In The Weekly Standard, writer Charlotte Allen skewers American universities for failing to commemorate the terrorist attacks with sufficient moralizing and self-righteousness
Essayist Charlotte Allen is sharp writer whose best pieces adeptly skewer the left's politically correct excesses. But her latest piece, a critical look at the 9/11 commemorations American universities are planning, sure reads as though she's the one trying to enforce politically correct orthodoxies of thought. Take her criticism of the lectures and non-credit courses offered this year at the University of Denver, including Retrospective Reflections on the Crisis of Religion and Politics in the Muslim World, Islam and Muslims in the U.S. Media, and The Future of Islam: Beyond Fear and Fundamentalism. "Where were the firefighters?" Allen asks. "Where was Flight 93? Where was the sense that 9/11 was an atrocity of such monstrous proportions that retribution--not to mention military action that could deter similar attacks in the future--was fully in order?"
Her complaint, put more broadly, is that unlike commemorations in the rest of America, "campus commemorations, many of which will be spaced out for days and even weeks this fall, will focus on, well, understanding it all, in the ponderous, ambiguity-laden, complexity-generating way that seems to be the hallmark of college professors faced with grim events about which they would rather not think in terms of morality." But surely America's universities, being institutions of higher learning, properly take an approach to marking the terrorist attacks that is in keeping with their distinct mission, just as in lower Manhattan, the city government, the Catholic parish, and the local newspapers will all commemorate the 10 year anniversary in their own ways.