The announcement of a “Million Muslim March” on the national mall on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks drew the high level of criticism that you would expect of such an event. In an attempt to draw less fire for the decision to hold it on 9/11 the event’s organizers have renamed the event and more clearly defined its purpose.
The American Muslim Political Action Committee, which is headquartered in Missouri, has rebranded the event as the “Million American March Against Fear”. The committee’s spokesman, Isa Hodge, has stated that the event will be meant to denounce government surveillance of citizens as well as to call for what they are calling the “truth” about the attacks.
Hodge also made sure to address the criticism of the event, which includes claims that it is supremely insensitive to those lost in the attacks: “They’re focusing on what it was [called] before February to continue the misinformation and fear that we’re trying to stop. 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. That’s not what we’re doing.”
While the group aims to make a statement that will bring recognition to government surveillance policies, it is unlikely that they will do it with sheer numbers. While the event’s name may sound substantial, the National Park Service has said that the group applied for a permit for an event of merely 1,000 people.
While that number may work in a smaller setting, it is unlikely to draw much attention on a national scale, especially with the name change. It is likely that the event will go down in history for the controversy it stirred up, not the impact it made on society.