– Who is ready to sign the pledge? I know I am.

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest recently announced the Obama administration will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18th. The summit will highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremist activities and terrorism. This will likely be used to discuss cooperation between countries regarding sharing intelligence and responsive action. However, it will probably not deal with the matter of detecting terrorist sympathies or creating a movement to quell such activity.

On January 11th, the French held their Solidarity Rally in Paris to protest the bloody attack of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo by Islamic extremists. The rally was a symbolic gesture which highlighted the growing disgust and anger by the people of the world regarding terrorism. Smaller rallies were held elsewhere, including Germany where Muslims rallied to show solidarity with Paris. To capitalize on this sentiment, perhaps we can do more.

Up to now, the Muslim community has been reluctant to criticize Islamic terrorism, partly due to fear and partly due to sharing the sentiments of the extremists. I have always believed the Muslim problem is a Muslim problem, meaning it is ultimately up to the Islamic faithful to get their extremists under control. This can begin by publicly denouncing terrorism as in the German rally. Following Paris, Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, recently raised eyebrows in an interview where he was quoted as saying to Dutch Muslims, “If you can’t find your place in the Netherlands, in the way we want to build a society together, leave.”

Actually we need more calls to refute terrorism, be it from Muslims, Christians, Jews, or whatever your faith happens to be, or even if you do not believe. As a Christian, I readily denounce any terrorist activity related to my faith, as should Muslims, Jews, etc. Frankly, I have had enough and it’s time to soundly denounce such behavior. To this end, imagine if Americans were all asked to sign a pledge publicly denouncing terrorism. Such public condemnation can only have positive effects. However, if people refused to sign it, they would be admitting their sympathies to terrorists and, as the Rotterdam Mayor said, they should just “leave.” Either way, this would be a powerful way to condemn terrorism and detect those with sympathies for extremists.

The pledge would be something like this:
“As a U.S. citizen or undocumented alien residing in the United States, I hereby freely and publicly denounce and condemn all violence and terrorism resulting from extremist activity, particularly from my own Religious Faith (duly noted). I further pledge to protect and defend the United States by reporting to the proper authorities, such as local law enforcement officials, or the Department of Homeland Security:

* Any suspicious behavior related to violence or terrorism.
* Any activities pertaining to recruiting, radicalizing, or inspiring others to commit acts of violence. This includes meetings, literature, broadcasting, and information on the Internet.”

I see this as something administered by the Department of Homeland Security. For those who believe the government already knows too much about us, there would essentially be nothing new here other than a new form of pledge of allegiance.

This is not so much a legal referendum, but a social movement to raise the consciousness of the public to help eradicate terrorism. Certainly some people will make this pledge under false pretenses, just as terrorist sympathizers undoubtedly marched in the Paris rally to study the feelings of the people, but we would have their name for the record.

Such a public declaration would put people on the spot and force them to chose their allegiance. A refutation of terrorism can only have beneficial effects. It shapes public opinion, improves intelligence through tips, keeps control in the hands of trained counter terrorist experts, and identifies those who do not want to properly adapt to American culture and rule of law. This all ultimately depends on the American public and if they are sincerely tired of extremist behavior.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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