Editor’s note: Kenneth Timmerman’s new book, “Preachers of Hate,” uncovers an ancient hatred that threatens the life and livelihood of every American. In the book, Timmerman explains the “new” anti-Semitism that targets not only Jews, but Americans specifically and the West in general. The book details how Muslim leaders are not just encouraging hatred of Jews and the West, but are spending a great deal of money to spread the kind of vitriol that spawned the terrorists responsible for September 11.
This is the first of three excerpts from “Preachers of Hate” featured this week on WorldNetDaily. It examines the myth spread in the Muslim community that “the Jews” were responsible for the September 11 attacks on the U.S. Timmerman’s eye-opening book is available at ShopNetDaily.
In the West Bank town of Nablus, on Sept. 11, 2001 several thousand people poured into the streets shortly after news of the attacks on America was broadcast on Palestinian state radio. “Demonstrators distributed candy in a traditional gesture of celebration,” Associated Press reporter Mohammad Daraghmeh noted.
Daraghmeh captured a poignant moment in what appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of anti-American hate.
“Nawal Abdel Fatah, 48, wearing a long, black dress, threw sweets in the air, saying she was happy because ‘America is the head of the snake, America always stands by Israel in its war against us.’ Her daughter Maysoon, 22, said she hoped the next attack would be launched against Tel Aviv.”
Smaller demonstrations took place later that afternoon and early evening in the Arab quarters of Jerusalem, where young children were led in chanting anti-American slogans by adults.
“Some drivers passing the scene honked their horns and flashed victory signs from their windows.” In the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon, an Associated Press photograph snapped pictures of Palestine Liberation Organization fighters celebrating by firing assault rifles into the air at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp when news of the attacks on America was broadcast.
In one sense, the attacks were “not good because innocent people suffered,” said Ahmed Ali, 40, a Palestinian cook who worked in a restaurant in East Jerusalem. “But it’s good because America is the only country that supports the Israeli oppression. They are right now suffering as we are suffering. … I tell you on behalf of the Palestinian people that we are really happy at what happened.”
Arabs living in the West expressed similar “comprehension” of the attacks and the motives of the attackers. In the Washington, D.C., suburb of Fairfax, Va., public-school officials ordered high-school students to return home by noontime on the day of the attacks.
“They closed the schools not out of fear of a terrorist attack, but because Muslim students were shouting for joy,” said David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union. Keene told the story at a highly charged session of conservative activist Grover Norquist’s weekly “coalitions” meeting in Washington the next day. Norquist, whose Islamic Institute had hired as executive director a former lobbyist for the pro-Hamas American Muslim Council, sat stony-faced as friends of Barbara Olson, the wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, told the story of Barbara’s final moments on board American Airlines Flight 77 before terrorist Hani Hanjour crashed it into the Pentagon.
“We sympathize with you, but you’ve got understand,” pleaded one of Norquist’s associates from the Islamic Institute, in an effort to explain why some American Muslim groups weren’t cooperating with the FBI. “Our people are afraid of getting scapegoated.”
“No, you’ve got to understand,” thundered the normally soft-spoken Keene. “Thousands of Americans have just been murdered, and ‘your people’ were cheering when they heard the news.”
Rasha Abu Ramadan, an executive member of the Palestinian Student Committee at the University of Ottawa told a reporter that Palestinians in Canada welcomed the attacks because it helped make people realize what Palestinians were suffering at the hands of the Israelis.
“So many of our children die every day and it is the [United] States, it is Israel that are the ones implementing all these bombings and all these things that happen to us,” she said.
In Cairo, grocery store owner Izzat Hassan Ali told a reporter he felt pleasure at the thought of Americans dying. “As they did to other people, [it] is happening to them now. They hit innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now it backfired on them.”
State-controlled television in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq played a patriotic song, “Down with America!,” as it broadcast footage of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
In Gaza, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat viewed television footage of the attacks – and of the outpouring of joy on the Palestinian street – with trepidation. “We completely condemn this very dangerous attack, and I convey my condolences to the American people, to the American president, and to the American administration, not only in my name but on behalf of the Palestinian people.”
Expressions of condolence flooded in from leaders throughout the Arab World who universally condemned the bombings, while invariably adding a qualifying “but … ” The “but” most frequently referred to the sufferings of the Palestinian people at the hands of “the Jews” and America’s role in supporting Israel.
On Sept. 12, 2001, once television footage of celebrating Palestinians was broadcast around the world, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat realized he needed to act more forcefully to distance himself from the attackers, at least in the eyes of the American media. After symbolically giving blood, which he said was intended for American victims, he angrily rejected suggestions that Palestinians had rejoiced over the attacks.
Arafat went on to suggest that the “Israelis were taking advantage of the world’s focus on the horror in the United States, and perhaps exploiting its anger over Tuesday’s images, to tighten restrictions on Palestinians and to assault the West Bank town of Jenin, where seven Palestinians were killed today.”
Arafat’s hint that Israel was exploiting September 11 was soon picked up and amplified throughout the Muslim Middle East. Within 24 hours of the attacks, as information on lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and his accomplices began to appear in the U.S. press, a new myth was born in the Muslim world. September 11 was a plot planned and carried out by the Jews!
The story spread like a wildfire. First to allege the “Jewish conspiracy” was Dr. Anwar Ul Haque, a self-styled Quranic scholar who claimed in an article distributed by the Islamic News and Information Network that the “attacks on New York and Washington are carried out by Mossad (Israeli secret agency) with full backing of Zionist elements in FBI and CIA.”
Dr. Haque is not some anonymous Internet warrior to be easily written off, but a prominent Pakistani surgeon who is chief pathologist at the Pakistan government’s prestigious Institute of Medical Sciences. His point of view is not that of an extremist, but is shared by millions of Muslims who consider themselves to be part of the Muslim mainstream. The main motive behind the attacks, he argued, was “to defame Muslims and Islam so that Americans and Europeans may not enter in the folds of Islam. …”
When I caught up with him nearly nine months later, Dr. Haque confirmed that he had written the Sept. 12, 2001, article and expanded on his beliefs that Israel and the Mossad were behind the attacks. He summarized many of the beliefs that have now become an integral part of the September 11 myth circulating in the Muslim world:
“The drama of 11th September included remote control of the planes and demolishing the buildings through previously implanted dynamites in it. So far two Israelis (not necessarily Jews) are known to have died in the entire game: one in the WTC and one in the plane. Mr. Bush’s claim that 129 Israelis died turned out to be a white lie.”
Dr. Haque’s allegations were only the beginning. Indeed, a rash of comments, “investigations” and “revelations” soon followed in the official media from Cairo to Tehran, claiming Mossad had carried out the September 11 attacks.
To virtually all these commentators it was clear that Mossad was seeking to “incite the American administration” against the Islamic world by falsely claiming that Arabs had carried out the attacks. As details from the criminal investigation began appearing in the press, denials of Arab involvement became increasingly strident. On Sept. 13, the Jordanian government daily Al-Dostour spelled out the allegations that the attack on America was in reality a vile Jewish plot, and this in a country reputed to be the most moderate and pro-Western in the Arab world.
Similar conspiracy theories erupted elsewhere. The English-language Tehran Times, which is published by the Iranian government, also used reverse logic to ascribe motive to Israel.
“The only ones to benefit from any action that would serve to discredit and demonize the Islamic movement are the Zionists and certain anti-Islamic elements in the West,” the paper stated. None of these newspapers is published by a fringe group or by radical Islamic fundamentalists. They are all government organs, officially sanctioned and vetted, that rarely stray from the official government line in their own countries.
Soon the allegations of a Jewish conspiracy would get much more specific with the addition of a striking new detail: the missing 4,000 Jews who worked at the World Trade Center but, supposedly, had not come in the day of the attack.
“When it became known that there had been an attack on the WTC in New York, the international media, particularly the Israeli media, exploited the incident and began to mourn the 4,000 Israelis who had worked in the two towers. Then there was no more mention of these Israelis, as it became clear that they hadn’t even arrived for work that day,” the Al-Manar television network broadcast from Lebanon.
The myth of the “missing” 4,000 Jews soon became the cornerstone of the Muslim “case” against Israel, and quickly spread over the Internet and the traditional media.
Next, it was picked up by a weekly published by the Palestinian Authority. “The investigation of these attacks did not begin from the proper starting point; rather, it was swept away by public opinion, shaped by the American media which is controlled by the Jews. … Why did they inform the Jews that there was no further need for their services only three days before the attacks? Why did they announce huge losses in the technology sector, in which most of the employees are Jews, with offices in the trade building [WTC] – which made the Jews leave the place? Why did rumors spread among the Jews that the ‘appointed time for the execution of the attack’ was a day off work?”
The rumor became a “fact” in the eyes of the hard-line Tehran daily Kayhan. “It is known that 4,000 Jews worked at the WTC in New York and that these people did not come to work that day,” the paper reported on Oct. 2.
Dr. Gamal ‘Ali Zahran, head of the political science faculty at Suez Canal University in Egypt, wrote in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram: “At the WTC, thousands of Jews worked in finance and the stock market, but none of them were there on the day of the incident. Out of 6,000 killed, of 65 nationalities from 60 countries, not one was a Jew!!” The myth of the missing Jews was also presented as “fact” in the Saudi –sponsored daily Al-Hayat in London.
Egyptian cleric Sheikh Mohammad Gameia, a respected authority on questions of religion and ethics, had just returned from New York to Al-Azhar University in Cairo. His views are all the more significant because for several years he was the prayer leader at Manhattan’s biggest and most influential mosque. He summed up the Israeli conspiracy in an Oct. 5, 2001, interview:
Jews “are the only ones capable of planning such acts,” he claimed, “because it was planned with great precision of which Osama bin Laden or any other Islamic organization or intelligence apparatus is incapable. …”
Most Americans and Europeans believe that a fairly accurate picture of the events of September 11 began to emerge in the days and weeks following the attacks. From Boston, video surveillance footage was retrieved showing lead hijacker Mohamed Atta passing through an airport metal detector, composed, well dressed, boarding pass in hand. In New Jersey, the 2001 Mitsubishi Galant used by accomplice Ziad Jarrah was found in the airport parking lot. In Boston, a five-page handwritten document subsequently called a “suicide letter” was retrieved, penned by Atta, in which he commended his fellow hijackers to pray as they boarded the airplanes. “Everybody hates death, fears death, but only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward after death, would be the ones who would be seeking death,” he exorted his fellow murderers.
Within four days, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released the names of the 19 hijackers. Fifteen were Saudi nationals, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was Lebanese, and one was Egyptian. Before the week was out, the FBI released photographs of the suspects and stated unequivocally that all had emerged from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan. In case any doubt remained, three months later, on Dec. 13, Osama bin Laden himself appeared in a videotaped message broadcast in Arabic on the Qatar government–backed Al-Jazeera satellite television network, gloating to followers that he had managed to keep even his trusted spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, in the dark as he finalized preparations for the attacks.
So how could responsible media organizations in the Muslim world report such an extraordinary and counter-intuitive story with such alacrity? How could educated people in a region of the world that invented the alphabet and mathematics, and preserved Aristotilean logic while Europe was plunged in the Dark Ages for more than a millennium, believe such obvious lies?
One answer comes from Saudi Arabia, where Interior Minister Prince Nayef continued to fuel conspiracy theories in order to cover up his own government’s involvement. In November 2002, at the same time his government had launched an expensive public-relations campaign in America to highlight the Saudi kingdom’s cooperation with America in the war on terror, Prince Nayef once again blamed the Jews. “We know that the Jews have manipulated the Sept. 11 incidents and turned American public opinion against Arabs and Muslims,” he told the Kuwaiti daily al-Siyassi in an interview. “We still ask ourselves: Who has benefited from Sept. 11 attacks? I think they [the Jews] were the protagonists of these attacks.”
How many Jews actually died in the world Trade Center attacks is not known with any precision. The official New York City “Missing Persons List” does not categorize victims by their religion or nationality. But ask families with names like Adler, Aron, Berger, Bernstein, Cohen, Eichler, Eisenberg, Feinberg, Friedlander, Goldstein, Greenstein, Horwitz, Jablonski, Kestenbaum, Kirchbaum, Kleinberg, Levi, Levine, Mayer, Rosenberg, Rosenblum, Rosenthal, Sachs, Safronoff, Schwartz, Shulman, Shwartzstein, Silverstein, Solomon, Steinman, Temple, Weil, Weinberg, Weingard, Weinstein, Weiss, Zukelman what they wouldn’t give to see their loved ones again. Why didn’t they get a conspiratorial cell-phone message warning them to stay home? By all appearances, the 9-11 hijackers were equal-opportunity murderers.
Excerpted by permission of Crown Forum, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.