U.S. Muslims stood with other citizens in an interfaith rally to show that Americans condemn hate and the violence it can provoke.
Amer Ahmad, from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia, one of the largest mosques in the Washington area, helped organize the July 23 rally on Washington’s National Mall to denounce terrorism. True Muslims “are against all forms of terrorism and violence,” said Ahmad. “No one can ever sanction the taking of innocent lives, which is expressly and repeatedly forbidden by the Holy Quran.”
Originally scheduled as a daytime march, the event was rescheduled as an evening rally because of a midday heatwave that produced temperatures close to 38 degrees Celsius. Although the heat probably hurt turnout, the rally drew members of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Baha’i communities from across the U.S.
Participants gathered to reject violence, especially when committed in the name of religion.
According to a WTOP News report, people at the rally carried signs that read “Muslims Against ISIS” and “No Racism, No Hate.” Rally participants listened to speeches, prayers and music.
Sixteen-year-old Abduel Hussein, a Boy Scout who attends Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia, told WTOP that Muslims are no different from their neighbors: “We’re just like every other American, and we’re not here to apologize for anything, but here to explain this is our religion … a religion of tolerance, peace, ethics.”
The ADAMS Center and the Islamic Society of Central Florida, a rally co-sponsor, regularly hold interfaith events to bring neighbors together and promote greater understanding in American religious and civic life.