As names of the victims of jihad who died on September 11, 2001 were read out on Wednesday morning in New York, it occurred to me that a crucial aspect of remembering the tragedy was missing.
There was no mention of the evil that struck us that day and has continued to hit us wherever liberal secular democracy exists, be it on 7/7 in London or 26/11 in Mumbai, or for that matter Kabul, Bali, Madrid, Paris, Damascus, and right here in Ottawa and Toronto.
If aliens were to drop by to watch the ceremony, they would get the impression that we were not commemorating the anniversary of an attack, but some catastrophic natural disaster such as the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia or the 1775 Lisbon earthquake.
It seems that no one in the West dares to utter the ideology that nurtures our enemies.
It seems that from the centre-right to the centre-left, no one in the West dares to utter the ideology that nurtures our enemies, let alone develop a determination to defeat them.
Some have tried to eradicate the malaria of jihadi terrorism by shooting down individual mosquitoes, but as anyone who has fought that disease knows, one can only defeat malaria by draining the swamps. Invasions of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan to eliminate Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic State have all failed because the "war against terror" became a profitable venture for America's military-industrial complex.
Pakistan, the country that nurtured the mastermind of 9/11, Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, and hosted Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden, escaped all scrutiny as its wily diplomats ran circles of deceit around Western governments while corrupt jihadi generals profited immensely and still do. In the meantime, our allies in India and Afghanistan suffer as they are used as laboratories where dozens of jihadi groups practice holy war, which is then exported from Mindanao in The Philippines, to California on the Pacific and Nigeria and Somalia in between.
Canadian newspapers too had little to say on the 9/11 anniversary, notwithstanding our own recent skirmishes with jihadis. At times we have even rewarded them, then allowed 'former' jihadis to 'deradicalize' them. Both must be laughing at us.
I scoured the New York Times story on the 9/11 anniversary for words like 'Al Qaeda', 'Bin Laden', 'jihad', 'Taliban', 'Khaled Sheikh Muhammad' and even 'Arab' or 'Saudi,' but found no mention. It seemed the liberal media dares not to mention the enemy for fear it may be labelled 'racist' and 'Islamophobic'.
While the West is in disarray with Trump, Boris Johnson and Macron fulfilling the role of the Three Stooges on the world stage, Islamists keep up a barrage of propaganda positioning the Muslim community as victims of what they see as essentially hostile Western society.
Even as Canadians prepare to vote in the 2019 October elections, not a single political party has raised the issue of how it will tackle the rise of Islamist terrorism worldwide. Not one. There was a time when a prime minister had the courage to name 'Islamism' as a worldwide threat, but not his successor in Sussex Drive nor the man who leads his party.
And while they were reading the names in New York of the women and men who perished as victims of jihad on 9/11, no one in Canada cared for our Canadian brothers and sisters who died that day. As a courtesy to the voiceless, here are the names of the forgotten 27:
Frank Joseph Doyle
Their blood is on the hands of those who engineered 9/11. Until they are defeated, we should not rest.
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.