Freedom is the answer to our vision of an ideal society. According to many, it is free will that makes us humans, in the first place. Freedom promotes free will and helps us achieve human potential. Therefore, the path to the values we like to see in ourselves and in others starts with freedom.
If we are for the right to worship--and to worship according to a specific religion--then promoting the right to not worship or to worship according to any religion is the solution. Empowering the right of the individual to choose and respecting that decision permits us to make our own decisions and to live by them without having to suffer. This is counterintuitive if our mode of thinking is tribal. Our basic instinct, then, is to force our way on all the others in order to win.
The same applies to language and culture. Permitting people to live freely removes their intuitive resistance to the other languages or cultures. This achieves two things: the culture most capable of advancing the best interests of society rises to the top. It also shuts the door to any undesired outside interference or meddling in society.
So, if we are for a specific dress code, then we establish the right of the individual to choose the dress code that fits them and we respect that. This way, our dress code will be permitted and respected. Similarly, if we are for a specific code of conduct, then we will have to establish the right to other codes of conduct.
Promoting rights does not mean endorsing everything these rights could bring. The right for society to decide on what is to be considered a legal substance and what isn't is worthy of support. However, this is not the same as endorsing the consumption of whatever is legal. We communicate the pros and cons and we state our preference, then we permit the individual to choose and to live by their decision and its consequences--without infringing on the rights of others.
Communication on a large scale is bound to draw both praise and criticism. In order to achieve the purpose of the communication we must respect the fact that people have their differences and their rights, and then focus on communicating effectively.
The Arab American community is diverse. Almost all known denominations are represented. Tens of countries of origin. A fifth generation American and a recent immigrant. How do we develop this community and achieve its interests within a larger society? The solution must start with freedom and focus on common grounds.