The tenth anniversary of 9/11 will be marked with painful memories, and for the first time some sense of resolution with the death of Osama bin Laden. Let’s challenge ourselves to further mark the anniversary with deeds.
First and foremost, we should honor the soldiers who have risked their lives for us, and September 11 is a time to go beyond thanking them for their service. Deliver a gift to them. If you can’t afford to, then offer help: cook them a meal, mow their lawns, walk their dogs, babysit their children, run errands. Donate time or money to organizations helping soldiers that have returned home.
If you oppose the Ground Zero mosque, consider attending a screening of Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque. The Christian Action Network will be holding screenings on September 9, 10, and 13 in public parks in New York City. Over a dozen churches are showing the film this September 11.
There are a variety of organizations fighting radical Islam that you can support with ideas, opportunities, financial contributions, and the overlooked but equally important donation of time. There are religious-oriented groups like the Christian Action Network and Eagles’ Wings, which runs the Israel Experience program — it provides jam-packed educational trips to Israel for Christian students, with myself being one of them. The American Congress for Truth has chapters around the country that you can join, or you can start one of your own. There’s the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Center for Security Policy, and the The United West. There are respectable anti-Islamist Muslim groups like the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy and American Islamic Congress. No matter what your interest or niche is, there is an activist group fighting on your behalf.
You can financially attack state sponsors of terrorism by investing in terror-free mutual funds, which do not support companies operating in Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea. Go to the website of United Against Nuclear Iran to make sure you aren’t supporting companies in bed with the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. Educate anyone overseeing a fund, such as endowments and pension funds, about becoming terror-free. This campaign has been widely successful — see Los Angeles — as it isn’t that difficult to convince people to stop supporting their enemies.
Another easy thing to accomplish is booking guest speakers and film screenings at churches, synagogues, community centers, and colleges, where clubs devoted to history and politics are always looking for things to do. There are fantastic documentaries out there — like Iranium, The Third Jihad, and Homegrown Jihad — that capture audiences in ways that textbooks and lectures cannot. These films and related books can also be donated to public libraries.
If you want to make activism a bigger part of your life, become involved in an ACT chapter and get on the email lists of the aforementioned organizations. Get on the email lists of your local colleges’ political clubs, so you can see what they are teaching their students. Join the newsletters and Facebook groups of nearby Islamic centers, schools, and mosques, and learn about the speakers they are bringing in and the texts they are promoting. These activist groups cannot be everywhere at once, and they need you to keep track of what happens where you live.
Put words into action. No one will forget 9/11, but many seem to be forgetting the lessons of 9/11. For too many, the attacks are being treated as one of those shocking but inevitable disasters in life. The focus is less on seeing 9/11 as a foreshadowing of things to come and more of a historical event whose relevance has passed.
On August 3, liberal political analyst Bob Beckel was debating the Rep. Allen West event against the Ground Zero mosque on The Five on Fox News Channel. My jaw dropped when Beckel said:
We all understand 9/11, but you got to get over this in New York, the rest of us are being affected by it.
Get over it? I was speechless, not over just what he said, but by the lack of a reaction to it. The show is averaging 1.5 million viewers — and it was as if Beckel never said anything. That’s the mindset we must fight against on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
The power of an active citizenry cannot be underestimated. By and large, the American people have not been engaged in the war against radical Islam, mostly because they weren’t given instructions by their leaders — they were simply waiting for the word. On this anniversary of 9/11, let’s stop thinking of the war against radical Islam as a job for our government, and start thinking of it as a duty for us.