Maybe the “Million Muslim March” had good intentions, but just chose the wrong day out of the year. Sure, they had 365 days to choose and just managed to pick the one day that would incite more anger and ensure their voices wouldn’t be heard, but everyone makes mistakes; right? If you are unfamiliar with the “Million Muslim March,” it might be that you weren’t paying attention to Fox News coverage, conservative bloggers, or were confused by a name change. The “Million Muslim March” was organized as a way to show Americans that not all Muslims are terrorists. Choosing to do so on 9/11 was a terribly grave error. The response by an overwhelming majority of citizens was one of pure outrage and anger.
September 11, 2013, the day when families, friends and our nation is grieving over the senseless loss of life due to terrorism, is not the day to point out that not all Muslims are bad. We know that not all Muslims are bad. There isn’t one person in the country who isn’t aware that extreme terrorism and al-Qaeda executed the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The point is; however, that 9/11 is not the time to focus on Muslims or terrorists; it is the day for the nation to mourn and remember the lives lost. Is there a time and place for the conversation between American Muslim relations with non-American Muslims and non-Muslim Americans, of course there is. It certainly is not on the day when the nation is reliving the horror of watching the terrifyingly unbelievable events unfold on national television as approximately 100 people jumped to their deaths from burning buildings or as apocalyptic plumes of smoke and ash came barreling down Manhattan leaving the city buried in ash and lives trapped under crumbling towers. As memories flood the nation of the horror of watching not one, but two planes crash into the World Trade Center, seeing the Pentagon go up in flames, and knowing that brave men and women knew what awaited them when they rose up on Flight 93; the day is already full, emotions are spent and September 11 will always be met with solemn remembrance.
September 11 is and always will be full. This is not the time to plan weddings, throw parties, dance on rooftops or gather protests regarding relations between religious Americans.
Though the “Million Muslim March” changed their organization’s name to “Million American March Against Fear” the damage was already done. September 11 is not about Muslim fear, but about honoring the lives of innocent victims (and yes, some who perished were U.S. Muslims, and law abiding citizens) who went to work or were simply going about their lives one Tuesday morning, never realizing that it would be their last day on the planet.
While the MAM or MAMAF continued their protests, they hardly reached the number of 1,000,000 and recent reports from The Washington Times state that several dozen protesters showed up at the National Mall. It is a far cry from 1,000,000 Muslim protesters.
Point to take into consideration — if you want to build a bridge, make your first step compassion and understanding. Show compassion and understanding for the families of the dead, before even considering engaging in a conversation about fear. Because once you start marching over the graves of the dead, no one is going to listen to what you have to say.