For twenty years now, Western leaders have been handicapped by their assumption that Islam means peace and equality for all. What prevents them from making the necessary examination of Islamic sources and Islamic history to see if that assumption is valid?

The answer is that Westerners have an ideology of their own—one that prevents them from thinking objectively about many topics. Not too long ago that ideology was called “political correctness,” or “PC” for short. Nowadays, it is called “wokeness.”

Political correctness was a blend of relativism, multiculturalism, and therapeutic sensitivity to the feelings of others. PC claimed that all religions and cultures were essentially equal, and to say otherwise would offend the sensitivity of many. To suggest that 1.3 billion people adhered to a violent and discriminatory faith was therefore out of the question….

No evidence was offered for this other than anecdotal observations (“I know a Muslim family, and they’re very kind and friendly”). But in a PC society, feelings trump facts. So, a few feel-good stories outweighed a slew of data—such as the Pew global surveys which found that a surprising number of Muslims worldwide had no trouble with laws requiring stoning for adulterers, amputation for thieves, and the execution of apostates.

So, the doubtful notion that Islam is a religion of peace that was “hijacked” by a handful of radicals became, in the weeks after 9/11, the standard explanation of what had happened.

And that simplistic explanation of 9/11 has never changed. For example, consider this recent headline: “University of Florida students say teachers should ‘focus on America’s faults’ and ‘avoid placing blame’ for 9/11.” A meticulously planned sneak attack that left almost 3,000 innocent people crushed or burned to death? And no one should be blamed? This is the self-esteem approach to education that has dominated schools for decades. “Avoid placing blame” doesn’t mean that we can never determine who is to blame for 9/11; it means no one should ever be made to feel bad….

9/11 was inaccurately diagnosed as an aberration—something that had nothing to do with the culture and religion of Islam. As a result, the “war on terror” was never really won. Indeed, judging by the debacle in Afghanistan and other recent developments, the terrorists now have the advantage. Our focus on defeating terrorist groups and killing their leaders without also defeating the ideology that inspired them, meant that there would always be a fresh supply of recruits to the jihad movement….

Indeed, George W. Bush, the man who did more than any other to promulgate the original 9/11 lie, just reiterated it, and managed to add a new deceptive twist to the lie. In his speech at the Shanksville, Pennsylvania 9/11 Memorial this past Saturday, the former president repeated the myth that generic “violent extremists” were to blame for 9/11, and then equated these “violent extremists abroad” with “violent extremists at home” — an obvious reference to the January 6 incursion into the Capitol Building.

In doing so, he managed to deflect our attention even further away from Islam. In fact, at one point in his speech, when he commented on the admirable response of America to the attacks, he said “we saw American’s embrace people of the Muslim faith.” He seemed to be saying, in effect, “we know this had nothing to do with your faith….”

The above comes from a Sept. 13 story on Catholic World Report.