Nearly 1 million people are expected to march down Washington, D.C.’s National Mall tomorrow, not to remember those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, but to dispel the fear of Muslims, according to huffingtonpost.com.
According to The Washington Times, the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is hosting the event, which AMPAC hopes will cause the U.S. government to tell the truth about the attacks.
From reading AMPAC’s website, I have determined its goal is not to be antagonistic. It instead wants for people to believe that the government has propagated a mindset of fear to justify the passing of the Patriot Act after the 2001 attacks. The organizers also indict Hollywood for its negative portrayal of Muslims.
Though I do not believe AMPAC means harm, it is, however, misguided and uninformed. “‘Al-Qaeda’ is a joke,” its site says.
Well, no. That is extremely wrong.
Dr. Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND Corporation, wrote concerning the statistics of Al Qaeda in 2012.
“Al Qaeda in Iraq, for instance, has conducted more than 200 attacks and killed more than a thousand Iraqis since the Bin Laden raid, a jump from the previous year,” Jones said.
International terrorists are no joke, as the U.S. discovered 12 years ago.
“If the United States of America is to remain a constitutional democratic republic, the American people need to stop being afraid,” AMPAC’s website said. “They must stop being afraid of each other. And they must stop being afraid of the truth.”
The logic behind this quote is questionable. First, I find it dubious to say that fear will cause America’s political and governmental system to change. Then there is mention of “the truth.”
What is this truth? That is the question that I was left asking.
AMPAC’s definition is painfully nebulous. My interpretation of their “truth” is the idea that people do not, or should not, fear one another. Perhaps it means more simply that Muslims should not be feared.
I agree, as long as they mean the Muslims that are not inclined to the violence demonstrated by the ones that attacked on 9/11.
I have one last problem with the website statement. The author, Rabbi Alam, displays an insidious lack of faith in the government. His talk of revealing the truth leads me to believe that he doubts Al Qaeda was behind the attacks at all.
If he leans toward the 9/11 conspiracy theories, then I revoke any credibility and sympathy I originally bestowed. I have listened to the audio records of the conversations between the airplanes that crashed and the air control towers. Conspiracies hold little water in my mind.
The march does not bother me personally — AMPAC has a right to demonstrate. I can understand, however, why people would be upset. Seeing that the rally is named for Muslims, it might seem like a slap in the face.
All parties are not thinking clearly about the situation. The rally participants could pick a different date in order to acknowledge the sensitivities of those whom the strikes affected. At the same time, rally opponents should not be so easily offended.
Sept. 11 should be a time to remember. It was a brutal assault. Whether you buy the conspiracy theories or prefer the radical terrorist assertion, we must all agree that it was a tragic moment in our nation’s history.
Thousands of innocent Americans died. Thousands more have lost their lives fighting terrorism in the Middle East, souring public opinion against foreign intervention. And a resolution to the conflict remains distant.