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Monday, January 10, 2011

Change the National 9 - 11 Memorial and Museum

Immediately after 9 -11 New York Mayor Giuliani rejected Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s money because it came with an insult to America.  Bin Talal is currently funding the Ground Zero Victory Mosque.[i]  And now a worse insult!  Bin Talal is helping to write the National 9 – 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero!  

Less then a month after 9 – 11, at an early 9 – 11 memorial event, bin Talal attempted to give Giuliani $10 million for disaster relief.  But bin Talal simultaneously suggested that we look at our American policies that justified the attack including our support for Israel. 

Giuliani rejected the assertion that good justifications existed for the 9 – 11 attacks and refused the money.  America’s mayor said, "To suggest that there's a justification for [the terrorist attacks] only invites this happening in the future.  It is highly irresponsible and very, very dangerous.”[ii]

Though rebuked by Giuliani, bin Talal did not give up promoting his dangerous ideas.  Six years later the prince started funding Georgetown’s Middle Eastern studies program.[iii]  And now, members of Georgetown’s Middle Eastern studies department are serving as advisors in writing the history section of our National 9 -11 Memorial and Museum.[iv]  

Involvement of Georgetown’s department that the offensive bin Talal funds, does not necessarily prove malfeasance.  But the confirmed involvement of Princeton’s Near Eastern Studies department, with their pro-Islamic colleague Amaney Jamal, brings additional discomfort.[v]  And, what Alice Greenwald, Executive Vice-President for Programs of the National 9 – 11 Museum and Memorial, told us at a Manhattan Community Board meeting merits grave concern. 

While the National 9-11 Memorial properly eulogizes the tragic loss of life on September 11th, it will only dedicate a small part of one of three history rooms to the question of “Who did this and why.”[vi]  Ms. Greenwald told the Community Board that her Middle Eastern advisors had told her not to use the word “Islam.”  Instead, she explained, they will use the word “Islamist” specifically to distance the connection of the 9 – 11 attacks with Islam.[vii] 

Besides the dearth of time dedicated to why we were attacked, the exhibit’s timeline greatly concerns this western culturist historian.  The one solitary documentary film in the exhibit will explore the roots of Al Qaeda.  Ultimately, we must worry that the film being prepared will only tie the 9 - 11 attack to the American funding of Afghani fighters.  Thus, as Bin Falal would have it, the exhibit will lay the root causes for 9 – 11 at the feet of America.

A wider timeline would note that Islam has been attacking the West for nearly 1400 years.  Islam took Spain for seven hundred years.  And after Islam destroyed the Christian Byzantine Empire, it gave Constantinople its current name, Istanbul.   Islam might even have taken the rest of Europe had it not been repelled in the Battle of Vienna on September 11th, 1683.[viii]  Despite what Bin Talal might say, our struggle with Islam did not start with the 1948 founding of Israel and it did not start with America's support of Al Qaeda in the late 1970s. 

According to Ms. Greenwald, the National 9 – 11 Memorial will also chronicle “previous terrorist attacks, on U.S. targets on the U.S.S. Cole and the African Embassy bombings.”  But instead of just focusing on the U.S., a map showing the global scope of the over 15,000 Islamic terrorist acts since 9 – 11 would create a different impression.  A focus on Islamic jihad in Europe, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand or India would undercut Bin Talal’s idea that Islam only targets America for its crimes.

The National 9 – 11 Memorial and Museum needs to openly tell us which scholars in these Middle Eastern departments will be advising them.  Furthermore, we western culturists request that pro-western scholars, such as Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Ms. Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! For America, Mrs. Wafa Sultan, or Congressman Allen West to help write the Memorial's history section.  It would be a dangerous shame if our national memory of 9 – 11 was given to employees of the man who insulted us on 9 – 11 and is building the Mosque at Ground Zero.

Please watch the video preview of the National 9 - 11 Memorial and Museum given by Alice Greenwald at the top of the video section of www.culturism.us.  Join our facebook site, "Western Historians Must Write the 9 - 11 Memorial at GZ," and help spread the word.  

John Press, Ph.D.
President - Brooklyn Tea Party
pressjohn@hotmail.com
www.brooklynteaparty.org
www.culturism.us


[i] John Cook, “News Corp’s number-two shareholder funded ‘terror mosque’ planner,” August 30, 2010, http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100820/bs_yblog_upshot/news-corps-number-two-shareholder-funded-terror-mosque-planner
[ii] CNN, “Giuliani rejects $10 million from Saudi prince,” October 11, 2001, http://articles.cnn.com/2001-10-11/us/rec.giuliani.prince_1_saudi-prince-alwaleed-bin-israeli-withdrawal-criminal-attack?_s=PM:US
[iii] Korade, Matt, “Saudi Giving at the Heart of a Great Debate over Middle East Studies,” Congressional Quarterly, April 11, 2008,  http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/5046
[iv] Alice Greenwald told the author of this article this after a Community Board One meeting, 12/13/2010, 6 pm, in New York City. 
[v] Larcom, Geoff, Princeton Professor Breaks Down Perceptions of Muslim-Americans in U.S. [on Amaney Jamal]
 Focus EMU Online (Eastern Michigan University News)
February 2, 2010, http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/9085
[vi] See the footage of the 9 – 11 Memorial and Museum presented to the Community Board One at www.youtube.com
[vii] Alice Greenwald told the author this during the question and answer session following the 12/13/10 Community Board One meeting in which the national 9 – 11 Memorial and Museum plans were presented. 
[viii] The Battle Of Vienna, wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna