The Myth of 9/11: An American Muslim Speaks Out


Richard Moore


The Myth of 9/11: An American Muslim Speaks Out
By Kevin Barrett <•••@••.•••>

            "Yukhâdi`ûnAllaha w-alladhîna 'âmanû: wa mâ yakhda`ûna 'illa
            'anfusahum wa mâ yash`urûn."
            "They try to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they
            only deceive themselves, and realize it not." Qur'aan II:9

Below are selections from the book-in-progress The Myth of
9/11: An American Muslim Speaks Out by Kevin J. Barrett.

About the author

Kevin Barrett, a Muslim since 1992, has taught Islam, English,
French, Arabic, Humanities, African Literature, American
Civilization, and Folklore at colleges and universities in the
San Francisco Bay Area, Paris, and Madison, Wisconsin. He
holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in
African Languages and Literature (Arabic).  In November, 2004,
Barrett co-founded MUJCA-NET, the Muslim-Jewish-Christian
Alliance for 9/11 Truth. Barrett explains his decision to move
from literature to activism by citing a story from Israel
Shamir , the Israeli intellectual and MUJCA-NET endorser who
moved from Russain literature to anglophone activism in
response to Ariel Sharon's outrages of 2001:

A Jewish folk tale relates the story of a mute child who had
never said a word despite all the efforts of the doctors. Then
one day, at the ripe age of ten, he dropped his spoon and
cried out, "The soup is too salty!" His parents asked him in
amazement why he had kept silent for years, and the child
replied, "Until now, everything was all right."

Since 9/11, the USA has not been all right. (Okay, it wasn't
perfect before-but on 9/11/01 we went from Weimar America to
the Neocon Reich.) An African proverb from the Wolof people of
Senegal states, "If you are lost, turn around and go back to
the place where you went wrong. "Ku xamul foo jëm, dellul fa
nga jogewoon." Literally, "If you don't know where you're
going, go back where you came from." (Thank you to Cherif
Correa for calling my attention to this proverb.) For the USA,
that place is 9/11/2001.

Bismillah ar-rahmân ar-rahîm.

Dedication: This book dedicated to my brothers and sisters-be
they Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus,
Zoroastrians, Hopis, or those of any other faith-of whatever
kind-including faith in goodness, decency and justice-with the
courage and integrity to stand up against our modern Pharaohs
and demand 9/11 Truth.

            Table of Contents
            Introduction: The 9/11 Truth Honor Roll
            Part One: Myth as Big Lie
            Chapter 1: Myth #1: "19 Muslim Hijackers"
            Chapter 2: Myth #2: "We Tried to Stop Them!"
            Chapter 3: Myth #3: "The Pentagon Was Hit by AA Flight 77"
            Chapter 4: Myth #4: "The Twin Towers Collapsed Because of the
                             Plane Crashes and Fires"
            Chapter 5: Myth #5: "Let's Roll!"
            Chapter 6: Myth #6: "My Pet Goat"
            Chapter 7: Myth #7: "After 9/11, Everything Changed-So We Went
                             to War"
            Part Two: Myth as Sacred Narrative
            Chapter 8: 9/11 as Sacred Story
            Chapter 9: Mythic Heroes and Villains
            Chapter 10: The Mythic Rhythm: (In)security as Dramatic
            Chapter 11: TV and Cinema: Our Tribal Hearth
            Chapter 12: The Myth of Democracy
            Chapter 13: Myth, History, and Criticism
            Chapter 14: Countermythologies and Truth Strategies: Can
                               Storytelling Save the World?

Introduction: The 9/11 Truth Honor Roll

This book is not a conspiracy theory. It is a conspiracy fact.

No, I'm not talking about 9/11. I'm talking about the book.

The book you are about to read is a ticking time bomb. It is
part of a massive global conspiracy of peace-loving truth
terrorists who are on the verge of blowing the official myth
of 9/11 to smithereens.

No, I'm not talking about Muslims. I'm talking about the 9/11
Truth Movement. I'm talking about brave people like Mike
Ruppert, Nafeez Ahmad, Stan Goff, Gore Vidal, Barrie Zwicker,
Michel Chossudovsky, Thierry Mayssan, Paul Thompson, Erick
Hufschmid, Faiz Khan, Catherine Austin Fitts, David Griffin,
Richard Falk, Jimmy Walters, Ellen Mariani, Sibel Edmunds, and
of course the Jersey Girls-especially those whose need for
truth is greater than their need for closure. I dedicate this
book to them, to the many worthy others I haven't mentioned,
and to their thousands of brave comrades.

These wonderful people come from a variety of religious and
non-religious backgrounds. Though the media's increasingly
monolithic voice tells us that American Christians accept the
myth of 9/11 and support Bush's neocon oil crusade in the
Middle East, it turns out that Christians are overrepresented
on our 9/11 Truth honor roll. When I began to round up
endorsers for MUJCA-NET, the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance
for 9/11 Truth, my earliest and strongest supporters were
mostly Christians.  Amazingly, as I was going around
introducing myself as a Muslim who didn't buy  the official
myth of 9/11, many Christians were listening to me and
supporting me. I was impressed by their courage to stand up
and demand the truth, whatever the consequences. Listen to
Mike Ruppert, who comes from a Christian background. Ruppert
was one of the earliest, bravest and most outspoken 9/11

"The question I am asked most frequently at my lectures is why
I haven't been killed yet. I have two answers. First, is it is
not cost-effective, and the response would cause more problems
than it would solve. I am not important enough to kill.

"Secondly, I will not die one minute before God has decided."
(Mike Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon , p.305) 

Catherine Austin Fitts, like Mike Ruppert, is a Christian. She
was an Assistant Secretary of Housing in the Bush I
administration. It is her commitment and faith that led her to
expose the oil-guns-drugs mob of corrupt spooks who currently
rule America. She wrote a blistering public letter to Condi
Rice charging Rice and the rest of the Bush II foreign policy
mob with complicity in 9/11. Recently she came up with the
idea of setting aside a time for universal prayer and
meditation for 9/11 truth.

David Griffin, also a Christian, is one of the most respected
theologians in America. The author more than twenty books on
philosophy and theology, Griffin risked his life and
reputation by publishing The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions . Together, these
two books present a solid prima facie case that 9/11 was an
inside job, and that the Kean-Zelikow Commission's 9/11 report
is pure fiction: "As this book was going to press, I learned
that The 9/11 Commission Report had been included among the
finalists for the National Book Award. I would not have been
shocked by this news except for the fact that the nomination
was in the nonfiction category." (David Griffin, The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions , 291.) Griffin
has been asked whether he worries about being killed. His
reply (I am quoting from memory): "If they shoot me my book
will shoot to the top of the bestseller lists, and if they
leave me alone I'll get to write my Summa Theologica in peace.
It's a win-win situation." Though Griffin does not explicitly
evoke God, he is a process theologian whose remarkable courage
surely stems from his faith in the God-process.

By now it should be clear that some of the smartest and
bravest "truth terrorists" are Christians. This should not
surprise us. We Muslims consider Christians, like Jews, to be
our fellow People of the Book, and the Qur'ân tells us that
many of them are on the path of salvation. Surely Christians
like Fitts, Ruppert and Griffin are among them. The Qur'ân
tells us that those Jews and Christians who believe and do
good and righteous deeds are the best of creatures; while
those who ungratefully reject God and God's beautiful creation
are the worst of creatures and will abide in the fires of hell
(98:6-7). Jews and Christians who bravely pursue truth and
justice are surely among the best of creatures; while those
who long for the destruction of God's beautiful creation in
apocalyptic violence-thinking that they can "force the hand of
God" and bring Jesus back if they only murder enough
darker-skinned people-are among the worst of creatures and are
surely on the path to perdition. Those Muslims who think the
wholesale slaughter of innocents is justifiable "jihad" are
their companions on the path of misguidance.

We have seen a number of prominent Christians on the 9/11
Truth honor roll. But where are the Muslims? Our honor-roll of
9/11 truth-tellers contains only two Muslim names: Nafeez
Ahmed and Faiz Khan.

Ahmed wrote the first topnotch revisionist account of 9/11,
The War on Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked on
September 11th, 2001 . Ahmed's book convinced Gore Vidal,
America's greatest historical writer and essayist, that 9/11
was an inside job (Gore Vidal, Dreaming War ; and The Enemy
Within ). Like Griffin's work, Ahmed's is a scholarly,
objective historical account, and makes no mention of the
author's religious affiliation or beliefs.

Imam Faiz Khan, M.D., the other Muslim name on our 9/11 Truth
honor roll, has not written a book on 9/11. But Imam Khan is
surely among the bravest men and women on our list. A 9/1l
first responder, Imam Khan is a doctor at Long Island Jewish
Medical Center and Associate Professor at Albert Einstein
College of Medicine. Since the horrible events of September
11th, which he experienced firsthand as he treated the
victims, Imam Khan has been tirelessly working for peace,
interfaith understanding and 9/11 Truth. He has noted and
deplored the reticence of Muslims on the 9/11 Truth issue:

"I have commented in various circles about the ghastly silence
I have observed from the American Muslim "activist" sector
regarding 9-11 truth.  The silence stems from multifactorial
reasons - certainly tact and fear is a legitimate reason for
some within the American Muslim community to be silent and not
rock the boat- but there is definitely a sub-sector within
American Muslim activism whose neglect of this issue is
bordering on malignancy."

Imam Khan raises a vitally important question: Why is the
whole Muslim Umma not up in arms-figuratively, I mean-and
screaming from the rooftops for 9/11 Truth? I think Imam Khan
is on the right track when he answers "tact, fear, and
malignancy." Muslims tend to be polite and circumspect,
especially when they are guests in somebody else's house. The
Qur'ân and the Prophet Muhammad (saas) teach us to use good
words and avoid bad or injurious words. Most American Muslims
still consider ourselves guests in the house of America. We
are afraid that if we say to our non-Muslim fellow citizens,
"Your government did this, not us" our words will be taken as
a terrible insult.

The tact, as Imam Khan suggests, is augmented by fear. We are
afraid that our fellow Americans will react to our "insult" by
shipping us to a concentration camp at Guantanamo and
torturing us. This fear is not unrealistic: A recent poll
showed that nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S.
government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim
Americans. In this Nazi-like climate, with thousands of our
Muslim brothers and sisters being tortured, martyred and
disapeared to secret concentration camps simply because they
are Muslims, a discrete silence strikes many as the best
policy. (Personally, I disagree. Silence and denial did not
work for the Jews in 1930s Germany, and it won't work for
American Muslims now.) have brought up the 9/11 Truth issue
literally hundreds of times with fellow Muslims, and all but
one of them have agreed that it was almost certainly an inside
job. Then why not speak out? The answer I keep hearing is
simple and ugly: "There is no more freedom of speech in
America." Over and over, my Muslim friends point out that when
you are visited by the FBI-as a great many of them have
been-you are threatened with arrest if you tell anyone, even
your spouse, about the visit. You can be disappeared by the US
government, taken to Guantanamo, denied access to a lawyer,
denied due process, tortured, and executed by the direct order
of high-ranking US officials, without anyone ever being told
what happened to you. Is it so farfetched to suggest that this
is exactly what might happen if you accuse those same top US
officials of staging 9/11 and murdering 3000 people in a
covert operation designed to trigger wars in the Middle East?
Was not the real purpose of the wholesale shredding of the
Constitution after 9/11 to instill precisely this fear in
order to protect the real 9/11 criminals-the very people who
wrote the "Patriot Act" ?

This kind of fear, understandable as it is, is indeed, in Imam
Khan's words, a "malignancy." As Muslims, we are obliged to
stand up for truth and justice. The sorry state of much of the
Muslim world today is due to precisely this malignant fear of
rising up to demand truth and justice. All across the Islamic
world, tyrannous, corrupt rulers threaten their populations in
exactly the same way the Bush Regime is threatening Americans.
Muslims need to gather the courage to stand up for truth and
justice wherever they live, including here in the USA.

Another kind of malignancy affects a relatively small
proportion of the world's Muslims, and an even smaller segment
of American Muslims. Whereas the great majority of the world's
Muslims are inclined to believe that 9/11 was an inside
job-89% of viewers according to an October, 2004 al-Jazeera
poll-among the small minority that thinks "al-Qaida acted
alone" are those who believe that the 9/11 attacks were
justifiable. Of course, those who believe this are not all
Muslim. One of my best friends, a very smart, committed
political activist from Berkeley who happens to be Jewish,
thinks that America got exactly what it deserved on 9/11. It
was a magnificent blow against the empire on behalf of the
oppressed people of the world, my friend says.  He is so happy
with the story of the "heroic al-Qaida attack" that he just
doesn't want to hear that it was an inside job. And he isn't
alone. A lot of other people feel that way too, and, let's
face it, many of them are Muslims.

That kind of thinking, like the craven fear that keeps most
Muslims silent, is also a malignancy. The 9/11 attacks killed
a fairly random cross-section of office workers from all
national and religious backgrounds, including more than a
hundred Muslims. As the Qur'ân says of the victims of female
infantacide, a common pre-Islamic practice: On Judgment day,
God will ask, For what sin were these people slain? What was
the sin of living in the New York area and working in a
particular office building? The random killing of innocents is
an abomination. This means, of course, that all modern warfare
is an abomination. (Since World War II, it has been the
express policy of the US, Britain, Israel, and other nations
to mass-murder civilians in order to destroy the morale and
productive capacity of the "enemy"-remember the firebombings
of Germany and Japan, and the nuking of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki? Operation Phoenix in Vietnam? Sharon's razing of
Rafah? The destruction of Falluja by US troops who were
apparently ordered to shoot every man, woman and child, and
shell every building?) Those who conduct modern wars are evil.
All of those who planned and participated in the US invasions
of Afghanistan and Iraq will answer for their actions on
Judgment Day. So will those who perpetrated the 9/11
atrocities. Ultimately, I believe, history will show that the
architects of 9/11, and the architects of the criminal Iraq
and Afghan wars it triggered, were the same individuals. In
the event that some of them were nominal Muslims-which is
unlikely but not impossible-they will face the same judgment
as the non-Muslim warmongers and killers of innocents. As Imam
Khan writes:

"9-11 truth is an issue that unites the sincere and honest
within all faith traditions, as it reflects simply a desire
for truth, safety, and an accurate drawing of conflict lines
that neccesarily do NOT coincide with religious parochialisms.
The lines - Quranically speaking are between those who are
willing to use zhulm (oppression and injustice) no matter how
cleverly clothed in the guise of secular political policy or
religious doctrine as a means to egoistic/materialistic ends -
and those who will not stand for it." And we, as Muslims, must
not stand for it. It is time for Muslims to get over their
tact, fear and malignancies, and stand united as one Umma
deploring the murder of innocents and demanding 9/11 truth.
And it is time for non-Muslims of good will to join us.  

Part Two: The Sacred Story of 9/11

Part One of this book summarized some of the evidence that the
official story of 9/11 is a myth in the popular sense: A story
that is untrue. Part Two will argue that it is a myth in a
deeper sense: A sacred narrative whose purpose is to
inaugurate and legitimize a particular social order.

It is important to point out that this argument is not
dependent on the argument presented in Part One. That is, you
do not have to believe that the official story of 9/11 is
false to accept that it is a myth in the deep, scholarly sense
of "sacred legitimizing narrative of origins." The scholarly
approach to myth does not usually concern itself with whether
a myth is true, false, or something else. Scholars of
mythology, like those of literature, find such stories
fascinating in part because they convey information in a way
that is more powerfully profound and world-shaping than is
possible in modes of discourse that foreground verifiable
truth claims, such as scientific writing, journalism,
non-fiction, biography, and historiography. (Those
"non-fictional" forms, upon closer inspection,  often turn out
to be rich in  mythography themselves, and it is usually the
mythical element at least as much as the truth-value that is
responsible for their appeal.)

Though we can analyze the official story of 9/11 as a myth
without concerning ourselves about whether or to what extent
it is true, that does not mean that, in the final analysis,
the truth of the story does not matter. That way lies
nihlism-whether the vicious and mendacious nihlism of the
neocons, avatars of the Big Lie, or the less pernicious
nihlism of certain postmoderns, who believe that truth is
boring and passé. The truth does matter. Though the myth of
9/11 functions in about the same way whether 19 extremist
Muslim hijackers actually did it, or whether they were framed
by intelligence agents working for the US High Command, the
question of whether and to what extent this myth was
consciously authored, and by whom, is obviously relevant to
its ultimate meaning. Roland Barthes, the first and greatest
analyst of the mythologies of modern life, supposedly oversaw
the death of the author. According to Barthes, the author's
intended meaning is irrelevant to the meaning of her text.
Maybe that's true for Finnegan's Wake , but not for 9/11. If
the myth of 9/11 is false, a fictional creation intended to
inaugurate an era of an endless "war on terror," the meaning
that we draw from it, and the historical effect we create as
we draw that meaning, will be quite different from what we
would have drawn and done as true believers in an egregiously
false myth.

Our analysis of the official story of 9/11 as a myth in the
deep sense can also help us understand why so many people
believe it, despite the existence of so much evidence against
it. The official story in general, and the Kean-Zelikow novel
in particular, is a terrific story. It is woven around a
stunning mythic image, has an unbelievable cast of
larger-than-life heroes and villains, hails its American
audience by casting it on the side of the angels, exerts a
strong yet subliminal sexual fascination, sustains itself
through a powerful structural rhythm of tension (insecurity)
and partial release, and forces itself upon us through
repeated tellings around our modern tribal hearth until it is
deeply engrained into our consciousness. Questioning it begins
to feel like sacrilege. Thus Thierry Mayssan has argued that
Americans have come to see 9/11 as a religious event, and that
this aura of sacrality has blinded them to the obvious falsity
of the official story.

In short, many Americans have accepted the official version of
9/11 simply because it is such a good story. And we love good
stories, as every storyteller knows. Nobody wants to be
awakened from the "storylistening trance," that pleasurable
state evoked by a well-crafted narrative. And if the awakening
is a rude one-if the storyteller and his biggest heroes turn
out to be vicious, cold-blooded murderers posing as our
protectors, wielding the power of life and death over all of
us with a murderous, cynical sneer-it may be a whole lot less
painful to remain half-asleep, dreaming the pleasant dreams
that flicker so evanescently from the televisual hearth.

The official story of 9/11 is not only a good story, but (on
the surface, at least) it is a coherent one. The allegedly
relevant facts are arranged in such a way that they appear to
all fit together. Those who point out the existence of a
massive body of evidence contradicting the official story
cannot, if they are honest, produce an equally coherent
counter-narrative to explain the event. They must admit that
they don't know whether there were any hijackings or not,
whether occupied passenger planes or remotely-guided dummy
planes hit the buildings, who the relevant actors were and
exactly what they did, and so on. All the critics of the
official version can do is make educated guesses. And educated
guesses are not as appealing as a tightly-woven, thrilling
narrative, with each of its threads apparently in place, and
its myriad of loose ends concealed.

Our examination of the deep myth of 9/11 will explore the ways
that it is such a good story. How do you enchant me, 9/11? Let
me count the ways.

The core of the official 9/11 story is its central mythic
image: The collapse of the Twin Towers. Who will ever forget
the sight of those massive, looming monuments imploding into
dust and collapsing at free-fall speed? And though the sight
itself was unforgettable, even on a 19-inch television screen,
the major TV networks, largely owned by defense contractors
that would be lapping up 9/11's trillion-dollar windfall, made
absolutely sure we wouldn't forget it, by running the same
footage over...and over...and over. Cognitive psychologists
tell us that the most effective way to transfer data into
long-term memory is repetition, repetition, repetition. That
is why the best way to learn a new acquaintance's name is to
use it several times in quick succession.

The images of planes hitting skyscrapers, and of skyscrapers
collapsing, possess the kind of scope and power that makes
them potent mythical icons. Humans have always dreamed of
flight and trembled with fear and longing-look at Icarus. And
the dream of trying to build a tower to the skies, and then
watching it collapse into ruins, is to building things what
the dream of Icarus is to flying. The collapsing tower dream
is the core image of the Babel myth. In fact, the parallels
between 9/11 and the Babel myth are rather stunning. In the
story of the Tower of Babel, the tower-builders got their
power from the gradual unification of humanity under a single
language. On 9/11/01 the world was nearly united under single
global language, English, the natural-language expression of
the underlying techno-economic language of global capitalism.
The triumph of anglo-style capitalist "democracy" was being
forecast in all quarters. It would, according to the wildly
and inexplicably popular nice-cop-neocon Francis Fukuyama,
bring the "End of History." In fact, Fukuyama claimed, history
had already ended, we just didn't realize it yet. The world
was unified under the anglo-capitalist Tower of Babel that was
destined to reach the stars. On 9/11/01, the towers collapsed
and capitalist globalism collapsed with it. Rabid neocon
nationalism-the mean cop complementing Fukuyama's nice
cop-arose on the ruins of the towers, and in proclaiming an
incipient American Empire, the Bush administration set the
stage for the confusion of nationalistic tongues that
increasingly drives the world toward chaos. Fukuyama's report
of history's death turned out to have been greatly

It is one of history's exquisite ironies that the presumable
architects of 9/11 were trying to preserve the very empire
they are so efficiently destroying. The US empire, and
especially its Israeli outpost, were doomed in the medium-term
anyway, with or without 9/11. Inexorable demographic and
economic trends were working against them. The European Union
was already bigger, both in population and GNP, than the
United States, and Israel was losing its demographic race with
the Palestinians it had always needed to ethnic-cleanse as a
precondition for being an apartheid "Jewish state." Peak oil
was coming soon, and with it the empowerment of whoever
controlled the remaining oil reserves-meaning the Arabs and
Muslims, absent a US invasion and occupation of the
oil-producing regions. Meanwhile, China was shaping up as the
superpower of the second half of the 21st century. The
neocons, through their think-tank PNAC, stated the obvious:
The US had a limited window of opportunity to shape the
international environment, and it had better take advantage of
its unmatched military power, the only card in its hand, while
it still could. But US military might would only be fully
unleashed, the PNAC neocons wrote, after "some galvanizing
event like a new Pearl Harbor." Without this New Pearl Harbor,
Americans would not make the necessary sacrifices-like
accepting widespread poverty, unemployment, the destruction of
Social Security and the limitation or even end of their
Constitutional civil liberties-that would be necessary for the
US to put all its eggs in the military basket, and then lob
those eggs at every imaginable potential adversary.
Unfortunately for the US empire, these neocon strategists had
not understood the point Charles Kupchan makes so forcefully
in The Vulnerability of Empire : Empires fall when they make
stupid, rash decisions, and those bad decisions are almost
always driven by the same psychological factor: A fear of
homeland vulnerability. By killing 3000 Americans as they
staged what was intended to be the inaugurating myth of the
New American Century, the neocons spurred the US into a frenzy
of pathological overextension, uniting the whole world
(especially Muslims) against America. Instead of preserving US
power, they virtually assured their own empire of a much
earlier, more violent and complete demise than would have been
the case had it merely faded slowly and wisely from its
position as world hegemon. 

Mythic associations make the images of the plane strikes and
tower collapses gripping, stunning, unforgettable...and
available to mythologizers to weave their webs of meaning
around. The first meaning that has to be woven, if a powerful
myth is to be created, is that of the creation or inauguration
of a new era. The core mythic image represents the explosive
transition from one epoch, one state of being or non-being, to
another. It separates the time and space we know from an
earlier condition of chaos, void, or nonexistence. The
best-known creation myth in Western culture, of course, is

            In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
            -Now the earth had been wild and waste,
            darkness over the face of Ocean,
            breath of God hovering over the face of the waters-
            God said: Let there be light! And there was light.
            God saw the light: that it was good.
            God separated the light from the darkness.
            God called the light: Day! And the darkness he called: Night!
            There was evening, there was morning: one day... 
            (Everett Fox translation)

God goes on to separate waters from waters with a dome,
creating heaven and seas; he separates the seas from land;
life from non-living matter; man from woman; and so on. Note
the pattern: One big moment of creation, the birth of
somethingness (heaven and earth) out of nothingness, is
followed by lesser acts of creation by division. In each case,
something chaotic or amorphous is divided, resulting in two
less-amorphous entities, one of which is better, being less
chaotic or amorphous than the other. Chaos is broken into
light and darkness (light is better); the waters are broken
into above and below, and the above ones (heaven) are better;
dry earth is divided from the seas, and dry earth is better;
plant life appears from the earth (life is better than mere
earth); animals appear (an improvement over plants); and
finally humans are created in God's own image, with men
supposedly being better (less amorphous and chaotic) than
women. This magnificent but self-aggrandizing myth is a
monument to the human ego: The process of creation that led to
ME consisted of cutting chaos in two, discarding the worse
half, and keeping the better half, until finally I was created
in the spit and image of God.

The Bible's creation myth is clearly derived from earlier
Middle Eastern creation myths. The one preserved in the
Gilgamesh epic posits a somewhat more violent sundering of
chaos, in the person of the oceanic female, and the bloody
carving out of the domain of (aggressive male) order. That
aggressive male ego is then held up as the tribal norm.

The core mythic image of 9/11, the destruction of the WTC, is
more like the Gilgamesh/Sumerian versions of creation than the
one in Genesis. For one thing, it is ultra-violent. Thousands
of human bodies are smashed, pulverized, and exploded into
pieces. But unlike the Sumerian version, in which the
primordial chaos goddess is dismembered by the male warrior
hero, here the sacrificial victim is ambiguously gendered. The
Towers, of course, are phallic symbols, and the American
audience is invited to view their destruction as a kind of
symbolic castration. Yet this symbolic castration of America
is linked to the "our women are threatened" motif, perhaps the
most powerful single motivational myth available to those who
wish to stimulate warlike behavior. The media propaganda
machine works overtime cranking out portrayals of Arabs and
Muslims as vile sexist villains who abuse, oppress, and
sexually exploit women. Thus the destruction of the Towers is
blamed on these dusky-hued sexist scoundrels who threaten
womenfolk everywhere, and the image of the collapsing Towers
made into a kind of rape. America, robbed of its two towering
phalluses, is feminized, symbolically penetrated by gigantic,
explosive airplanes ejaculating jet fuel, whose crews and
passengers had already been penetrated by Arab-Muslim blades,
box-cutters that had somehow penetrated airport security. The
image of a nation vulnerable to penetration is heightened by
the story about the alleged "19 hijackers" who supposedly
snuck into the country to do the dastardly deed.

This violent, spectacular, sexually-charged image separates
the forces of order, namely US, from the forces of chaos and
evil, namely THEM-a primal sundering that repeats the pattern
of all creation myths, which cleave before from after, good
from evil, day from night, inaugurating the whole social
reality which the myth-participants and their descendants
subsequently experience. "If you are not with us," George W.
Bush famously warned, "you are against us." This bifurcation
of the world into light and dark, white (Americans) and dark
(Ay-rabs and Nee-groes), pure unsullied Judeo-Christians and
swarthy, sexually aggressive Muslims, repeats the pattern of
earlier Euro-racist mythologizers, notably Aldolf Hitler. Like
Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their
new era by destroying an architectural monument and blaming
its destruction on their designated enemies, swarthy,
sexually-aggressive Semites whose penetration of the pure
white homeland would have to be stopped. The new,
post-Reichstag Fire world would be one of endless aggressive
war. Bush's obsession with this idea of a whole new era of
perpetual war, an era inaugurated by the destruction of an
architectural monument, produced one of the most bizarre
Presidential Freudian slips in history. In a story that should
CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, Sidney Blumenthal described
President Bush wandering beside the Arkansas River just after
the opening ceremony of the Clinton Presidential Library:,12271,1358966,00.html

One gulp, and Bush was gone

Behind the scenes at the Clinton library, we saw America's

Sidney Blumenthal

Thursday November 25, 2004

The Guardian

...Bush appeared distracted, and glanced repeatedly at his
watch. When he stopped to gaze at the river, where secret
service agents were stationed in boats, the guide said:
"Usually, you might see some bass fishermen out there." Bush
replied: "A submarine could take this place out."

Was the president warning of an al-Qaida submarine, sneaking
undetected up the Mississippi, through the locks and dams of
the Arkansas river, surfacing under the bridge to the 21st
century to dispatch the Clinton library? Is that where Osama
bin Laden is hiding?

Or was this a wishful paranoid fantasy of ubiquitous terrorism
destroying Clinton's legacy with one blow? Or a projection of
menace and messianism, with only Bush grasping the true
danger, standing between submerged threat and civilisation?
Perhaps it was simply his way of saying he wouldn't build his
library near water.

As Blumenthal suggests, this scene drew a stark dividing line
between America's past and its apparent future. The past,
symbolized by the Clinton Presidential Library, is the
pre-9/11 world, a world of literate presidents, libraries,
buildings sitting peacefully beside a river. The future is
Bush's fantasy of sending a nuclear submarine to destroy the
Clinton library-to destroy the past order and erect a new
order of war, terror and fascism. As Bush put it in another
telling Freudian slip, "I never stop thinking about ways to
harm America." Along with blowing up American buildings, Bush
also fantasizes about blowing up Social Security,
international law, and the Constitution-in rather the same way
he so enjoyed blowing up frogs with firecrackers as a child .
These destructive fantasies would be harmless were he not in a
position to realize them. (Well, some of them, anyway. Even
Cheney's best neocon covert ops specialists will have a hard
time figuring out how to sell an al-Qaeda submarine attack on
the Clinton Library.)

If you have questions, comments or suggestions about the above
selections from the book-in-progress The Myth of 9/11: An
American Muslim Speaks Out , please email the author .

©2005 Green Man Springs Islamic Institute