Sunday, 1 May 2016

9/11 - It wasn't Muslims...


No. Don't go away. I haven't got some new weird conspiracy theory - just a rather interesting little note on how we use language.

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, somebody had to decide who was responsible. Well, we know who was responsible, it was the group of people who hijacked the 'planes. But we're still pack animals and we need to know who is in what gang, so what gang were the 9/11 attackers? How do we identify them? Which Not-Us group do we say they belong to?

The current answer seems to be that they were Muslims. The USA was attacked by Muslims. But it didn't have to be that way.

Men in white shirts? Nah.
It could have been said that the attackers were MEN. Which they were. But that doesn't define them as an out-group, as roughly half of Our Gang are men too. We could even have gone for MEN IN WHITE SHIRTS, or YOUNG MEN but we've got those too.

A more sensible delimiter might have been to call them SAUDIS. "The USA was attacked today by a group of Saudi fanatics". Which would make sense, as they were all Saudis, or had strong connections with Saudi Arabia. What's more - to the extent that it is possible to identify the supposed reason for the attacks - it was in protest at the USA's involvement and infidel presence in the blessed land of Saudi Arabia. The trouble with that designation is that Saudi Arabia is our Friend, on account of spending lots of money with us, being very nice to our politicians and more-or-less controlling our energy supply.

So how about saying they were WAHHABIS or SALAFISTS, referring to the unusually strict version of Islam they were connected to? That would have been a pretty fair description, and not really likely to harm any blameless group too much, as there aren't all that many respectable Salafists out in the wider world.

We could have settled on; "The World Trade Center was attacked by viscous CRIMINALS, or TRAINEE PILOTS, or SOLDIERS, WARRIORS, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, GOD-BOTHERERS, JIHADIS, MIDDLE-EASTERNERS, FALAFEL-EATERS, PORK-DISDAINERS"

And so on. But it was us who decided that the enemy people were MUSLIMS (or occasionally ISLAMISTS, which amounts to the same thing). It didn't have to be Muslims who perpetrated 9/11. It could have been someone else.

This matters to me, because I was there.

(If you do want the nutcase version, try starting with www.911truth.org )