Posted on March 5, 2024

New York’s ‘Undocumented Immigrant’ Lawmaker Slammed for Rewriting 9/11 History

James Reinl, Daily Mail, March 4, 2024

A New York Democrat seeks to revise public school lessons about 9/11 to focus them on the ‘xenophobia’ and anti-Muslim hate crimes that followed the deadly terrorist attacks, can reveal.

Catalina Cruz, an assemblywoman who came to the US illegally as a child, has drafted a bill to shift the focus of K-12 classes away from the Al-Qaeda terrorists who murdered thousands of people in September 2001.

Her bill would require schools to teach kids more about the ‘aftermath’ of the attacks, a rise in ‘Islamophobia and xenophobia’ and ‘hate crimes and discrimination’ against Muslims and other minorities linked to the attackers.

Michele Exner, an advisor at Parents Defending Education, a conservative campaign group, called the move ‘idiotic.’

‘These are the facts, and it is a day students should be required to learn about in schools. It is disgusting that this idiotic legislation aims to minimize those atrocities by focusing on more race-baiting instead of truth telling.’

Cruz and her chief of staff Robyn Enes declined to comment on the bill.

The 9/11 attacks remain a potent symbol in New York — more than 22 years after Islamists hijacked four commercial passenger airplanes, flying two of them into the World Trade Center and demolishing swathes of lower Manhattan.

Experts have since grappled with tough questions about the strikes, ranging from the security failures that allowed the killers to claim so many lives, and whether US foreign policy had bred anger and frustration in the Middle East.

How the subject is taught in schools is seen as crucial, as classrooms are today filled with students born after the attacks, with no first-hand memories of smoke billowing out of the burning skyscrapers.

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo in 2019 signed a law to require a moment of silence annually on September 11 in state public schools, so students could understand their historical significance.

Cruz seeks to amend New York state’s education law in her bill, which was filed in mid-December. It is unclear whether the draft has yet passed through the assembly’s education committee.

Under her revisions, schools would teach about the build-up to 9/11, the deadly attacks, the ‘heroism’ of first responders, and the War on Terror that saw US troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

Controversially, teachers would also have to cover ‘Islamophobia and xenophobia in politics, domestic and foreign policy/legislation, media, and general public attitudes,’ according to the bill.

That includes the ‘increase in hate crimes and discrimination; and the impact of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance, and other forms of discrimination in society.’

Assaults on Muslims skyrocketed after the 9/11 attacks, according to Pew Research Center. Muslim-Americans say they faced bullying, harassment and discrimination, including from federal investigators.

Cruz’s bid to change how children learn about one of the worst attacks on the US in the nation’s history raises questions about her own background.

She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, representing an immigrant-heavy district that overlaps with the congressional area of another progressive firebrand — Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

She was born in Medellín, Colombia, in the early 1980s, when the Medellín Cartel drug production and smuggling empire of Pablo Escobar was at its peak.

Cruz entered the US illegally aged nine and lived ‘undocumented’ for a decade before getting legal status, her website says.

She was raised in Queens by her single mom, a nanny, office cleaner and street food vendor.

Despite her humble background, she was able to study and practice law and rise to become an influential assemblywoman in Albany.

This is not the first time that the history of 9/11 has proven controversial.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum in the 2010s came under fire for casting aspersions on Islam, with exhibits suggesting that the hard-line views of the terrorists were commonplace among Muslims.