“Must stay on guard,” (Bay Area News Group Editorial 5-2-11), is a message for all citizens. However, Americans need to know what they can do to reduce this dangerous threat to our safety.

Terrorism is an unholy war with evil leaders spreading fear to promote their agenda. Terrorists want to rule the world and convince followers to sacrifice themselves for heavenly rewards. Naïve followers don’t question and become extremely dangerous.

For centuries, charismatic men have twisted religion for their own purpose. American examples include:
- Rev. Jim Jones persuaded followers to relocate from San Francisco to Jonestown, Guyana where 909 people died.
- David Koresh and 74 followers perished in Waco, Texas.
- Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168.

Dictators and gang leaders also spread fear to manipulate the “spiritually blind.” However, they could not survive without a culture that glorifies ego-driven men who play god in other people’s lives. Uninformed, uneducated citizens allow ruthless leaders to prosper!

Many Americans don’t understand the power of the human spirit to be renewed and enlightened. When citizens are disconnected from support, they may not be self-aware or aware of their surroundings and “on guard.”

Responsible religions strengthen support for families. They discover the human spirit can develop a self-protective conscience and intuition. When we learn to trust our instincts and gain self-confidence, we grow with courage, speak up and take action.

Neighborhood involvement strengthens families. When neighbors communicate, they become observant and pay attention to neighborhood safety. Connected neighbors share information and build trust. In the process, they stop the social isolation that allows criminal behavior to go unnoticed.

Americans must stand together to win this unholy war. Informed, involved neighbors can PREVENT future attacks. When our enemies see how we value families, neighborhoods and communities, we will send a message that we stand for peaceful co-existence for all.

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
National Speaker, Workshop Leader, Author: 4 crime prevention books
Safe Kids Now!