In a recent editorial the New York Times said, “The attacks of Sept. 11 were not a religious event. They were mass murder.”

The New York Times was half right: the attacks of 9/11 were mass murder, but to say they were not a religious event is delusional. What were they? Celebrations of separation of church and state?

The FBI possesses a letter written by 9/11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, telling his fellow terrorists what to do on that fateful day. Here is what he instructed them to do the night before the attacks:

  • “When you board the P or place your foot, before you enter [the plane] recite the prayers and remember: It is a raid for the sake of Allah. Recite the prayer. As you take the seat, recite the prayer. Mention Allah a lot.”

 • “When you strike, shout Allah is great because this shout strikes terror in the hearts of the infidels.”

 • “Seconds before the target, your last words should be there is no God but Allah. Muhammed is his messenger.”

Atta’s words are not ambiguous: the attack on the U.S. was done in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion. Ergo, the 9/11 mass murders were a religious event.

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