The Day After: Why September 12 Matters

Every year, as we remember the tragedy and loss of the 9/11 attacks, we see more and more people who seek to push this grim chapter in America’s history from our minds. They seek to focus our attention on anything else other than the vicious act of war that brutalized our nation, and that has terrorized our nation these many years. But the greatest tragedy is the failure of America’s governmental representatives and we as a people to effectively respond to this act of war. While we take comfort in the brief moment of unity that our brave police and firefighters had on 9/11, that unity was quickly lost on September 12, when we had to decide how we would respond.

Our failure to have unity in our response to the 9/11 act of war has continued to embolden those whose ideology of hate inspired the 9/11 attackers. Our failure to acknowledge, define, and challenge this ideology of hate continues to be the greatest tragedy of the 9/11 attacks as many thousands more continue to die, while our leaders, our media, and yes most of our people, refuse to acknowledge the ideology of hate behind both the 9/11 attacks and so many terrorist attacks against women, against religious minorities, against gays, and against thosesupporting free thought and human rights today.

The Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.), has identified this ideology of institutionalized hate.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once had to challenge an identity group to change by pointing to an ideology of “supremacy,” so today we too must do the same.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged such “white supremacy” because America needed an honest dialogue on the ideology of identity-based supremacy that was rampant throughout our nation, and that was indefensible as a “culture” among a people responsible for our universal human rights of equality and liberty.  His choice to defy such “white supremacy” was not based on hatred of white Americans, but was based on his commitment to our consistency in universal human rights for all people – truths that we hold self-evident.

Today we also challenge those who would support an ideology of “Islamic supremacism” — in all of its forms, sects, and permutations.  While we recognize that this very term challenges many, we also point out that – like the term “white supremacism” – that is the point.  The challenge is to recognize the hate of supremacism as demonstrating the need for such people to change.  As we did not defend the “culture” of white supremacism to deny our universal human rights, so we must also not defend the “culture” of Islamic supremacists to deny our universal human rights – even to other Muslims.  Our respect for other cultures does not extend to a culture of hate or to a culture of supremacism.  As we have defied Nazism, as we have defied racial supremacism, and as we have defied Communist totalitarianism, as “cultures” that reject our universal human rights of equality and liberty – so we too have an obligation to reject a “culture” of Islamic supremacism, if we are to be responsible for equality and liberty.  Our universal human rights are the most “omnicultural” and fundamental basis to grow as a human society.  They are not negotiable, and they are not for sale.  They are the basis for shared respect, dignity, and peace between all cultures of humanity.

This is the primary lesson that we needed to learn from the 9/11 attacks and that needed to be a fundamental part of America’s governmental response since September 12, 2001.  Yet we continue to wait for an acknowledgment, a definition, and a challenge to Islamic supremacism from America’s government that remains focuses only the tactics of who, what, where, and when — and still today is devastatingly silent about the issue of “why.” As American leaders have consistently refused to address this ideological challenge, and as growing numbers of American children no longer even remember the 9/11 attacks, let alone understand “why,” the global threat of Islamic supremacism in all of its tactics, including terrorism, continues to grow.

Islamic supremacist terrorism did not end with the 9/11 attacks. Nor did our military and homeland security tactics end such attacks. By focusing only on tactics, and refusing to acknowledge the ideology behind the 9/11 attacks and recognizing the need to create a strategy to confront that ideology, the only change was to move such terrorism to other, more vulnerable individuals around the world.

“Better them than us” is not a strategy for any type of meaningful security. As we have learned since 9/11, a continuing approach to denial and appeasement on the ideology of Islamic supremacism has only meant that such supremacists have already terrorized us enough to keep us from consistently defending universal human rights – the strongest argument we have against such an anti-freedom ideology.

Our national surrender by refusing to acknowledge and challenge the Islamic supremacist ideology with our universal human rights — has not made America’s homeland “safe,” but has only convinced Islamic supremacists that we don’t really have the courage of our convictions. With such surrender, the tactics of infiltration have been a much more practical tactic for Islamic supremacists, since many Americans have already been terrorized into silence.

But America and Americans are better than this.  We are a nation whose very identity embodies the universal human rights of equality and liberty as truths that we hold self-evident. We can reach beyond fear and we can rise above hate. Americans can choose to honestly answer the question “why” the 9/11 attacks happened, and Americans can choose to overcome the lethargic policies of “more of the same” denial and appeasement on Islamic supremacism.

We can choose a different path to set an example to the world as consistent defenders of our universal human rights. American can choose to set a course for real security by being responsible for equality and liberty.

1. Why September 12 Matters

Across America on September 11, many will remember and mourn for those lost in the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001. That day is a day for national remembrance and mourning. It is a day for national solidarity with the families of those who died. But we must also be aware of and debate our response to the September 11 attacks on September 12. It is what American governmental leaders have done and not done in response to the 9/11 attacks that continues to define our position on this issue still today.

Almost all of the discussion of American governmental leaders’ response on September 12 has been on tactical issues – tactics for improving homeland security, tactics for addressing military issues, tactics on funding for such operations, and tactics for relations with other nations.

But what continues to get lost in these discussions on tactics is an honest and serious assessment of where America stands on the ideas that were and that continue to be attacked. The September 11 attacks were not only on four airplanes, the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon, killing over 3,000. The September 11 attacks were not only the acts of terrorists.

The September 11 attacks were also acts of war by those whose institutionalized hate ideology of Islamic supremacism demanded rejection of America’s ideas of human equality, its ideas of human liberty, and its conviction that these are universal truths that we hold self-evident not just for Americans, but for all people around the world. The September 11 attacks were by a group whose ideology of institutionalized hate defies the very idea of such universal human rights. That is the starting point of understanding the September 11 attacks, and it should have been the starting point for American governmental leaders’ response on September 12.

But for all of these eight years, this most basic starting point in a response to the September 11 attacks has been ignored by our governmental leaders, and continues to be ignored today.

2. The Most Important Question to America on 9/11 – Why

The most important question on the 9/11 attacks continues to get the least attention. Instead, our preoccupation has been solely with concrete barriers, with military operations, with terrorist trials, and with who, what, where, and when.

But the most important question – “Why” – continues to be swept away as not relevant to a “practical” march for “homeland security” tactics, for “war on terror” tactics, and even for foreign policy “reconciliation” talks. “Why” remains an inconvenient question for politicians whose business is based on compromise and for relativist policy wonks and tactical professionals who simply want “something done,” without raising questions that require tough choices.

“Why” is too onerous a question for the craven who willingly sacrifice our brave young men and women in the armed forces without identifying the enemy, let alone developing a strategy to address the enemy’s ideology. “Why” is too tough for much of the mainstream media to cope with, so they have allowed an endless stream of reporting on “isolated incidents” that a sea of volunteer bloggers have had to track and link over the years for any type of meaningful analysis.

“Why” is considered an “ideological” distraction by those who are deliberately blind to the Islamic supremacist ideology of institutionalized hate that the September 11 attackers, and so many more after them around the world, have clearly and unequivocally communicated.

“Why” is a question that many believe is bad for business, it aggravates “foreign relations,” it worries those solely concerned about international trade, and it infuriates those who seek “reconciliation” talks with the Taliban and those with similar Islamic supremacist ideologies.

Those who seek to silence the necessary discussion on why — do not understand that America is based on asking the question “why.” It is the most fundamental question inherent to America’s existence. Our identity, our choices, our very creation as a nation is more than simply a rebellion over unfair taxation – it is more than a concern about capitalist trading – it is more than our concerns in dealing with other nations – and it is certainly more than simply being “safe.” From the beginning America is a nation that DARED to ask the most basic question of “why” human beings did not deserve the inalienable rights of equality, liberty, and freedom. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave – because we dared to ask WHY.

The most un-American response possible to the 9/11 attacks would be to fear to ask “why.” But thus far, the “September 12” response has been to hide behind a concrete barrier, send our children to fight wars for enemies we fear to identify, and stubbornly refuse to ask the question “why.” We have been repeatedly told by our governmental leaders that we need to adopt a “September 12 mentality” about such things and recognize that we need to support their tactics without question or debate.

But what we have seen over the past eight years is that a “September 12 Mentality” that fails to identify the threat of institutionalized hate and Islamic supremacism is a mentality of self-delusion and self-deception. We have allowed our government to do “whatever it takes” to fight terrorist threats except to actually define and address the ideological threat that is the answer to the September 12 question of “why.”

Too many in our nation have refused to recognize that the most important part of a “September 12 Mentality” should have been and should still be today to be responsible for equality and liberty as a priority in our national and international decisions. It is this failure that has led to the continuing dysfunctional “September 12” tactics that address an enemy we fear to define.

3. More of the Same Short-Sightedness and the War on Extremism

I keep an article posted by my desk to look at every day by Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. In the article, Mr. Emerson condemns how “the president aligns with those who think the West is responsible for Islamic terrorism.” In the sub-heading of the article, it states that that the president “coddles American apologists for radical Islam.”

The June 28, 2007 National Review article is about President Bush (not President Obama), and his decision to appoint an envoy to the Islamic supremacist international organization, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Over two years ago, President Bush appointed a U.S. envoy to the same OIC that explained away the 9/11 attacks as the expression of “the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims’ soul towards the aggressions and discrimination committed by the West.”

I keep the article up on my wall to remember that our challenge in 2009 is not with “change,” but really with “more of the same.”

The failure to ask the question “why” has done more than move America towards an endless “war on extremism” (W.O.E.) against undefined “extremists;” it has created a bi-partisan, multi-administration position regarding Islamic supremacism of “more of the same short-sightedness” (M.O.S.S.). Is this the craven legacy we intend to leave to the next generation?

Imagine us challenging white supremacism in the 1960s by sending a federal government emissary to the “American White People’s Party” that explained the white supremacist terrorist bombing of black churches in the American South as due to “frustration, disappointment, and disillusion by whites regarding aggressions committed by blacks.”   But that was the American government’s position with Islamic supremacist groups — over two years ago.

It would be evident to anyone who understands “why” such terrorism happens that such an appeasement of those who would rationalize terrorist hate is nothing less than ideological surrender. But such ideological surrender has become a bi-partisan, multi-administration “more of the same” policy towards Islamic supremacism.

In January 2008, the Civil Rights and Liberties division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a memorandum to address the need to create a new, non-offensive lexicon about terrorism. In that memorandum, the Bush administration DHS stated that “[t]he struggle is for progress… The experts we consulted debated the word ‘liberty,’ but rejected it because many around the world would discount the term as a buzzword for American hegemony” (p. 7, paragraph 5).

Nearly two years ago, our government was willing to surrender the defense of the very idea of liberty for some type of “peace” with those who found that keystone of humanity’s universal human rights to be offensive. There was no “March on Washington” about that, no buses, no convoys, and no demonstrations in Washington DC. There were the condemnations of a few in Internet blogs, and my challenge to America’s governmental leaders at a June 2008 university meeting.

To my conservative friends, let me point out that January 2008 was a YEAR before Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. There are those whose partisan positions are that America started really going downhill on this issue when Barack Obama was elected president. While such arguments might comfort some partisan individuals, the facts are more important.

Today’s U.S. Defense Secretary Gates that has accepted the idea of possible negotiations with Taliban is also the same U.S. Defense Secretary Gates that accepted this idea under the Bush administration in October 2008. The blind tactics ignoring the ideological challenge that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” did not begin with the Obama administration. The relativists in the foreign policy, military, counterterrorism, and other policy communities in Washington did not suddenly appear with the election of Barack Obama. They have been here imbedded in these communities for years. The legislators that supported a major think-tank’s calls for negotiation with the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood were from both the Republican and Democratic aisles. Apologist think-tank reports on the Muslim Brotherhood were not exclusively “left,” but also included the American Enterprise Institute’s Reuel Marc Gerecht. American taxpayer dollars being used to fund AIG’s sharia finance business started with the Bush administration. I could go on for pages, but you get the point.

“More of the same short-sightedness” is a bigger problem than merely challenging one political group, one administration, or one set of supporters. If “more of the same” doesn’t demonstrate anything else, it certainly points out that what those of us opposed to Islamic supremacism in the past have done has not been working, and that we need much more than an “anti-jihad” community and more than a political-centric approach to challenging this anti-freedom ideology.

The painful fact is on the challenge of Islamic supremacism the one thing we haven’t seen in 2009 from American governmental leaders – is CHANGE.

This bi-partisan problem demonstrates that we need a new and different approach to “more of the same.”

4. The Consequences of “More of the Same”

“More of the Same” has resulted in American governmental leaders, most of our news media, many human rights groups, and too many in the American public ignoring the price of refusing to acknowledge the institutionalized hate ideology of Islamic supremacism. The price of surrendering in the war of ideas against those who promote such hate has been paid by those who need our courage on this issue the most.

Those who believe that a policy of denial and appeasement on Islamic supremacism has stopped “terrorism” fail to realize that “more of the same” has really only sent a signal to Islamic supremacists that “terrorism” will be tolerated against the weakest, most vulnerable parts of human society.

This price is paid by helpless women around the world who are routinely oppressed, mutilated, and killed by those who justify their actions through Islamic supremacism. They rationalize so-called “honor killings” of women, which the Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) human rights group and other groups have protested against. Such terrorism against women has become a standard feature of the “cultures” of some nations, such as the prison-states of Saudi Arabia and Iran. But such terrorism against women is not limited to just one or two countries, it is nothing less than international terrorism against women around the world, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Somalia, Africa, Asia, Russia, Europe, Canada, and even the United States. Our surrender on the universal human rights of equality and liberty by “more of the same” has sent a signal that terrorism against women around the world by Islamic supremacists is something that we will not challenge. In Turkey, where President Obama spoke in April 2009, a quarter of the population supports supremacist “honor killings” against women. This anti-human rights ideology was never challenged. Our governmental leaderships’ response to the ideology that rationalizes terrorism and hate against women has been a deafening silence.

This price is also paid by the oppression and murder of religious minorities around the world by Islamic supremacists – against fellow Muslims for not meeting supremacist standards, in sectarian violence against fellow Muslims who have different beliefs, and against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and others who are victimized for having different religious beliefs. In Iraq, where Americans have invested so many lives and so much funding, we hear of the continuing supremacist violence on a regular basis between Muslim groups of different sects and a regular targeting of Christians. In Afghanistan, we have seen the Afghanistan parliament itself call for the death of an individual who chose freedom of conscience. In the prison-state nations of Saudi Arabia and Iran, religious minorities are not tolerated, and those who dare choose freedom of conscience are imprisoned or worse. In the Philippines, 120 thousand have died in a civil war by Islamic supremacists who seek a separatist nation. In Thailand, Islamic supremacists have been campaigning in their own separatist war targeting Buddhists, Muslims who won’t accept supremacism, elderly, women, school teachers, and children’s schools – with a death toll since 2004 that is over 3,300 – exceeding America’s 9/11 death toll.

In Pakistan, a nation where Al-Qaeda itself has found safe haven these past eight years, we see the oppression and massacre of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamic supremacists. While churches are being burned to the ground by Islamic supremacist mobs of thousands in Pakistan, White House advisors are listening to counsel from Pakistani leaders to negotiate with the Taliban. There is no outcry as Americans continue to provide funds and support to a Pakistani government who has sought an international death penalty for “blasphemy,” and whose own “blasphemy” laws continue to be used to terrorize and oppress Christians, other religious minorities, and even other Muslims. In a nation were religious minorities are often told by Islamic supremacists to “convert to Islam or die,” there is no coherent national strategy on how to deal with a largely Islamic supremacist nation with an estimated 60 nuclear weapons. There was no national outrage as the Pakistan government released the leader of a black-market nuclear weapons network who was deemed by the CIA to be as great a threat as Osama Bin Laden. There is no American governmental human rights denouncement of a nation where 78 percent of its people support the death penalty for leaving Islam, 83 percent support stoning of adulterers, and 75 percent seek the Pakistani government to implement “strict Sharia law.” Instead of challenging Pakistani Islamic supremacists, American governmental leaders meet with them as a way to promote “democracy.” When a reported 20,000 Islamic supremacists in Pakistan march with hate to kill and destroy Christians and burn down churches, American governmental leaders are silent, our taxpayer dollars continue to go to Pakistan, and only a brave handful of individuals protest in Washington DC and New York. We are told that we should be impressed when the Pakistani police arrest 4 individuals from the mob of thousands. There are no 20,000 Americans marching on Washington DC to say “enough.” Too many think this is “someone else’s problem,” as our nation writes another check to Pakistan’s leaders and looks the other way.

In Egypt where President Obama spoke in June 2009, those Muslims who speak out for freedom of conscience are “excommunicated”threatened by Islamic supremacists, and in Egypt, Christian Copts are oppressed, raped, kidnapped, and murdered. As we have seen in so many other instances, our governmental leaderships’ response to the ideology that rationalizes terrorism and hate against those who seek freedom of conscience has been muted at best. Around the world, people fear to be be free, as Islamic supremacist terrorists have been unchallenged ideologically by those governmental leaders responsible for equality and liberty. and

Among the other vulnerable groups that Islamic supremacists also attack are gay human beings. They are a target throughout many countries, especially Iraq, where they are the victims of a campaign of “sexual cleansing” through kidnapping, gruesome torture, and murder. Such Islamic supremacist campaigns of violence and oppression against gays continue throughout the world including Europe, and are now spreading to the United States in areas like Minneapolis. Even on July 4, in our nation’s capital, the unindicted co-conspirator group ISNA has held conferences promoting hate speech against such gays and minorities — the same ISNA organization whose leader is invited to the White House. Once again, a deaf ear is turned to victims of such supremacist thinking by our governmental leaders and the patterns are lost in the reporting by a press that refuses to see such terrorism against humanity as nothing more than “isolated incidents.”

When Americans rightfully mourn our losses of 3,000 on 9/11, we must also ask ourselves how many thousands have died around the world, because of a national silence on Islamic supremacism? How many losses of lives equivalent to the 9/11 attacks could we have prevented with a response based on real courage on September 12?

How many marches on Washington DC have we seen for the thousands of women murdered, and many more oppressed by Islamic supremacists? How many marches on Washington DC have we seen for the attacks and murders on Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists and destruction of their houses of worship? How many marches on Washington DC have we seen about the kidnapping, warping of minds, and murder of Muslim children by Islamic supremacists? How many marches on Washington DC have we seen about the sectarian murder and oppression of other Muslims by Islamic supremacists? How many marches on Washington DC have we seen in support of those oppressed and murdered by Islamic supremacists because they dared to speak out in support of universal human rights?

In fact, there has been some activism – by the Egyptian Copt groups, by the Responsible for Equality And Liberty human rights group, and by others genuinely concerned about human rights. But as encouraging as those small and selected rallies and public awareness events have been, they have been limited exceptions in eight years of deliberate failure of activism in our nation’s capital on Islamic supremacism.

When thousands are willing to march on Washington DC on taxes and health care issues, we must ask ourselves what our priorities are when thousands do not turn out to defy an Islamic supremacist ideology that is willing to challenge our very universal human rights around the world and that seeks to destroy our identity as free human beings.

We must all realize that ending “more of the same” begins with our personal responsibility to change. We are not powerless, we are not helpless. We can all make a difference. Our real courage in defying those who would justify and appease Islamic supremacism is what the American people need to hear today.

On the anniversary of 9/11, we must recognize that the true consequences of allowing “more of same” has been to send a clear message to Islamic supremacists that they can terrorize women around the world, they can terrorize religious minorities around the world, they can terrorize those who seek their universal human rights around the world — as long as they leave us alone.

The result is much worse than “more of the same short-sightedness,” but is nothing less than “more of the same SURRENDER.” “Better them than us” is more than cowardice, it is ignorance of who and what we are struggling against. An ideology of institutionalized hate that denies universal human rights for some – will seek to deny universal human rights for all.

5. The Change We Need – Being Responsible for Equality And Liberty

To challenge Islamic supremacist terrorism, we must challenge Islamic supremacism as an ideology. It is not enough to have a “war on terror,” without defining the ideology we are struggling against. Nor is it enough to merely be angry because we are afraid or we are outraged.

We need to have the courage of our convictions and honor the courage of those who have fought to defend our freedoms. It is not acceptable to tolerate those who would blindly hate, as being on “our side.” Every time we allow hate to grow it becomes a crutch that prevents us from having the real courage that we need to have as people who are responsible for equality and liberty.

The real change that we need is to be true to our identity and our responsibilities as Americans and as free people. Instead of just anger at outrages of what we are against, we need to be proactive towards what we believe. Instead of defending any tactic with the argument that it is justifiable as a short-term security measure, we need to hold our government to be consistent on the truths that we hold self-evident.

The change that we need is to be responsible for equality and liberty. That is where our homeland security begins – with these truths that are inherent in the very identity of America itself. We cannot sell out, we cannot bargain away, and we cannot trade equality and liberty to the hucksters that want us to sell equality and liberty for “progress,” “safety,” or “peace for our times.”

We must make it clear to all those who come knocking – that equality and liberty – is NOT FOR SALE – at any price, at any time.

6. Why the Change We Need Begins with Human Rights

If we are seeking to promote equality and liberty, we are seeking to promote human rights. Moreover, our promotion of human rights should not just be for any individual identity group (Muslims or non-Muslims), but must be for all identity groups. Finally, in promoting such human rights of equality and liberty – we must promote these as universal human rights for every part of the world – including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and so many other nations where such universal human rights are denied.

Promotion of such universal human rights to counter Islamic supremacism should have been our top priority on September 12. But eight years after 9/11, it remains one of the last priorities of American government leaders who continue to promote “more of the same,” when it come to refusing to acknowledge (let alone challenge) Islamic supremacism.

But when I address the idea of a human rights-based challenge to Islamic supremacism to some, their response is to twist their mouth in disgust and spit out the question “human rights – are you kidding me?” – or words to that effect. Some have patronizingly chuckled and patted me on the back, as if to say “you poor sap.” I have even seen this done by some attendees at meetings specifically to address human rights issues.

This is how disillusioned many Americans have become about something that is a fundamental part of their very identity. This American identity-crisis on the issue of human rights has been the result of groups that have had a long history of being inconsistent on human rights. Such groups have leapt to condemn any drop of human rights violations by the United States or Israel, but have studiously ignored the sea of human rights violations that are routine business every day in Islamic supremacist nations. This does not, by any means, justify any human rights violations by the United States or Israel (or any other nation). Two wrongs don’t make a right. But what Americans have seen is an endless litany of media reports by human rights groups that studiously refuse to acknowledge the most egregiously violators of human rights when the violators are Islamic supremacist nations, groups, or individuals. Such deliberate ignorance of Islamic supremacist human rights violations has been standard operating procedure for much of the news media. Media outlets view Islamic supremacist segregation and oppression of women, for example, as “strict cultural norms.” As Americans and as human beings responsible for equality and liberty, we must reject the idea that institutionalized hate can ever be justified as “strict” aspects of someone’s “culture.”

This identity-crisis on human rights must end, and we must begin that change. Universal human rights are each of our own human rights, and those of your family, your children, your neighbors, and people around the world. We are not dependent on the mainstream media or a few human rights groups to tell us what our universal human rights are. We know what our universal human rights of equality and liberty are. We accept these inalienable human rights as truths that we hold self-evident. Addressing such human rights for each one of us is not only the media’s responsibility, not only our government’s responsibility, not just human rights groups’ responsibility, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Our universal human rights are a fundamental part of who and what we are as human beings. Defending these universal human rights is our responsibility. This is why we cannot afford to be disillusioned with this defense or leave it to others to be our sole defenders on human rights. We have a consensus today on the truths that we hold self-evident; now we need to activate this consensus to start doing something about our shared responsibility for our universal human rights.

To challenge Islamic supremacism, our strongest argument will continue to be the one thing that supremacists cannot tolerate – our universal human rights of equality and liberty.

I recognize that there will still be those who believe that hate is the answer. To those who believe that the answer to the Islamic supremacist ideology we are struggling with – is to hate all Muslims, deport all Muslims, and bomb all Muslims, honestly ask yourself – how is that argument working for you and America? Is that argument getting anywhere? Has anything changed except that your voice continues to get increasingly marginalized? And how is such open hatred of Muslims much different than the Islamic supremacist ideology that you claim to be challenging? Do you really believe that hate is ever going to be the answer?

We all know the answer to these questions. We also know that those who argue with blind hate is one of the reasons the public is so afraid to address this issue. We need an argument that is not based on hate or anger. We need a solution that will be supported by a consensus of Americans.

We need a solution based on the universal human rights.

9. What You Can Do About It

For a long time and by many people, I have been told that Americans are just not going to understand the need to defy Islamic supremacism and to defend our universal human rights. I have been told that Americans are unwilling, perhaps afraid, and certainly not sufficiently motivated to participate in any organized events to challenge Islamic supremacism and defend our universal human rights. I have been told this by a number of scholars and those who have traveled around this country. Many such “experts” have secretly decided that most Americans are unreachable on this issue.

Those who promote anti-freedom ideologies also don’t believe in you. They too have written you off, and they are convinced that you won’t stand up for human rights. They are convinced of your surrender.

You need to know that I have proven that “experts” and those who are convinced of your surrender are wrong. In Chicago and Washington DC, I have proven that you and your fellow Americans will show up, will participate, and will come out into the streets to defend our universal human rights and to defy Islamic supremacism.

I believe in the American people. I believe in you.

So in March 2009, I created our human rights group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.). We are determined to reclaim the issue of defending our human rights to be consistent on supporting equality and liberty against anti-freedom ideologies, including Islamic supremacism. We have supporters in Washington DC, in New York, in Chicago, in California, in New Jersey, in Missouri, in Louisiana, and in Georgia. We also have supporters in Europe and in Canada. We have shown the courage of our convictions publicly and repeatedly. We plan to continue to do so. We have just begun to fight to defend our universal human rights.

Whether you are interested in our group or another group, make yourself a promise this anniversary on 9/11 – that you won’t just sit behind your computer and expect that things are going to change without you reaching out to others publicly.

We can’t change the minds and the policies of our representatives until we change the minds and reach the consciences of our families, our friends, and our neighbors. We can’t urge others to have the courage to publicly rally for such human rights defied by Islamic supremacism, until we demonstrate that we have the courage to do that ourselves. We can’t get others to listen to us until we take the time and effort to listen to others.

We have spent so much time debating who, what, where, and when. Surely it is time that we refocus our energies publicly on discussing why.

Jeffrey Imm is the Founder and Director of R.E.A.L. , Responsible for Equality and Liberty.

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