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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:57 pm 

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: October 2017


by Soeren Kern
November 7, 2017 at 5:00 am
Thieves broke into an immigration office in the Moabit district of Berlin and stole up to 20,000 blank passports and other immigration documents, as well as official stamps and seals
The Federal Prosecutor's Office opened more than 900 terrorism cases during the first nine months of 2017. Of those cases, more than 800 involved Islamists.
Violent crime, including murder, rape and physical assault, is running rampant in German asylum shelters, according to an intelligence report leaked to the newspaper Bild. German authorities, who appear powerless to stem the rising tide of violence, justified their failure to inform the public about the scale of the problem by citing the privacy rights of the criminal offenders.

October 1. The Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG) — also known as the Facebook law — entered into force. The measure requires social media platforms with more than two million users to remove "blatantly illegal" hate speech within 24 hours, and less obviously illegal content within seven days, or face fines of up to €50 million ($58 million). Critics argue that the definition of hate speech is ambiguous and subjective and that the new law is a threat to online free speech. The German government plans to apply the law more widely — including to content on social media networks of any size, according to Der Spiegel.

October 2. Germany's partial ban on face coverings "must be expanded" to include a full ban on the burqa in public, said Andreas Scheuer, the secretary general of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU). "A ban is possible and necessary," he said a day after a burqa ban went into effect in neighboring Austria. "We will not give up our identity, we are ready to fight for it, the burqa does not belong to Germany," he said. The deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Stephan Harbarth, said that the partial ban "goes to the limit" of what is constitutionally possible: "I fear that a more far-reaching ban would not be compatible with the Basic Law."

October 3. Beatrix von Storch, the deputy leader of the anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), said that political Islam has no place in Germany. "Islam does not belong to Germany," she told the BBC. "We are in favor of religious freedom of course, but Islam is claiming political power, and this is what we oppose."

October 3. Approximately 1,000 mosques in Germany opened their doors to visitors as part of the 20th annual "Day of Open Mosques." The event, which has been held since 1997 on Germany's national holiday, the Day of German Unity, was conducted under the slogan "Good Neighborhood - Better Society," and aimed at creating transparency and reducing prejudice.

October 4. A 47-year-old migrant from Kazakhstan at a refugee shelter in Eggenfelden castrated a 28-year-old Ukrainian migrant, who bled to death at the scene. It later emerged that the Kazakh man had been raped by the Ukrainian man, who was aided and abetted by a group of migrants from Chechnya. The case drew attention to runaway crime in German refugee shelters.

October 5. The German government plans to cut project funding for the Turkish Islamic organization DITIB by around 80% next year, according to the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. The Interior Ministry appropriated €297,500 ($345,000) for 2018, compared to €1.47 million for 2017, and €3.27 million for 2016. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accused of using DITIB — part of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, to control over 900 mosques in Germany — to prevent Turkish immigrants from integrating into German society.

October 7. Roughly 60 migrant teenagers attacked each other and police at the 70th annual Harvest Festival in Fellbach. Police described the youths as "exclusively German citizens with a migration background and other migrants." The youths were said to be engaged in "turf wars."

October 8. Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to cap the number of refugees Germany accepts each year to 200,000. The move was a concession to her conservative Bavarian allies ahead of coalition talks to form a new government. The refugee cap deal was also interpreted as extending an olive branch to the more than one million Christian Democrats who have defected to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in anger over Merkel's open-door migration policy.

On October 8, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to cap the number of refugees Germany accepts each year to 200,000. Pictured: Merkel in December 2014. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

October 9. Thieves broke into an immigration office in the Moabit district of Berlin and stole up to 20,000 blank passports and other immigration documents as well as official stamps and seals.

October 9. An off-the-cuff proposal by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to introduce Muslim public holidays sparked a furious debate over the role of Islam in Germany. Speaking at a campaign rally for state elections in Lower Saxony, de Maizière, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that federal states with large Muslim populations should be allowed to celebrate Muslim public holidays. De Maizière's statement, apparently aimed at enticing Muslim voters, prompted a furious backlash from his own party and political allies, who are still reeling from the CDU's poor results in the general election on September 24.

October 11. The Interior Ministry of Lower Saxony approved a temporary ban on additional refugees from settling in Salzgitter, a city with a high rate of immigration. The immigration restriction, the first of its kind in Germany, is to be reviewed annually.

October 12. A 28-year-old migrant from Nigeria was sentenced to 13 years in prison for stabbing to death a 22-year-old assistant at a refugee shelter in Ahaus near Münster. According to the prosecutor, the two had been in a romantic relationship, and when the woman ended it, the Nigerian went into a jealous rage, stabbing her 21 times. The criminal charges were, however, reduced from murder to manslaughter because the court could not decide if the killing was premeditated.

October 12. An official inquiry into the jihadist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016 concluded that the attack could have been prevented, according to Der Spiegel. The 72-page report described the performance of police and prosecutors as "poor," "inadequate," "belated," "flawed" and "unprofessional." It also noted that the Berlin Attorney General's Office missed repeated opportunities to arrest Anis Amri, a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia, in the months before he carried out his attack.

October 12. Hezbollah combatants have entered Germany disguised as refugees from the Middle East, according to a German intelligence report reviewed by The Jerusalem Post. The report also showed increased membership for Hezbollah and Hamas in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 950 Hezbollah operatives are active in Germany, according to German intelligence.

October 13. An entire wing of a hospital in Bonn was closed after an outbreak of scabies. The area was cleaned and disinfected and sick patients were sent to an isolation ward. The number of people diagnosed with scabies in North Rhine-Westphalia jumped by nearly 3,000% between 2013 and 2016, according to local health officials. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government's central institution for monitoring and preventing diseases, recently confirmed an across-the-board increase in disease since 2015, when Germany took in an unprecedented number of migrants.

October 14. The trial began in Oldenburg of a 37-year-old migrant from Iraq accused of stabbing his wife, the mother of his five children, who were in the house at the time of the attack. According to the indictment, the Iraqi is said to have murdered his wife in May 2017, by stabbing her at least nine times to restore the "family honor" after he believed she was having an affair with another man. The woman had, in fact, been attending German language courses.

October 18. Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), warnedthat a new generation of junior jihadists posed a long-term threat to Germany. "We see the danger that children of jihadists indoctrinated in Islamism will return from combat zones to Germany," he said. At least 950 German jihadists have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State as of October 2017, according to the BfV. Of those, most are under 30 years of age; one-fifth are women; one-third have returned to Germany, and around 150 have been killed on the battlefield. German intelligence is currently monitoring 80 returnees.

October 22. The German justice is overwhelmed with terrorist proceedings, according to Welt am Sonntag, which reported that the Federal Prosecutor's Office opened more than 900 terrorism cases during the first nine months of 2017. Of those cases, more than 800 involved Islamists. "Given the backlog, we need significantly more staff at both the prosecutor's office and the courts," said Wolfgang Kubicki of the Free Democrats (FDP). "If Islamists are not German nationals, deportation should be compulsory and enforced."

October 22. About 80 Turkish Germans in the Bavarian town of Waldkraiburg called for local authorities to do more to protect them from violent attacks by asylum seekers. The protest came amid a spate of clashes in the town between Turks and newcomers from Africa and the Middle East. Turkish protesters said they were no longer safe on streets or in parks and threatened to take matters into their own hands if police failed to deport criminal migrants.

October 23. A court in Frankfurt ruled that Haikel S., a 36-year-old jihadist from Tunisia, cannot be deported because Tunisian authorities failed to promise that the man would not be jailed for the rest of his life. Haikel S. was arrested in February 2017 for allegedly planning a jihadist attack in Germany on behalf of the Islamic State. He is also wanted in Tunisia on terrorism charges.

October 24. The anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), vowed a "new era" as it made its debut at the first sitting of Germany's newly elected parliament. The AfD's parliamentary group chief, Bernd Baumann, said: "Take note: the old Bundestag has been voted out. The people have decided, a new era begins now. From this hour on, the issues will be renegotiated — not your maneuver's and tricks on parliamentary business but the euro, massive debt, enormous immigration numbers, open borders and brutal criminality in our streets."

October 24. Violent crime, including murder, rape and physical assault, is running rampant in German asylum shelters, according to an intelligence report leaked to the newspaper Bild. German authorities, who appear powerless to stem the rising tide of violence, justified their failure to inform the public about the scale of the problem by citing the privacy rights of the criminal offenders.

October 24. Authorities in Hamburg paid €2.4 million ($2.8 million) during the past 12 months for a mostly disused deportation shelter, according to the Hamburger Morgenpost. Only 84 migrants were deported from Hamburg during the past year, at a cost to taxpayers of around €28,500 ($33,000) per migrant.

October 25. Germany deported 14 rejected Afghan asylum seekers. Eleven of the deportees had criminal records for acts that included manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm, sexual abuse of children, fraud and theft, according to interior ministry spokeswoman Annegret Korff. Greens MP Claudia Roth called on the government to stop the deportations. She argued that Afghanistan is unsafe for returnees: "Expulsions to Afghanistan clearly violate our responsibility to provide humanitarian protection."

October 28. More than 50 migrants from Africa and the Middle East attacked each other with knives and other weapons at the train station in Unna. Police from across North Rhine-Westphalia were deployed to restore order.

October 28. A migrant verbally assaulted a Roman Catholic priest at a supermarket in Werl. He grabbed the priest's shopping cart and shoved it back and forth while shouting, "You unbeliever! You pig!" The priest called police, who told him that he was responsible for his own personal safety.

October 29. Police in Spain arrested a fugitive 33-year-old Pakistani migrant, accused by authorities in Hamburg of murdering his two-year-old daughter by cutting her throat. Police say the murder was an act of revenge against his German wife, who had reported him for spousal abuse, and refused to withdraw the charges. The Pakistani man's asylum application was rejected in 2011; he should have been deported in 2012, but was allowed to stay.

October 31. A 19-year-old migrant from Syria who described himself as a "soldier of the caliphate" was arrested in Schwerin and charged with planning a jihadist attack aimed at killing "as many people as possible."

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:07 pm 

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Turkey Uncensored: Yazidis – A History of Persecution


By Uzay Bulut
Friday, November 4, 2016
Many nations have been victimized by Islamic supremacism and jihadist campaigns, but Yazidis – an ancient ethno-religious community indigenous to northern Mesopotamia – seem to be one of the main and continued victims of this genocidal ideology.

Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking, non-Muslim minority with their own unique culture.

The recent invasions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have finally brought this persecuted people to the world’s attention. But genocidal massacres, ethnic cleansings and forced conversions against Yazidis by Muslims did not start with the advent of the Islamic State. Yazidis, a peaceful community opposed to violence and bloodshed, have for centuries been exposed to these crimes and more − simply for being Yazidis.

Attempted Genocides

Yazidis say they have been subjected to 72 attempts at extermination, or attempted genocide. Today, they are the victims of yet another attempted genocide in Iraq − at the hands of ISIS jihadists.

Yazidi scholar Khanna Omarkhali wrote:

Being Kurds and Yazidis, they have suffered greatly from both ethnic and religious persecution throughout history. Yazidi oral history claims that they suffered from 72 massacres [ferman], counting the genocide of Yazidis in Iraq in 2014 as the 73rd one. Partly due to the vast number of religious persecutions, the Yazidis became a closed community, which has led to the many incorrect accounts on them. Their religion was often misunderstood, and Yazidis were described as devil worshipers, both in early Arabic sources and travel notes.

Turkish sociologist İsmail Beşikçi, a prominent expert on Kurdistan, explained how Yazidis have been persecuted by Arab, Kurdish and Turkish Muslims:

Yazidis do not invite anyone to the Yazidi faith. They do not have a problem like making Muslims, Christians or Jews Yazidis. This is actually against the Yazidi faith. All that the Yazidis want is to freely live their faith among their Muslim, Christian and Jewish neighbors.

But Yazidis have been persecuted enormously − particularly at the hands of Muslims − throughout history. Islam has grown and spread since the mid-seventh century. In this process, the Arab conquerors have tremendously persecuted Yazidis in Iraq, Syria and Iran. They took all kinds of measures to Islamize them and implemented those measures. They massacred those who wanted to remain Yazidis in masses, and seized their properties.

In the early 19th century, Mir Mohammad Pasha, the commander of Rawandiz in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Mir Bedr Khan Pasha, the commander of Bohtan, in the 1830s, and 1840s, persecuted Yazidis enormously to Islamize them.

During the 1912-13 Pontic Greek deportations and the 1915 Armenian genocide, Yazidis were also driven out from their lands. Throughout the history of republican Turkey, all methods have been tried to Islamize the Yazidis. Before 1915, for instance, Suruç was an entirely Yazidi town. So was the town of Viranşehir. Today, there is not a single Yazidi family left in Suruç. Furthermore, the Islamized Yazidis can be seen exhibiting insulting behaviors toward those who remain Yazidis.

World-renowned Kurdish novelist Yaşar Kemal wrote in his book Look, the Firat River is Flowing with Blood, that during the Yazidi genocide,

Some gangs entered Yazidi villages. They slaughtered them with bullets and bayonets – from little children to the elderly – until there were no more living Yazidis. All of the Yazidi fighters were killed. The dead were stripped bare naked and thrown to the Dicle River. Then it was the turn of the unarmed. First, they killed men; then, they killed boys. They stripped them bare naked and threw them to the river. Then they killed women and girls. Then they raided many Yazidi villages and slaughtered many Yazidis. These Yazidis have been suffering for centuries. They are being killed; they are becoming extinct. Then they [the Muslims] are celebrating that there are no Yazidis left.

What is it that has united so many Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds – Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Turkmens – in their hatred and aggression against Yazidis?

Not Even “People of the Book”

Islamic theology distinguishes two types of non-Muslims:

Ahl al-Kitab (“People of the Book”), a euphemism for Jews and Christians
All others
The common assertion that the “People of the Book” are protected in Islamic law is actually false. “People of the Book” are actually dhimmis – second-class subjects − who are forced to buy their lives from the Islamic State with a “dhimmi pact.” According to Islamic theology, the “People of the Book” must be fought against until they either convert to Islam or pay the “jizya” tax to Muslim rulers.

The jizya tax appears to be a symbol of non-Muslim submission to Islamic hegemony. Only conversion to Islam can make “the People of the Book” equal to Muslims. Otherwise, they are exploited, humiliated and impoverished. The Yazidis are not even a “People of the Book.” So they are not given the opportunity to submit; instead, they are often given two “choices” − conversion to Islam or death.

Ottoman Persecution of Yazidis

The Yazidis say that many of the genocides or attempts to annihilate them took place during the Ottoman Empire. As a result, millions of Yazidis were killed, kidnapped or Islamized, according to a report by the Yazidi Community in Europe Organization. Apparently, the religious community that suffered the most at the hands of the Ottomans was the Yazidis.

Yazidis were neither Muslims nor the “People of the Book.” Hence, they “had no legal status vis-à-vis the local Ottoman administration,” wrote historian Nelida Fuccaro. “The Ottoman religious and military establishments placed heterodox groups like the Yazidis on the lowest rung within the ideological order of Ottoman society.”

Professor Philip Kreyenbroek, who studies Yazidi history, agreed. “Under the Ottoman Empire, the Yazidis were never recognized as a millet [i.e. a community in its own right, such as Jews or Christians], and did not enjoy any protection by the state,” Kreyenbroek wrote.

According to historian Amed Gökçen, who researches the subject, the Ottoman policy on Yazidis was slaughter and forced conversion:

The Ottomans thought of Yazidis like that: “Let’s kill them. Let’s build mosques so that they could become Muslim. Let’s try to bring them to the true path and give salaries to those who would bring them to the true path.”

Very serious Yazidi massacres were carried out by the Ottoman Empire. They did unspeakable things to Yazidis. They sent the cut-off tongues of Yazidis to Ottoman sultans, they sold Yazidi women, and so on. There is not a positive thing in the Ottoman archives regarding the Yazidis. After a while, Yazidi people did not want to live there. That was very natural and right.

Mass Immigration from Turkey

According to Kreyenbroek, “Yazidis were not much better protected by the law of the [Turkish] republic than they had been before, and prejudice against them seems to have increased in Turkey in the latter half of the 20th century.”

Both in the Ottoman Empire and republican Turkey, the state made intense efforts to Islamize the Yazidis. During this process, widespread state terror was used, according to Beşikçi. “As a result, many Yazidis took refuge in other countries such as Armenia and Georgia,” he said. “Many of them immigrated to Europe. Those who stayed in Turkey had to convert to Islam and led a half-Yazidi, half-Muslim lifestyle.”

Approximately 80,000 Yazidis lived in Turkey until the 1970s. But the majority of Yazidis migrated from Turkey to Europe in the 1980s and 1990s, due to the continued persecution and pressures they faced. “After they moved to Europe, even their private registered lands were invaded. Their trees were ripped off. The Yazidi owners of those lands were threatened, and some of their villages were abandoned and became uninhabitable places,” read a 2014 parliamentary motion.

There is not a single Yazidi resident in most of the Yazidi villages in Turkey today. The estimated population of Yazidis in the country is currently approximately 350 – excluding the recent asylum-seekers from Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish government still does not recognize Yazidism as a separate religion, and the religion box on the ID papers of a few hundred Yazidis in Turkey is either left blank or marked with an “X.”

The Islamic State: The Latest Persecutor

In August 2014, when Islamic State jihadists invaded the Yazidi-populated Sinjar region, a part of the ancient Yazidi homeland in Iraq, some Yazidis managed to flee for their lives. But those who couldn’t were murdered. Yazidi women were raped and sold as sex slaves.

One victim was Zinab, a 31-year-old Yazidi who was captured by the Islamic State in Kocho, a village in Kurdistan, Iraq, on Aug. 3, 2014. “She was made a sex slave, endured constant rapes and beatings; she escaped her captors three times, was caught and sold again four times. On March 21, 2016, she was sold to a man who turned out to be a rescuer sent by her family,” reported Maclean’s, a Canadian weekly news magazine. “Her uncle’s two daughters, ages 12 and 15, are still in the hands of ISIS.”

The Yazidis, one of the most peaceful people on earth, have been suffering enormously since the advent of Islam and have been largely forgotten by world governments and the international community. The world should finally pay attention to them in their moments of greatest suffering, at least in the 21st century.

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara. She graduated from Istanbul’s Bogazici University in 2007 with a BA in Translation and Interpreting Studies. She holds a master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University. Her writings have appeared in a variety of publications including Gatestone Institute, the Clarion Project, the Armenian Weekly, PJ Media, CBN News, the Algemeiner, the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw, International Business Times UK and the Voice of America. She has also contributed to several Israeli media outlets including the Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), Israel Hayom and Jerusalem Online. Bulut’s journalistic work focuses mainly on Turkey’s ethnic and religious minorities, anti-Semitism, political Islam and the history of Turkey. She is currently based in Washington, D.C.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:16 pm 

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Our schools are doing a great job – of keeping kids ignorant about Islam.

November 7, 2017
Bruce Bawer

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268326/ ... ruce-bawer

In recent years, a growing focus of my concern has been the staggering ignorance of millions of young Americans when it comes to certain fundamental and crucially important matters. One of those matters is the evil of Communism: just the other day came news of a report showing that roughly half of young Americans would prefer to live under that system, a clear indication that their history teachers have entirely misinformed them on the topic. Another, related matter is the greatness of America: again, history teachers are at fault, having played up the horrors of slavery, the mistreatment American Indians, and the debacle of Vietnam (so that some kids actually think America is uniquely evil) while soft-pedaling our nation's role as a revolutionary beacon of freedom, fortress of democracy, and guarantor of world order.

Then there's Islam. As 9/11 has receded year by year into history, kids who weren't even born at the time, or who were just infants, have grown into young adults. And during all these years, while America has fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Muslim terrorists have created chaos and taken lives in major cities around the world, what have these kids learned about Islam? With relatively few exceptions, they've been told over and over, by teachers and the media and our presidents (first Bush, then Obama), that Islam is a Religion of Peace, that Muslims who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Allah have misunderstood the faith, and that the overwhelming majority of Muslims love peace and freedom and entirely acts of terror.

They don't know that Islam means submission. They don't see the hijab as a symbol of female oppression. They either don't know the word jihad or have been told that it's a benign concept, referring to inner moral struggle. They don't know about the caliphate. If they've ever read anything from the Koran in school, they've read one or two of the innocuous-sounding tidbits, pulled entirely out of context; they've never read any of the hateful stuff that makes up most of the book. They don't know about the more than a million Europeans who were taken into slavery by Muslims from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. They don't understand that Islam has, from its very birth, been a religion of conquest; that its followers had to be beaten back again and again in their ruthless attempts to take over Europe, attempts which, if successful, had resulted in the slaughter, enslavement, or forcible conversion of everyone on the continent; that the Crusades were attempts to regain conquered Christian lands, not wars of unprovoked aggression.

You might expect there to be some admirable exceptions to this mass ignorance. Perhaps students at the nation's very best high schools have been taught more about Islam than their counterparts at crummier schools? Perhaps teachers at an elite school in the very shadow of the Freedom Tower in New York, where the Twin Towers once stood, would feel especially obliged to give their students a proper education about Islam?

The terrorist attack on Halloween took place on a thoroughfare that runs right past Stuyvesant High School. It is considered to be the best public high school in the city and one of the best in the country. You have to pass a rigorous test to get in. The school offers a broad and ambitious curriculum, including highly advanced courses in the sciences, and its graduates are sought after by America's so-called “best” colleges (which I increasingly tend to view as its worst, but that's a subject for another piece). Sayfullo Saipov did his evil work at around the time that school was supposed to let out, but because he had turned the neighborhood into a killing field, the school was put on lockdown for two hours. What did the kids at Stuyvesant make of this jihadist atrocity at their doorstep? How have they been taught to think about such horrors? To find out, I pored through some of the social-media exchanges they had that evening and the next day.

One of the first documents I ran across was a letter to the “Stuyvesant Community” from the school's principal, Eric Contreras. The language was familiar. Contreras referred to “the incident that took place outside of Stuyvesant.” He described the violent deaths of the terrorist's victims as a “tragic loss.” And he spoke of “moving forward as a united community.” He conspicuously avoided the words terrorist and terrorism. And of course there was no mention of Islam.

This approach to the “incident” wasn't unique to Contreras. One student praised the faculty and administration for keeping students safe “in the face of the unthinkable” and expressed sympathy for “the victims of this mindless act.” How can you go to school down the street from what was once Ground Zero and call such an event “unthinkable”? How can you be supposedly well educated and call a calculated act of Koran-based jihadist terror “mindless”?

To be sure, Islam did come up. “Oh boy, another bad apple,” wrote one lad with an apparently Bangladeshi name. “Islamophobia, here we come.” A girl with a European-sounding name was baffled: “why do people try to blame a religion for someone being an ass?” Another boy with a Bangladeshi name expressed anger at the media for mentioning Saipov's religion and his shouting of “Allahu akbar.” “Putting our religion on the line,” this kid wrote, “is worse than people dying, since we are targets now.” He maintained that the real problem is not Islam but “white people” and that the solution lies in Communism.

Yes, there were kids who got it and weren't scared to speak out. In arguments with the boy who thinks Communism is the answer, a couple of non-Muslim kids stated that Saipov was obviously an Islamic terrorist and that pointed out plenty of Muslims around the world are, in fact, killing non-Muslims simply for not being Muslims. But other kids argued back with gusto: one insisted that Islamic terror isn't any more widespread than other types of terror; another said that it “doesn't help at all” to focus on Saipov's motive and that doing so was a “tabloid” thing, an act of “yellow journalism”; a third took the position that such actions were the work of “evil...people, not a religion telling them to do something.” The kids debated as to whether this atrocity should even be called a terrorist act, with several blaming the media for linking it to Islam.

In the immediate aftermath of the atrocity in New York, I posted a brief anecdote at City Journal in which I noted that young Americans have learned to view every act of jihadist terror not as yet more proof of Islam's intrinsic insidiousness but as a reason to fret yet again about a “backlash” against Muslims. My niece graduated from Stuyvesant this year and on Halloween was terrified for her classmates and teachers; the next morning, assured that they were all safe, she was mainly worried, sure enough, about what the day would be like for Muslim students at Stuyvesant – as if anything whatsoever would happen to any of them. Has any Stuyvesant faculty member ever told a classroom that there's far more reason to worry about the lot of Christians, Jews, gays, and women in the Muslim world than about Muslims in the Western world?

On November 2, the website of Seventeen ran a piece by one of my niece's friends, a Stuyvesant student named Grace Goldstein, in which she recounted the terror attack from her perspective. She'd been in Jewish History class watching Fiddler on the Roof. (What, I wonder, has she been taught about Jews under Islam?) She mentioned Islam exactly once, telling of a hijab-wearing Muslim classmate who was worried about “being stereotyped and painted as a bad person.” Grace had learned her PC lessons well: she summed up the experience by saying that she and 3,000 other kids had been huddled in the school “scared and worried — not about a political figure or movement...but about one man who was terrorizing our community.” And she expressed the hope that instead of using this event to “divide to perspectives” (sic), people will focus on the victims.

So it stands, sixteen years after 9/11: a girl attending an elite high school down the street from what was once the World Trade Center has learned nothing about Islam except that it's verboten to examine it too closely, to criticize it at all, or – above all – to draw a link between it and the terrorist acts committed in its name. Needless to say, I'm not blaming her or any of those 3,000 other kids. I'm blaming their teachers, all up and down the line, who have failed in their duty to enlighten them about a topic that is, yes, very touchy but from which our society cannot afford to turn away in silence. A free nation whose adult generation regards Islam with a combination of self-censorship, self-deception, and sheer ignorance will not be free for long.

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