how could supposedly 19 Arabs cause such havoc to such a super country?”
“The US wants to subjugate Muslims.”
That’s just what I heard from my family. The situation was not much different in the newspapers and magazines. Every time the media mentioned Osama in a story, the “who is blamed for 9/11 by Washington” was not far behind.
I was reading through a Pakistani magazine where in the letters section was this gem. “The attacks on 9/11, which we all know were caused by Mossad,...” It was mind-numbing. The Muslim world simply couldn't agree as to who was behind the 9/11 attacks when the plain truth was staring them in the face.
Though, what they could all agree on was a sense of uninhibited joy. Whether it was Americans, Israelis or the tooth fairy that was behind 9/11, they didn't mind the auspicious atrocity.
My dad told us of a blue Saudi in his office.
“He was distressed because he wanted the twin towers to topple sideways for more death and carnage.”
I felt sick. The US, just a decade before, had sent half a million of her finest to save the Saudis from imminent danger. On 9/11, the citadel of the US was attacked, thousands of innocents were murdered, and the ingrate citizens of Arabia were delighted.
Many went a step further and defended the "innocent" Muslims of Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia was one of three countries which not only recognized the Taliban regime but also sympathized with it. The attack on the pure Islamic state of Afghanistan was considered an attack on Islam itself.
It seemed that with a few exceptions the entire Muslim world had gone stark raving mad. ...
Taresa Bott witnessed the reaction in Saudi Arabia:
September 11 happened while I was living and working in Saudi Arabia. It was toward the end of our workday when an American radiologist came in to tell us of the "accident" at the World Trade Center.
He had been on the phone with a broker in the WTC building when the first plane hit. As we stood there wondering how a plane could have hit the WTC, someone else came in to tell us that another plane hit.Then we all knew it wasn't an accident. We heard sporadic yelling in the streets and happy shouts from Saudis in our own hospital. In the terminal cancer ward, patients were hooting and screaming "Down with USA," much to the horror of the American nurses tending them.
I went from feeling safe to feeling unsafe. My emotions were anger, fright, anxiety, disgust; you name it. I couldn't believe it. On the way home, my husband said the Japanese did it because of the Pearl Harbor movie. I just stared at him.
Even though I did not understand who could have done something like this, I worried about terrorism on our own soil. I wanted to know who had done it. When reports came in that Muslims had done it, I was floored. Peaceful, inviting Islam?
My feelings about my adopted country immediately changed from welcoming and warm to anger and distrust. I wanted to leave and go home, where I would feel more protected. But I could not. I was married to a Saudi and he didn't want to live in the U.S. This act of terror crushed our marriage. He did not think it was a good thing, but he didn't say it was a bad thing, either. His family was happy about the catastrophe, but tried not to show it when I was around. I felt surrounded by terrorists and just wanted to get out.
Within two years, I was back on U.S. soil and divorced. I still couldn't believe that a religion that claims it is peace-loving could do so much destruction. That single day changed my views of religions from be whatever you want to be, to never be a Muslim.
Even though I've mellowed somewhat since then, and have many Arab friends, I still wonder, did they clap and yell in happiness at the downfall of WTC, or were they sorrowful and sad that such a thing happened? I still distrust, but I do not hate Islam. I resent the people who twist it to their own ends and make others pay the price. None of us will ever have that protected feeling again because it was lost in the fire and ash of the WTC tragedy.
Patrick Notestine, a paramedic from California:I stood in the home of a very close friend in Bahrain watching the towers go down. They were Bahrainis and they cheered as lives were lost. I was absolutely shocked to see this reaction to wanton murder…
I was working in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, in my office at the King Faisal Hospital, where I managed the ambulance service. It was late afternoon, on a Tuesday, in September 2001. I got a call from a South African guy who works in the military hospital there. He told me one of the World Trade Center towers caved in, and they blew up the Pentagon.
"No," he said, "I swear to God."
I put down the phone, and ran into the office of the Assistant Director of the hospital, right across the corridor.
"What's going on?
What's the matter?" Short fellow, dyed black hair, a real slimeball. I correctly suspect that his job is way beyond him.
I told him, "Something bad's happenning."
I ran to his TV.
"You got CNN. Turn on CNN."
We sit close and watch it. I'm from California and he's from Little Rock, Arkansas.
Guys start filtering in behind us through the open door. All the Saudi management, a few in western suits, but mostly in the long white thobe and red checkered ghutra. On the screen there's the New York skyline, sparkling white and blue and sunny, with a vast dark cloud rising from Lower Manhattan. They're leaning against the filing cabinets, and hunched over the backs of chairs, riveted, silent.
I look up at them, the Head of Personnel, several men from the finance department, and the rest of them, and the second plane is coming in. Live. You have never seen such broad smiles. They were joyous. It was wow, man, HIT IT. Nobody said anything.
Well, the aftershock lasted a couple hours, with everyone shaking their heads and bemoaning the carnage, and then nearly all of them left. I have a habit of saying what's on my mind.
"Salman," I said to my friend, his name's Salman Al Dubair, "do you realize, when that second plane hit the tower, how you and Ali Bougesh were standing there grinning? It means you're happy."
"Oh no," he said.
"We're always smiling. It's a terrible thing."
Not long afterwards Prince Naif, the Minister of the Interior and Information, explained publicly that this dreadful event had been a Jewish-American conspiracy. To single out the Saudi passengers on those planes at such short notice, as the FBI had done, was ludicrous; every one of them had been a harmless student or tourist. In the Jewish section of New York on that day, on the other hand, the Jewish community had been dancing in the streets. Not a single Jew had been killed in the World Trade Center, because they all had been warned to stay away. Four hundred Muslims had died in this conspiracy to incite hatred of Islam.
George Bush talking about a crusade really pissed them off. After that most Saudis believed that the CIA, or the FBI, or George Bush personally in collusion with Israel, was responsble for 9/11. It is the conventional wisdom among Saudis to this day, even highly educated ones.
I was talking to a smart, rich Saudi I know, who was complaining that religious education in Saudi Arabia puts a brake on scientific development. You couldn't get the students to think, he said, because they'd been taught to view the world from a religious perspective and never to ask awkward questions. The people in charge didn't want people to think they wanted a continuance of the status quo. Then 9/11 came up, as it always did for a few weeks afterwards, and he went on to tell me how exultant he'd felt. He and his friends had watched the whole thing and cheered.
"Because we hate Americans," he said complacently.
"But not the people, of course," I said. "It's like us in the Gulf, we were against the
regime, we didn't hate the people."
"No, the people, too," he said. "We hate all Americans."
He looked right into my wide blue eyes as he said it.
"As the World Trade Center collapsed from the earlier attacks by Hanjour's confederates, residents could be heard rejoicing throughout the complex, according to one resident who was there. "The truth is, the residents of Skyline Towers cheered that very day when the Trade Center fell," the former tenant says. "The people in these buildings are animals.""Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington," Paul E. Sperry, p. 76-77