Million-Muslim March on 9/11 anniversary planned in DC
With an event initially coined the “Million Muslim March” and later changed to the “Million American March Against Fear,” the committee hopes to generate awareness about civil rights violations that Muslims have endured after the September 11 attacks that occurred nearly 12 years ago.
Protesters will condemn “FBI traps” and the “illegal tapping and surveilling of Muslim Americans,” as well as “media propaganda making the word terrorist synonymous with Muslim,” Isa Hodge, organizer of the march, told US News & World Report last month.
“Our government either sits idly by and does nothing to protect our freedoms or it exacerbates the problem with its constant war on terrorism in Islamic countries, congressional hearings on Islam in America, and its changes to the [National Defense Authorization Act],” he said in a press release, in which he notes that Muslims have faced constant oppression and discrimination over the past decade.
Protesters will also urge the government to reveal “the truth” about 9/11, which Hodge claims has been partially covered up by the US government.
“We want to hold President Obama accountable for his empty promises of creating a transparent government” Hodge said. “What exactly have we spent all our money, lost lives and taken lives for? The entire record of the 9/11 Commission [Report] has never been released.”
In the press release about the event, Hodge did not specify what sort of “truths” remain hidden, but groups that’s aren’t predominantly Muslim but adhere to 9/11 conspiracy theories – including some Tea Party groups – have already pledged to join the March. The Pennsylvania-based Williamsport Tea Party is one of the groups that have already put the march on its schedule.
Minister Louis Farrakhan of the National of Islam has not yet responded to a request to join the march, but Hodge said that lower-level ministers are interested in getting involved. The AMPAC has also extended an invitation to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
In response to critics who condemn Hodge for choosing 9/11 as the date of the march, the AMPAC member said Muslims were also among those who were victimized in the attacks.
“There were Muslim firefighters, police officers, first responders,” he told US News. “That day was not only an attack on Americans but a deeper attack on Muslim Americans… we were not only victims but made villains.”
The AMPAC hopes to repeat the success of the 1995 Million Man March, another a large gathering on the National Mall, in which an estimated 1.5-2 million protesters stood up for African-American civil rights to “convey to the world a vastly different picture of the Black male.”
The AMPAC also hopes to make the march an annual event in Washington, D.C.
“We American Muslims reject violence and terrorism, and defend the Constitutional rights of all Americans,” MD Alam, founder of AMPAC, said in a separate press release. “Every year on September 11th, beginning in 2012, we will be marching in Washington, DC as we build toward our goal of bringing one million American Muslims to march in our nation’s capital.”