FrontPage today carries a thoughtful and incisive article by author Danusha Goska, discussing the recent controversy surrounding Donald Trump's remarks that "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey were seen celebrating the 9/11 jihad terror attacks in 2001.
While the exact number was apparently an exaggeration, the fact remains that regardless of the criticism, numerous people maintain that they witnessed these Muslim celebrations with their own eyes.
Whether it was the original Washington Times article published a week after the attacks, which revealed that "In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners' plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river," or the numerous eyewitness accounts, or the retired FBI operative who insists that "stacks and stacks" of calls were made by members of the American public complaining about such celebrations - so many that somebody labelled them "Happy Muslim Calls" - people are not backing down about this. They say they saw this happen, and there is no reason to disbelieve them.
Goska's piece rightly criticises Kim LaCapria of Snopes for her role in demonising those who have the temerity to tell us what they witnessed. Snopes used to be a useful resource for people wanting to get to the bottom of urban legends, but these days it seems to be almost entirely run by LaCapria, a Leftist "New York-based content manager" with an agenda.
Goska also cites numerous trustworthy eyewitnesses, including one who said: "I stopped for gas in Belleville immediately after the second fall and there were two men in the station cheering at the TV coverage as if they were watching the Super Bowl and their team was winning." She then adds:
Occam's Razor suggests that when numerous people, using their first and last names in a public forum, and providing concrete details that can be checked, all provide similar accounts of public behavior, chances are they are telling the truth. It is possible that all of these people, as Kim LaCapria suggests, are suffering from false memory syndrome, or are all attempting to whip up murderous hatred against Muslims, as Benjamin Wittes accuses, but neither LaCapria nor Wittes provides any support for their smears...
[T]hose who insist that they witnessed Muslim celebrations have nothing to gain by making these statements publicly, and everything to lose...They are average New Jerseyans simply telling the truth in the face of a wave of censorship and demonization that could cost them their friends or their jobs.
It seems to me to be entirely plausible that some Muslims in New Jersey - as well, as undoubtedly, elsewhere in America - did indeed celebrate the 9/11 attacks...if not overtly, then privately. Years and years of polling data showing, again and again, that Muslims around the world support terrorism in droves suggests that it is more unlikely to be otherwise. But those vilifying Trump for his admittedly clumsy statements are deliberately ensuring that we do not have the conversation about precisely how many Muslims we might be dealing with here.
That will do no one any good, except for the terrorists.