Many Americans are attending special ceremonies today to
remember the victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on New York
City's World Trade Center. Some observers believe Islam has in fact
benefited from the terrorist attacks that day because of a
successful public relations campaign portraying Muslims as the
Eleven years ago, America and its citizens were thrust into the
war on terror when two commercial airliners -- commandeered by 19
terrorists -- smashed into the Twin Towers minutes apart on a clear
morning, ultimately causing both towers to collapse upon themselves
and killing more than 2,700 people.
In similar fashion, another airliner crashed into the Pentagon,
killing almost 200. Another 40 people aboard United Airlines Flight
93 perished when their aircraft went down near Shanksville,
Pennsylvania, after passengers overpowered terrorists who many
believe planned to plow into the White House or the U.S.
In total, almost 3,000 individuals died at the hands of Islamic
terrorists that day.
That morning Faith McDonnell of the Institute on Religion
& Democracy (IRD) was about to host a press conference on
Sudan's involvement in global terrorism when she learned that
aircraft had been flown into the Twin Towers. She says the
spiritual impact on America was huge initially, but then mixed --
and then Americans raised the question of why their country had
been attacked in such a horrible manner.
"And I think that there has been an enormous amount of spiritual
deception since 9/11 that has come forth -- and that radical
Islamists have used this to their advantage," she tells
McDonnell explains the effort was similar to a public relations
campaign. "And immediately [they] began the idea of the
victimization of Muslims -- so that almost before the ash had
finished blowing in Manhattan, we were more worried about Muslims
being victimized because they were Muslim and because of 9/11 than
we were about those who had been murdered."
The IRD spokeswoman adds that a distinction needs to be made
between Islam and Muslims because there are certainly those who
want to live peaceful lives, and that there should be no feeling of
hatred toward Muslims -- "but that Islam is a dangerous ideology"
and needs to be stopped. She says it is a way of going against "our
Constitution and our sovereignty" as a nation by challenging it
The head of a messianic Jewish ministry believes that thanks to
political correctness, the events of 9/11 have actually helped
advance the cause that the terrorists intended that fateful
morning. Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree
Ministries, says there has been a "non-existent" persecution of
Muslims since 9/11.
"It seems to be that there's an overreach to make up
for this perceived persecution," she comments. "I mean, Christians
are put down in America, [but] Muslims are lifted up. Christians
are mocked in America, but Muslims are praised. Christian events
such as the National Day of Prayer in America [are] marginalized,
but Ramadan and other Islamic institutions are praised."
A recent example, says Markell, took place at the Democratic
National Convention when a Muslim state representative was given
the honor of announcing Michigan's votes for Barack Obama's
"I'm not suggesting that this woman at the convention is any
kind of a terrorist," she continues, "but when we keep bending over
and then caving to try to do all things properly and correctly as
it concerns Islam, we're going to make a mistake someday that's
going to cost us a lot."
According to Markell, political correctness surrounding the
Muslim faith is the fault of both political parties. She says
George W. Bush started it when he stated: "Islam is a religion of
Looking back on terrorist attack, praying for
As America today remembers the events of 9/11, Christians in the
U.S. are gathering to pray for a new spiritual awakening in their
People are gathering in courthouses or churches for one hour of
prayer. Billy Wilson of the Awakening
America Alliance says in the grassroots communities of America
there is still a lot of emotional and spiritual energy around
"I think all of us have a sense that 9/11 meant more than just a
terrorist attack," says Wilson. "We see that resonating across
America. Even 11 years later, there's still a lot of energy -- but
I think beyond that they realize that this is a very significant
day both for America's history and also for America's future."
Wilson believes what ought to resonate with people is that the
fight is spiritual in nature.
"[The events of] 9/11 sort of signaled a new era in America," he
says. "Things collapsed. We had the encroachment of darkness really
on the shores of America in a new way -- and since that time we've
sort of seen the same happening all through the 21st century. So
we're overdue for an awakening and a turnaround spiritually in
After the Cry Out America prayer sessions today, Christians will
gather in Philadelphia on September 28-29 for the launching of the
America for Jesus 40 days of prayer and fasting leading up to the