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9/11:  What we lost

October 2, 2019

I am sitting in my home on September 11th, 18 years after the atrocity that, like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, changed everything. As with just about every one of us who was sentient on that sparkling, beautiful morning in the autumn of 2001, I can remember every moment of that defilement of the fabric of decency in which most of us thought we were enveloped. Those few moments ripped away our innocence.


My family was fortunate. We escaped. At the time that the first plane hit the North Tower, my son (a proverbial New York lawyer) would have ordinarily been in the Starbucks in the lobby of the tower buying coffee on his way to his office around the corner. But September 11, 2001 was primary day in New York, so my son was delayed from his normal routine because he was performing his civic duty. At the same time, my esteemed wife (another proverbial New York lawyer) was on board the Long Island Railroad, riding into the city in the start of another normal working day. She was unaware of what had happened until I reached her by telephone, at which point she turned in her seat and saw the plume of black smoke rising into the sky. We lived on Long Island. In the next town from us, more than 40 families would never see loved ones again in this life.


I was glued to Fox News. At the same time as the attack on New York, the Pentagon was attacked. Then we learned that a plane that was aiming at either the Capitol or the White House had crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. There was confusion all over the place but of one thing each one of us was certain — we were under attack. These were no accidents. Make no mistake. Forget all the euphemisms. We were attacked by Sharia-adherent Muslims. Period. Sharia is the malignant constitution that guided those who attacked us on that day and still guides those who are at war with us, despite the fact that we refuse to acknowledge that we are at war. Sharia is a political system that uses religion as a mask and a bludgeon.


After the towers fell, my wife, who could not leave Manhattan, went to my son’s apartment downtown. The two of them then made their way to St. Vincent’s Hospital to give blood for the thousands of casualties that they expected. Hundreds of people were in line with them. Shockingly, they were turned away. There were not many casualties. The just under 3,000 people who lost their lives in the worst atrocity committed against the United States since 1941 didn’t need their blood.

Too many of us have never learned the stark, unrelenting lesson of September 11, 2001.

We are at war.


We are at war with those who consider Sharia to be a code that supersedes all other codes. We are at war with those who would use our Constitution for toilet paper. The sequence of leaders of New York City demonstrates the blind idiocy that afflicts so many of us. Following Mayor Giuliani, the people elected Michael Bloomberg, following which New York City has elected and then re-elected the execrable clown Bill de Blasio (born Warren Wilhelm, Jr.), who, until he finally ended the farce, had the unparalleled chutzpah to present himself as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. The reception to this clown from the citizens of the United States is evidence that the rest of us are not afflicted with the foolishness manifested by the voters in New York City.


As with most Americans, September 11 changed my life. After much thought following that traumatic atrocity, I decided that I would do all that I could to fight back against the scourge of Sharia. That is when I decided that my touchstone would be Edmund Burke’s aphorism — “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.” I realized that if I viewed myself as a “good man,” it was imperative that I do something more than sit on the sidelines like a pickled herring.


So, I started looking for something that I could do that would make a difference. My heroic cousin, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld of New York, introduced me to Frank Gaffney, CEO of the Center for Security Policy and former assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan. Frank was and is a tireless fighter against the enemies of the U.S. It was he who started me on my path. I became president of a group called “Stop the Madrassa” that had been formed to fight the establishment of a New York City public school whose ostensible purpose was to teach Arabic and Arab culture but which had a “board of advisors” consisting of five clergymen: two leftist Christian ministers and three fanatic Muslim imams.


No one could satisfactorily explain why a public school needed a “board of advisors” consisting of five radical religious figures. By that time, Michael Bloomberg was the mayor and he made this school his priority. Fighting him was a daunting task. We showed that those who were behind the school were actually supporters of jihad (the school’s principal was a woman who became the mentor of the notorious Linda Sarsour). According to Wikipedia, the school still exists, but it is no longer a harbinger for a series of such schools that had been envisioned for the NYC public school system, at least in the near future (although no one should be fooled into thinking that this is the end of the effort by jihadists to infiltrate the American educational system. It is happening everywhere.


Then, in 2009, the “Ground Zero Mosque” was announced. The name of the endeavor was originally to be “Cordoba House,” but as Newt Gingrich so presciently noted ‘Cordoba House’ is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain — the capital of Muslim conquerors, who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world's third-largest mosque complex ... every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest.” Gingrich further stated, “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”


The supporters of “Cordoba House” tried to sell it to the public as a “community center with prayer space.” They deemed it merely coincidental that it was around the corner from the site of the destroyed World Trade Center and that a piece of the wreckage of one of the planes that had been flown into the Twin Towers had actually fallen into the basement of the building on the site of “Cordoba House” (it is worth noting that the honorable Bill Clinton, Jerrold Nadler and Bill de Blasio all came out in favor of this project). Another argument that supporters used was that the site was already in use as a mosque — which was technically true because the feckless Mayor Bloomberg had allowed such use without an occupancy permit, in violation of New York City law.


When I learned of the plans for this site so close to the hallowed place that had been attacked by the jihadists I, like millions of other Americans, became incensed. I spoke with a variety of my colleagues in the anti-jihadist resistance, including Frank Gaffney and Tom Trento of The United West. We decided that we needed to add our voices to the opposition, so we planned a rally at the site. I was already signed up to do the 900 mile “911 Foundation Ride,” a weekend motorcycle ride that began in Shanksville, then proceeded to the Pentagon and ended at the World Trade Center site on Sunday morning. I realized that there would be a multitude of motorcycle riders just around the corner from the GZM, so I suggested that we hold the rally at noon, immediately following the “911 Foundation Ride” ceremonies at the World Trade Center.

I spent the ride speaking about the rally to my fellow riders (the foundation organizers of the ride had absolutely nothing to do with it) and on Sunday morning, following the proceedings at the World Trade Center site, I walked over to the site of the rally at the corner of West Broadway and Murray Streets and found about 10,000 people gathered for the rally against the mosque. I spoke from the podium, then got down and stood in the middle of West Broadway as about a thousand riders, led by firefighters followed by police and civilians, rode down that street on each side of me slapping my palm as they rode by. It was a raging success and it was a small part of the effort that stopped the project in its tracks. The comedian Greg Gutfeld stated that he planned on constructing New York City’s first Islamic-friendly gay bar next to the proposed center. He stated “As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque ... Which is, why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.”


Since that time I have devoted much of my life to fighting Islamists in the only way that I know — with words. That is to say, I have repeatedly attempted to wake up anyone within range to the danger that Sharia’s adherents represent. The response from those on the left has been to call me an “Islamophobe.” That is fine with me — I have an ingrained fear and loathing for those who would destroy us. Further, the opinion of anyone who would side with our enemies is worth less than zero as far as I am concerned.


As the years have passed, we have become increasingly inured to what happened to us on September 11, 2001. This past September 10th, ABC News complained that the memorial lights from the Twin Towers are bad for migrating birds, “drawing them off course and trapping them in the powerful twin beams that shoot into the sky.” I bow to no one in my concern for our avian friends, but it appears that the folks at ABC News have lost sight of the ball here.


On the morning of September 11, 2019, the New York Times put out a tweet that actually stated that “airplanes took aim” at the Twin Towers. They completely failed to mention the Islamists who actually piloted those planes into those buildings. After much negative comment, the Times was embarrassed into deleting the tweet but it is emblematic of the mindset of the leftists who blame guns for homicides or cars for accidents.


As a nation, we appear to have lost the outrage that animated us in the days following September 11, 2001. We appear to have forgotten that those who threw themselves out the windows into the void rather than be burned to death were our brothers and sisters. We appear to have lost the understanding that those who perished or were damaged on that day of infamy were the victims, not Ilhan Omar and her co-religionists who are attempting to steal “victimhood” much as those who masquerade as veterans attempt to steal valor. I am not sure how or why my outrage continues to burn white hot while the indignation of so many of my fellow American citizens has waned.

I am pounding at each and every American to re-kindle your fury at what happened to us. Anger can be channeled in a positive direction by reminding us that what happened on 9/11 can happen again if we remain unmoved by the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. We must remain vigilant, alert and prepared to fight against those who come against us.


Stuart Kaufman is a retired lawyer, investment banker and businessman. He relocated from New York to Mount Pleasant in 2012. A friend recently told him that he has been a South Carolinian all of his life ... but he just didn’t know it.


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