The MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project – An Educational Resource Focusing on the Ideological Roots of the Terrorist Threat to America.(Memri).
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has documented what Middle Eastern and South Asian media have said about it, starting that day and up until the present time. Many immediate responses to the attacks from prominent journalists, members of academia, and leading religious figures espoused conspiracy theories, as did Arab government officials. Notable conspiracy theories from the Arab world and Iran put the blame for the attacks on Jews, Israel, Christian Zionists, the Vatican, the Mossad, Britain, white supremacist groups, and the U.S. government agencies and officials including: CIA, FBI, National Security Council, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and others.
Following the 1995 terrorist attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, in which 168 people, including young children, were killed, an official museum and memorial was erected at the site. The museum focuses on the victims. Neither the museum nor the memorial deal with the perpetrators’ ideological roots, presenting the atrocity they perpetrated as a senseless crime.
Advance reports of the commemorations planned for 9/11 suggest that its legacy will follow a similar path, focusing on the victims, and again leave out the ideological roots of the attacks. This ideology is largely avoided in the public discourse, since it is deemed a politicized and controversial matter that is best omitted.
America’s ability to defend itself and to ensure a safer future for its citizens is directly related to its ability to tackle the ideological roots of 9/11. America’s security cannot be assured by fighting terrorist threats emanating from foreign countries through active war on terror; nor can it be assured by confronting homegrown terrorism through law enforcement and treating it like ordinary domestic crime. Neither strategy is effective as long as the ideological roots of the terrorist threat are avoided. Regardless of all the tactical and strategic achievements of the war on terror, on both the domestic and foreign fronts, these ideological roots will, if left unchallenged, continue to produce new generations of young adherents to replace the terrorists who have been imprisoned or killed.
This situation cannot be resolved through the American legal system – because this system indicts only criminals themselves, not their ideological motivations. Alternatively, these ideological roots could be exposed in museums modeled after the Holocaust museums – but to date there are no such initiatives planned. It could also be documented in academic centers – but so far all the archives known to be documenting 9/11 focus on the victims and on the attacks, not on the ideological roots of the perpetrators.
So that the remembrance and commemoration of the victims of 9/11 may bear a lesson for the future, efforts should go beyond monuments, annual ceremonies, and prayers for the dead. There should be meaningful engagement with the ideology that led to these deaths. There should be a meaningful exposure of the root ideas that led to these deaths. Such exposure is the only thing that can create a barrier to the continued influence of the ideology that produced 9/11.
Ten years after 9/11, a battle is raging in the Arab world – between liberal circles that wish to steer it toward agreed-upon humanistic values and circles that espouse the ideologies that brought about 9/11 and that are threatening to hijack the Arab Spring revolutions. Exposing the ideology behind 9/11 in the West will help determine the outcome of this battle in the Arab and Muslim world.
A focus on the ideology that led to the 9/11 attacks does not of course exclude any other efforts to expose other ideologies that lead to hatred and violence, in America and throughout the world.
Announcing the MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project.
Today, MEMRI is launching the 9/11 Documentation Project website, dedicated to the ideological roots of the attack. The website includes primary source material from the Arab and Islamic printed and electronic media, as well as from TV channels and other types of content published elsewhere. MEMRI already possesses the most extensive archives on these subjects, which it has accumulated over the past decade.
Among the subjects included in this website’s archives are written documents from Al-Qaeda and affiliate organizations, speeches and interviews by leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliate organizations, wills and statements of the 9/11perpetrators and their colleagues, and recruitment and indoctrination material of these organizations.
The project also documents ongoing efforts to deny responsibility for 9/11 and to attribute it to others, through various conspiracy theories.
To visit the MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project, visit:
To view MEMRI TV clips from the MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project, visit:
To donate to this project, please visit our donation page.Source Memri.