By: Sami H. Elmansoury.

‎There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success. -George Burton Adams

I recently watched a ‘CNN Presents’ piece on the 1993 Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco, Texas. As young as I was, I remember it like it was yesterday. A fire said to have been started by Branch Davidian leader David Koresh took the compound after stalled FBI negotiations on April 19, 1993 – killing 76 people, including more than 20 children. Exactly two years later, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh would take 168 civilian lives, including those of 19 children, in supposed ‘retaliation’ for what he believed was a government conspiracy against Branch Davidian, and in a reminder to the rest of us that violent extremism, coming from anyone, is a common enemy to everyone.
My take on the growing NYPD surveillance issue? We are engaged in an ongoing war abroad, and there are absolutely continuing threats to our national security here at home – there have been since time immemorial. Yet to the NYPD and to other agencies: keep our country safe for us and for our children, but be extra vigilant in upholding and defending our Constitution while doing so. This is not a matter of political correctness; not only are the released reports largely dealing with American citizens without evidence or allegations of wrongdoing, but it is in the most extraordinary times that vigilance on both the fronts of liberty and security becomes even more of an imperative. If that seems like a uniquely difficult job, well, that is a burden that law enforcement must bear. Not only is it the right thing to do, but our security is better protected in the long run when trust is present, and when alienation becomes a dying force. Our strongest weapon against the naysayers is to remind the world that America still shines through its most challenging moments of adversity.
Sami H. Elmansoury
Precision Learning |
Mayor Designee, Planning Board | Marlboro Township, New Jersey 
The Immigrant Rights Task Force 
| Office of the Borough President of Manhattan
Executive Board | The Muslim Public Affairs Council of New York City
Advisory Board | The New Leaders Council of New Jersey
Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow | American Society for Muslim Advancement
Generation Change 
| US Department of State
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