An American Islamic activist group is organizing what it hopes will be a “Million Muslim March” in the nation's capital on the twelfth anniversary of the attacks carried out by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001. Those attacks — in which jet airliners were flown into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and into a farm field in rural Pennsylvania — killed nearly 3,000 individuals and sparked the non-stop “War on Terror” that the American government has waged in the years since.
The event, which in a PR decision has now been officially renamed the “Million American March Against Fear,” is being pulled together by a group calling itself the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC), which said it was planning to make the march an annual event. “We American Muslims reject violence and terrorism, and defend the constitutional rights of all Americans,” said the group's founder, M.D. Alam. “Every year on September 11th, beginning in 2013, we will be marching in Washington, D.C. as we build toward our goal of bringing one million American Muslims to march in our nation's capital.”
The group demanded that the federal government do more to protect the rights of Muslim Americans, which it said have been maligned as villains in the wake of the terrorist attacks. “The entire country was victimized by the acts done on that day,” the group said in a statement, but “we as Muslims continue 12 years later to be victimized by being made the villains. To this day every media outlet and anti Islamic organization has committed slanderous and libelous statements against us as Muslims and our religion of Islam.”
Meanwhile, the statement continued, the government “either sits idly by and does nothing to protect our freedoms or it exacerbates the problem with its constant war on terrorism in Islamic countries, congressional hearings on Islam in America, and its changes to the NDAA law.”
The group declared that Muslims in America must “stop being defensive and start being proactive by using our right to vote and our freedom of assembly and let our voices be heard by our country and the world. Stand with us [and] help us fight the injustices being committed against us. Help us to wake the American citizen up to the truth and together Muslim and Non Muslim can take our country back to its true democracy which is 'For the people [and] by the people.'”
Isa Hodge, a spokesman for AMPAC and one of the march organizers, pointed out that much of the media coverage surrounding the event has focused on the fact that Muslims are marching on the anniversary of an attack perpetrated by Muslim terrorists. “It's more sensational if they can put out there that it's just Muslims going to dance on the graves of the 3,000 souls that were lost that day,” he told U.S. News and World Report. But “that's not what we're doing,” he said, emphasizing that participants will instead gather at the National Mall to denounce the government's ever-broadening surveillance and to call for “the truth” about the attacks.
Hodge said that he expected some anti-protesters to be present to oppose the event, “but they're going to be pleasantly surprised, I think. We're not going to be up there whining about civil rights violations of Muslims. There's going to be a presentation on rights and events that affect the liberties of all Americans.”
Earlier this year, Hodge wrote that more than a decade after the 9/11 tragedy “we can look back on the significant changes it made in foreign and domestic policy. We can see the way it fundamentally altered the way many people view issues of war, peace, safety, privacy, and the role of the state.”
Hodge wrote that the nation's worldview since the attack “has become the paradigm through which many people interpret current events and plan for the future. This leaves many questions to answer as we consider the moral and philosophical implications of 9/11 and their continued effects on our society and world. The effects are numerous and tragic. They range from the loss of basic civil rights to the deaths of countless thousands in unfounded wars.”
He added that America's Middle Eastern military action “has shown how easily a nation can be lead into war based on propaganda and false evidence. The government's response to 9/11 has killed over twice as many Americans as the attacks themselves did. The death toll of our troops is over 6,000, not to mention contractors and the myriad civilians killed. The cost of this militarism is in the trillions of dollars, leading to the impoverishment of people throughout our nation as well as those devastated in the war zone.”
The Muslim spokesman noted that the upcoming march is a challenge for Americans “to look in the mirror and reflect on our policy of occupation, domination, exploitation, and intimidation that we practice throughout the world helping the nation to seriously discuss the violence of our own policy that leads so many around the world to hate us and to contemplate acts of violence.”
Some observers have questioned the decision of the group to hold the march on such a sensitive anniversary. Radio talk show host Steve Malzburg suggested that the decision was meant to incite anger and resentment among the American people. “You think Muslims are being villainized and victimized in this country? Then hold a march,” Malzburg told NewsMax.com. “Hold it any of the 365 days of the year except don't hold it on 9/11.” He argued that the date of the march was chosen for a reason. “This group knows exactly what it's doing by holding this march on 9/11,” he said. “They know exactly what they're doing. Don't think they don't. It's inflammatory, it's in your face, and that's why it's being done.”
Malzburg compared the action to the decision to build an Islamic mosque close to the “ground zero” location of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. “That site was chosen for that mosque to be in your face, to rile up people, to make a point, to make a political statement,” he said. “That's no accident.”
In its coverage of the upcoming march, FrontPageMag.com referred to AMPAC's founder, M.D. Alam, as a 9/11 “truther” who “believes that Jews, in a grand conspiracy, perpetrated one of the worst domestic attacks in the nation’s history. He also participated in an event with a Muslim cleric who characterized the Israelis as terrorists, and accused the United States of inventing HIV.”
Additionally, reported FrontPageMag in its far-reaching effort to discredit the event, the march organizers have “extended an invitation to Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).” The online opinion site noted that while neither individual had responded to the invitation, “lower level” members of the Nation of Islam have supposedly expressed their interest in the event, as have “other groups that support conspiracy theories about 9/11, or oppose the National Defense Authorization Act because it authorizes the Commander-in-Chief to approve indefinite suspensions of terror suspects.”