'Today, I am a Muslim too!' rally in support of Interfaith Solidarity held Sunday 3/6/2011 Times Square, New York City

8 March 2011, 8:38 AM

Dear Friends,


Today, I am a Muslim too! 


This afternoon's rally will be held at Times Square, from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. Speakers will include Christian, Islamic and Jewish religious leaders, along with members of the entertainment industry, who will also show their support and solidarity in, “a unified stance against a rising Islamophobia caused by anxiety, misinformation, and ignorance.”


Here in the US our Brothers and Sisters in Islam this week will be the subject of specialized hearings in Congress that seeks to root out, "the radicalization of Muslims in America." The intention of these hearings has caused many to be concerned in our community--myself included--as they will do nothing to engender cooperation, goodwill, nor understanding--much less foster a sense of 'safety' in any practical way.  


Since 9/11/2001 hundreds of organizations and Muslim community councils locally and nationally have fully partnered with law enforcement agencies to provide invaluable support, and have designed, backed, and implemented multiple initiatives that have served our nation honorably and effectively. 


Politicians' recent saber-rattling on the run up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks may score points in the ballot box for fringe candidates bent on polarizing our nation, but will do little to address the deep sense of trauma and loss that the American people have yet to come to terms with, only reasoned conversation can do that--and nothing about this week's upcoming inquest resembles meaningful or substantive community building dialogue. 


As a Jew whose family was decimated in the Holocaust of Europe, I have developed a hyper-vigilance to the insidiousness of injustice, it's become an instinctual part of of my consciousness. Experience has taught me that violence takes many forms, and domination triumphs often imperceptibly, circumstance by circumstance--it begins by silencing voices, shutting down opportunities, marginalizing the 'other'.


I recall the words of Irish philosopher Edmund Burke who taught, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ 


Well, today I will celebrate in spirit alongside a multitude in NY who refuse to allow naysayers and fear mongers to co-opt the conversation--Below I have included the long list of religious leaders, community organizations and institutions who will rally in support of our greater Islamic community so that you too can know their names, confident that we stand among many friends. 


In Peace and with All Blessings, 







Community Leaders, Local Officials and Religious Leaders Join Together to Protest 

Targeting of American Muslims & Arabs in Upcoming Congressional Hearings

On Sunday March 6, 2011, a broad coalition of over 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental, and civil liberties groups will come together in Times Square (42nd Street and 7th Avenue) in support of equitable civil rights for the Today, IAm a Muslim, Too, rally.   Taking place in response to upcoming Congressional hearings led by Peter King (R-LI), rally-goers will stand together against bigotry caused by anxiety, misinformation, and ignorance, to show Congress aunited American community which seeks to strengthen - not dilute - our bonds of friendship and trust.  Organizers of this rally believe one can be a loyal Muslim as well as a loyal American without conflict.

“As invested Americans, we acknowledge the important work of the Congressional Committee on Homeland Security,” said Russell Simmons; Chairman of RUSH Communications. “However, we’re concerned the hearings will send the wrong message and alienate American Muslims instead of partnering with them, potentially putting their lives at risk by inciting fear and enmity.”

Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), has suggested that the hearings should be “broadened in such a way that other ethnic communities and faith communities can attest to the tremendous contribution and solidarity that American Muslims have for our country.”

In addition to Simmons and Rabbi Schneier, additional guests expected to appear include; Imam Shamsi Ali (Islamic Cultural Center), Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (Cordoba Initiative), Rev. Bob Chase (Intersections), Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein (Central Synagogue), Katherine Henderson (Auburn Theological Seminary), Rev. Chloe Breyer (Interfaith Center of New York), Rev. Amandus J. Derr (St. Peter's Church), and many other religious, community, and political leaders.  There will also bea performance by UN Goodwill Ambassador Salman Ahmad of Junoon Band.

Alarmed at the demonization of an entire community, hundreds of civil liberties groups have signed letters opposing the hearings as they are currently planned, including apetition circulated by Faith in Public Life.   On February 1, 2011 a letter to House Majority and Minority Leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, protesting the bias evident in King’s hearings.

Twitter: I Am Muslim Too

Facebook: I Am A Muslim Too



Thanks to all who are supporting the event, the list is below: 

1. Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
2. Interfaith Center of New York
3. Auburn Seminary
4. Central Synagogue 
5. Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
6. Queens Federation of Churches 
7. Federation for Middle East Peace
8. Park Avenue Synagogue
9. Partnership of Faith
10. Long Island Interfaith Alliance
11. Fellowship of Reconciliation
12. Action International Center
13. Long Island Catholic Diocese
14. Episcopal Diocese of New York
15. Shalom Center
16. St. Bartholomew's Church 
17. The Tanenbaum Center
18. Jewish Theological Seminary
19. Interreligious Federation of Queens
20. Midtown Churches
21. World Council of Religious Leaders/Jainism Community
22. Martin Luther Center for Non Violence 
23. Buddhist Council of New York 
24. Egyptian-American Associations
25. Union Theological Seminary
26. NYC to Stop Islamophobia
27. St. Peter's Churches
28. Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church 
29. Alliance of Civilizations
30. Sikh community, Flushing Queens
31. Clergy Living Wage in NYC
32. Freedom of Religion USA
33. EmblemHealth
34. The Convergence Project
35. Intersections
36. Interfaith New York disaster services
37. Fiscal Policy Institute
38. New York Neighbors Coalition
39. Clergy beyond borders Conference
40. The Shalom Center
41. Same Difference
42. St Paul and St Andrews Church
44. Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
45. Marble Collegiate Church
46. Multi-faith Voices for Peace & Justice
48. Pax Christi Metro New York
50. Interfaith Arts
51. The Sikh Coalition, USA
52. The Sikh Community, Queens – Flushing
53. Saint John the Divine
54. Saint Peter’s Church
55. International Federation of Rabbis
56. Chautauqua Institution
57. National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
58. Interreligious Federation USA
59. Faith House Manhattan 
60. East West Association of Sikh Women for World Peace
61. Clergy for Living Wage (Rev. Peter Hetzel)
62. Cathedral of St. John the Divine
63. Mennonite Central Committee UN Office
64. Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
65. Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice 
66. International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
67. New York City Labor Against the War
68. The Dialogue Project
69. Local Faith Communities
70. Riverside Drive Church
71. Kolot Chayeinu / Voices of Our Lives 
72. Chhaya CDC (Seema Agnan)
73. Judson Memorial Church 
74. New Sanctuary Movement NYC
75. Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
76. Citizen Action of New York
77. Congregation at Ansche Chesed 
78. Kolot Chayeinu-Voices of Our Lives
79. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Imam Shamsi Ali: shamsiali1@aol.com

Alexandra Ben Othman: alexandra.ben.othman@gmail.com

Sadick Abubakr: garba19@engineer.com

Media: Leyla Turkkan: leyla@catalystgroupsite.com

Para español: Katherine Vizcaino: kat.vizcaino@yahoo.com


Besides that list the following celebrities are backing the event as well.


Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, Adrian Grenier, Heather Graham, Common, Susan Sarandon, John Legend, Rachel Roy, Q-Tip, Kelly Bensimon, Rev. Al Sharpton, Juelz Santana, Rev. Run, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, Lorraine Bracco, Jim Jones, and Djimon Hounsou.




Cooperation Circles Involved

Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics CC

"Our purpose is to design and facilitate interfaith and inter-cultural programming to foster a culture of peace. Our humanitarian programs are aimed at community building and the resolution of conflicts based on the foundational values of equity, justice, compassion and mutual respect."