by Mohamed Amin Ahmed aka: Average Mohamed
We just commemorated September 11th for the heinous crime that saw over 3,000 civilians murdered. What have learnt in 17 years of fighting extremism? We have learnt our appetite for war is limited. The public will not tolerate eternal unlimited warfare. We have learnt to create beurocracies: new ways to fight, disrupt and take out of circulation extremists. On this law enforcement globally has become better and getting more efficient.
Here in America it is our FBI and DHS. They have figured out ways to take out ticking time bombs in extremist. What have we not learned to win this war on extremism? It is how to curtail Islamophobia and racism which is systematic in dealing with extremism. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of England during the onset of September 11th, has come out to say publicly the war on extremism is flawed. We at Average Mohamed agree with that statement. I am 2018 Citizen Diplomat of the Year. I got that title because we spoke to hundreds of organizations, government officials and clergy from across the world. One thing I found we all had in common is the sheer lack of resources to use for our cause. These were mostly brown or black colored folks. All of them Muslims. Nothing will break your heart than when a Sudanese lady working on gender equity has a brilliant idea how to go about doing it but will never get resources.
A Lebanese activist with ideas how to promote secular democracy locally, grassroots measures but cannot get resources. How a Kenyan nonprofit wants to tackle socio economic reasons for extremism in initiatives which are local and innovative. They too will not get resources. How about us in America such as our Average Mohamed program and model. We have had global exposure. Got buy in from Muslims across the world. Activists, Journalists, Media, Imams even government officials have not only endorsed us but urge we do more. Organizations which are NGO across the world in Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Iraq, Niger, Somalia, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia even Singapore. Have asked us at Average Mohamed to implement our program and model in their communities. We cannot get access to resources. All of us have two things in common, colored and Muslim led initiatives and ideas. We have lobbied governments organizations, agencies, multinational organizations such as the UN, foundations and institutions. We have met and discussed in detail what it is we want to achieve and our need for resources. We get access and kind words. But Muslim led initiatives and ideas get no funding. Our national security paranoia has seeped into organizational means. Trust in colored or Muslim beings is at an all-time low. Their understanding is that we are the problem not good enough to bring solutions. Tony Blair is right when he says the war on extremism is flawed. One of the major flaw is racism and islamophobia that has denied Muslim and colored people initiatives to get off the ground in resources. My beloved country America has spent 5 trillion dollars and our everyday heroes lost their lives, limbs and some mental wellness as soldiers. It is a sign of insanity to keep doing what we have been doing for 17 years and expect a different result.
We are losing this war on extremism. We are losing because of racism and islamophobia that says we are not valid partners to get resources. Is there any human being who thinks we are winning this war on extremism? As it is being fought now and in the past. We at Average Mohamed remind our government, institutions, foundations and multinational organizations a mantra from previous generation activists. If it was not made by us, accepted by us, then it was not meant for us. We Muslim and colored led organizations deserve resources. This is our community, we understand it better in dynamic and where we can have the greatest effect. We come from this community of Muslims and colored people. Reign in your islamophobia and racism which is systematic. It is costing us all a win on the war on terror.