Yesterday, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saw several events that unfortunately played upon American perceptions of Islam and Muslims.
The first was the so-called ‘Million Muslim March’ in Washington, DC. Organized by a group called American-Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC), the group drew only a few hundred participants. It did, however, draw thousands of others — including fundamentalist Christians — in counter protest. AMPAC has not helped its public image in the US by seemingly joining cause with the “9/11 Truthers“, questioning whether Al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The group’s principal figure, MD Rabbi Alam, has not endeared himself generally due to his anti-Semitism, either. The group does not have wide support among the American Muslim community, whether on individual or organizational levels. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), currently the largest US Muslim group (or so it claims) repudiated the March according to Al Arabiya TV.
On the other side of the crazy coin, the Rev. Terry Jones planned to burn 2,998 Qurans — one for each of the deaths on 9/11. Instead, he found himself arrested in Pasco Co., Florida on numerous charges, including the felony charge of transporting fuel on state roads and openly carrying a firearm. County police had met with Jones beforehand to assure him that they would support his freedom of speech, but they would not overlook any violations of the law. Apparently, he did not believe them. Unhappily for me, as a result of the arrest, Jones is thinking of moving his mission from Pasco Co. to Manatee Co., just a few miles from me.