Saturday, May 14, 2005

Muslims March Against Terrorism

This afternoon, a march sponsored by the group Free Muslims Against Terrorism will take place in Washington DC. To quote the official press release:

The Free Muslims Against Terrorism are proud to announce that on May 14th 2005, Muslims and Middle Easterners of all backgrounds will converge on our nation’s Capital for a rally against terrorism and to support freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the Muslim world. This will be the first rally of its kind in Washington DC that is led by Muslims and Middle Easterners.

Join us in sending a message to radical Muslims and supporters of terrorism that we reject them and that we will do all we can to defeat them.

We also want to send a message of hope to the people of the Muslim world and the Middle East who seek freedom, democracy and who reject radical Islam that we are with them and that we will do all we can to support them.

This rally is NOT limited to Muslims and Middle Easterners. We request anyone and everyone who supports our message to join us at the rally. We want to send a message to the extremists and terrorists that American Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of all faiths are united against terrorism and extremism.

The march will take place from 1-5 PM, starting at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue. For more information on Free Muslims Against Terrorism, see their Web site, or check out these articles from the Washington Post and Washington Times.

This rally represents exactly the kind of forthright denunciation of terrorism and intolerance that is needed among Muslims if Islam is to be a force for progress and not used as an ideology of hate. Unfortunately, "mainstream" Muslim groups such as the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and American Muslim Council have rejected the opportunity to participate. Groups like CAIR, with their ties to Islamists and less than unambiguous opposition to terror, are part of the problem. This is why the rise of new Islamic organizations, such as Free Muslims, that are genuinely committed to tolerance and pluralism is so important.

Sadly, turnout will probably only be a couple thousand at best. Still, just the fact that the march is taking place is a good start.


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