Ten years ago, as the Twin Towers fell, there were fears the attacks would bring on a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in America. Some people worried that every innocent citizen in a headscarf would be blamed for the terrorists' plot and that ethnic and religious profiling would become an accepted part of our national culture.
Now, Osama bin Laden is dead. American troops are withdrawing from Iraq, and many national leaders are contemplating the best way to leave Afghanistan.Yet U.S. Rep. Allen West is carrying on the anti-Muslim sentiment that highlighted the ugliest parts of our national
psyche for the past decade. He released a statement yesterday that blamed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on "a radical Islamic enemy" -- not al Qaeda, and not bin Laden. In fact, in his recollection of 9/11, he never mentions any of the individuals who planned or orchestrated the attacks.
"I knew whoever was responsible for this despicable attack would have to be held accountable," West writes. "Since then, I have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now in the United States House of Representatives, I will continue to work to bring every single one of these enemies to justice.
"As Americans, we sit here today knowing that the war is not over. This radical Islamic enemy, this militant Islam we are facing is evidenced in Islamic Totalitarianism. It is not something with which we can appease or negotiate."
Ten years ago, our national leaders told us we were fighting a war on terrorism. Now West is citing an enemy called "Islamic Totalitarianism," which he does not define. Is this the kind of progress we should be proud of?