Huge Rally Against Bigotry
By TMO Stringer
The Muslim Peace Coalition (MPC) organized a rally in New York Cityâ€™s Union Square at noon on April 9th to protest against â€œwar, Islamophobia, and terror.â€
The Muslim Peace Coalition claimed that 500 Muslim organizations had joined in to cosponsor the rally and its San Francisco sister rally on April 10th, which was attended by the prominent imam Zaid Shakir as well as many other imams and other prominent individuals, such as (in alphabetical order) Sr. Seemi Ahmed, Imam Abdul Latif Al-Amin, Imam Shamsi Ali, Imam Ashrafuzzaman Khan, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Br. Abu Ahmed Nuruzzaman, Imam Muhammad Qatanani, Cindy Sheehan and Dr. Shaik Ubaid.
500 plus organizations, Muslims and neighbors from interfaith, peace movements and labor joined hands together Against Islamophobia, to oppose war and to condemn terrorism.
The MPC hoped for 25,000 Muslims and 25,000 neighbors to come to Union Square, and perhaps thousands did attend although it is difficult to give an exact estimate of the attendance.
The MPC press release about the event said, â€œWe stand together to make one point: that War, Terrorism and Islamophobia —- are all one set. One distasteful, ugly set —– that has to go.â€
The rally was intended to put a good face on the Muslim community–people were invited to come with their children and were invited to be friendly with people of other faiths in attendance, in order to counter the negative media portrayals of Islam and Muslims.
Said the MPC press release, â€œPlease bring your families—- many media people think of Muslims as some distant people, aliens, not families and not neighbors. We need to give our community a human face.â€
The MPC pointed out that non-Muslims have in fact been more vocal in their support of the Muslim community against war, Islamophobia, and terror, and encouraged Muslims to thank them â€œfor being a true patriot.â€
People marching were also encouraged to sign up with the MPC, to develop â€œa broader coalition of all neighbors against hate and injustice.â€
â€œDiversity is as American as Apple pie. Letâ€™s build on our diversity.â€
MPC organizers also told horror stories of Muslim children in New York being beaten up and robbed in school on account of their religion, and pointed out that those most vulnerable are girls with hijab.
Good weather, organization, and good speakers made the event a very successful rally with widespread attendance from New Yorkâ€™s Muslim community.