Annals of Cognitive War blunders: George Bush, “Islam is a religion of peace.”


In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, President Bush appeared with members of the American Muslim community on September 17, 2001, at Islamic Center in DC to declare that Islam is a religion of peace. His comments:

Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks.  And so were Muslims all across the world.  Both Americans and Muslim friends and citizens, tax-paying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens. These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.  And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself:  ‘In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.’ The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about.  Islam is peace.  These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

Now were we a “reality-based” community with a sophisticated sense of both the narratives and the exegetical principles of the “other,” such a statement would have been met with howls of derision, especially from academics whose knowledge of the history of Islam would make such a characterization as “religion of peace” risible, and who knew alas only too well what shouts of joy 9-11 provoked in Muslim, Arab and even other audiences the world over.

Moreover, more than one person should have been equipped to explain to the President that the man standing by his side, Nihad Awad of CAIR, who may well have supplied the president with the oh-so eloquent Qur’anic quote, heard those words to mean precisely the opposite of what Bush thought: “In the long run [i.e., finally, now], evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil [i.e., America]. For that they [Americans] rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.”

And rather than slowly learn from this, American scholars and journalists by and large continue to widely mouth the delusional pieties of the president. Despite extensive critiques from Daniel Pipes, in 2012, Samuel Freedman wrote in the NYT:

The other anniversary is of the visit President George W. Bush made to a Washington mosque just six days after the attack, where he spoke eloquently against the harassment of Arabs and Muslims living in the United States and about the need to respect Islam. This act of leadership and statesmanship, however, has all but vanished from the national collective memory. It deserves, instead, to be noted and heeded and esteemed. (NYT, Sept. 7, 2012)

4 Responses to Annals of Cognitive War blunders: George Bush, “Islam is a religion of peace.”

  1. There are Muslims who have realized that, in their effort to impose their religion on the world, direct military confrontation with the West does not pay. One such Muslim is Qaradawi, a Muslim cleric revered by millions in the Islamic world. Here is his “peaceful” take on the Islamic conquest of the world:

    “In 2003, al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa declaring that “Islam will return to Europe as a victorious conqueror after having been expelled twice. This time it will not be conquest by the sword, but by preaching and spreading [Islamic] ideology…The future belongs to Islam…The spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world and includes the both East and West marks the beginning of the return of the Islamic Caliphate…”

    In other words, he prioritizes demographic jihad over jihad proper(i.e. over terrorism). He sees the Islamic war as mainly a demographic one.

    This is not surprising, considering that the Muhammad himself had preached this outnumbering of the infidels, as we learn from the hadith. I quote the hadith as per the University of Southern California:

    “Book 11, Number 2045:
    Narrated Ma’qil ibn Yasar:
    A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.’

    Arafat himself used to think along such demographic lines, too:

    “The wombs of Palestinian women, Arafat said, were the “secret weapon” in his cause. “

    Of course, the more intelligent Muslims do not wish this sort of demographic plan to become too much public, so they urge Muslims not to talk about it – yet:

    “In 2011, popular Imam Sirhaj Wahhaj offered Muslims a recommendation: Don’t talk about Sharia Law because “we are not there yet.” He didn’t argue for an interpretation of Sharia that is permanently compatible with the West. Instead, he advised that Muslims be quiet for now, in accordance with the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrine of “gradualism.”

    The most unsettling thing about Wahhaj’s sermons is that he’s extremely influential. He isn’t on the fringe. These quotes are known, but major Muslim-American organizations still put him on stage as a voice of wisdom.”

    But the point is obvious, the Muslims will be happy to dominate us demographically, let us not be scared that they want to kill us all, as one would imagine if she read the Palestinian textbooks of the “moderate” Palestinian Authority:

    “The Prophetwas asked “what did Allah love the most?”He answered:“Timely prayer.”He was asked:“And then what?”He answered:“respecting one‟s parents.”He was asked:“And then?”He answered:jihad for Allah”

    Yes, Allah wants jihad, i.e. violence, but if Islam can be made the dominant religion through demography then no need for blood arises:

    (i quote again from Palestinian textbooks, same link)

    “The foundation of the relations between the Muslim state and other states and peoples is peace. State of peace is the primary state with other states and neighboring peoples… The Muslim state builds its relations with other states in accordance with what is dictated by the interest of the Muslim nation… The fundamental goal of establishing relations with other states is spreading Islam.”

    And that’s why the Palestinians insist on the right of return of the fake refugees to Israel. Islam can have a demographic victory over the Jews and annihilate the Jewishness of the state of Israel through the sheer number of Muslims.

    As for us in the West, all we have to do is succumb to the establishment of sharia law and convert to Islam, and we shall face no bodily harm. If we don’t want to convert, then we will have to pay some sort of tax to the Muslim community of our country, so that its honor-shame mindset will be satisfied in having dominated us in some visible way. As Muslim clerics in Egypt put it (on TV!):

    “Egyptian Cleric Mazen Al-Sarsawi: We Ask a Person Nicely to Convert, But If He Refuses and Does Not Pay the Jizya Tax, We Fight Him”

    It’s “cough up and shut up, you infidel” in case we don’t want to become Muslims, but, hey, we will still be physically unscratched – well, at least the heterosexual males, no guarantees for gays and females unfortunately(and let us not even think about the Jews!).

    Therefore we may conclude that Islam is indeed a religion of peace. And if Dr Landes wishes to accuse us as cognitive egocentrists for holding such a view, we may point out that our folly is much milder that the New York Times’s folly to ascertain that Palestinian textbooks are not inciting:

    Just have a look at the impact-se link i posted(a non-profit organization that monitors the content of school textbooks, see its wiki entry), and you will see a clear refutation of the NYT’s claim, with actual examples from the Palestinian textbooks that make it crystal clear that the Palestinian kids are indoctrinated in a religious craving for jihad and martyrdom that leaves no room for wanting peace with the Israelis:

    Warning: if you read it you might change your mind that the Arab-israeli conflict is about the land per se. You might come to the conclusion that it’s all about religion and a perverted conception of honor, but that will be Islamophobia and, as a result, you won’t be getting invitations to parties.

  2. […] Related: Annals of Cognitive War blunders: George Bush, “Islam is a religion of peace.” […]

  3. […] in the aftermath of the attacks that Islam is a religion of peace. As Professor Richard Landes noted with regard to Bush’s famous post 9/11 […]

  4. […] the annals of Cognitive Warfare, this may stand near the top for catastrophic mistakes. Indeed, it is hard to shake the sense that these are rarely, if at all, Bush’s own […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *