AMPAC “Million Muslim March” all hype and no substance
by Sheila Musaji
US News & World Report published ‘Million Muslim March’ Scheduled for Sept. 11 Reorients to Seek 9/11 ‘Truth’ by Steven Nelson. Nelson reports:
The American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is hosting what it hopes will be a gathering of one million people in Washington, D.C., on the 12th anniversary of 9/11 to urge the government to reveal “the truth” about the attacks.
“We want to hold President Obama accountable for his empty promises of creating a transparent government,” march organizer Isa Hodge told U.S. News. “What exactly have we spent all our money, lost lives and taken lives for? The entire record of the 9/11 Commission has never been released.” Protesters will also denounce “FBI traps,” “illegal tapping and surveilling of Muslim Americans” and “media propaganda making the word terrorist synonymous with Muslim,” he said.
The march was announced as the “Million Muslim March” earlier this year, but its name has since been changed to the “Million American March Against Fear,” according to Hodge.
The organizer said north-central Pennsylvania’s Williamsport Tea Party has joined with planners, in addition to groups that adhere to conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks or oppose the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes the president to approve indefinite detentions. ... “We’re waiting on Minister Louis Farrakhan [of the Nation of Islam] to respond to our request,” Hodge said. “His ministers below him are interested in being involved, we’re just waiting for Minister Farrakhan to OK it. ... “
I had heard about this planned march sometime ago, and had hoped that it would simply fizzle out. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The original announcement about a planned Million Muslim March came in January of this year. Muslims to march on White House next September 11th and this article announcing the event contained unfortunate images and statements of concern: — “a new group called AMPAC, the American Muslim Political Action Committee, will challenge AIPAC’s stranglehold on American political life. — AMPAC will be forcefully announcing its presence with a “Million Muslim March” on the White House on September 11, 2013. —The goal, announced at AMPAC’s press conference in New York: “We at AMPAC (American Muslim Political Action Committee) are planning a historic event for 9/11/13. One million Muslims will march to Washington D.C. and demand that our civil rights be protected by our government. We are demanding that laws be enacted protecting our First Amendment rights. We are asking President Obama to fulfill his promise from his first campaign for the Presidency of a transparent government. Lastly we are asking for the establishment of a real 9/11 Commission to reveal the truth to the American people.”
Who is the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC)? This organization was established in 2012 and says on its’ website:
— AMPAC Misson Statement: The mission of the United States of America Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is to stimulate an active interest in Muslim Americans relating to Political and Governmental affairs to facilitate Muslim American participation in the United States of America, to promote the ideas and principles of the Political Party, and to encourage and seek Muslim American candidates for public office and explain positions of other political candidates to Muslim American voters. The AMPAC shall also work with the Muslim American Communities to bring their issues to the state and national political attention. We are the Muslim- American Communities living in United States of America.
— AMPAC FAQ’s contains this: AMPAC will focus on those issues that are of special importance to the Muslim community, and where there is a significant degree of agreement among Muslims. For example, there is widespread agreement in the community (though this is censored by the current leadership) that the “war on terror” is a hoax and that the official story of 9/11 is not true.
Most postings on the site are incoherent and meaningless. The statement above, that they want “to promote the ideas and principles of the Political Party” is a typical example. As far as I can determine, they have not promoted any candidates for public office, or done anything at all except promote the 2012 failed candidacy (for Missouri secretary of state) of MD Rabbi Alam, the Chairman of the organization. The title of the organization should be the MD Rabbi Alam political action committee.
Who is MD Rabbi Alam?
When he ran for office in 2012, MD Rabbi Alam became embroiled in a controversy when he stated “My question was, ‘What’s the reason not a single Jew was killed on that day? Was there a single Jew killed on that day?” As VIN News reported Missouri Politician Apologizes For Claim No Jews Died on 9/11 (audio):
In a series of discussions with VIN News, a Muslim Democrat running for Secretary of State of the state of Missouri retracted his position in regard to his 9-11 conspiracy theory and has apologized for stating that no Jews were killed at the World Trade Center on 9-11.
According to a report posted earlier today by VIN News, in the Washington Free Beacon , MD Alam, a Democratic Party caucus chairman vying to become Missouri’s next secretary of state “has speculated about Jewish involvement in the September 11th terrorist attacks and participated in an event with a Muslim cleric who has accused Israel of terrorism and alleged that the U.S. invented the HIV disease.
“Why was 9/11 was a official holiday for all Jewish people worked in the WTC?” Alam asked in an Internet discussion titled, “Was 9/11 a conspiracy??” He continued, “My question was, ‘What’s the reason not a single Jew was killed on that day,’” Alam said, maintaining that his inquiries are based on facts, rather than a bias against Jewish people. “Was there a single Jew killed on that day?”
Alam went on to tout the 9/11 Truther film Loose Change 9/11, and challenged readers to “tell me how many of the Jewish people died on the 9/11 tragedy?” Asked in an interview Monday about his provocative views, Alam stood by his controversial writings, admitting that he has been “waiting to discuss it with somebody.”
When Rabbi Yair Hoffman reporting for VIN News contacted Mr. Alam, he initially did confirm that indeed, that was his position.
Mr. Alam was then asked by the reporter, “I personally know people that were killed on that tragic day, and can send you information about them. What is your position? Are you saying that these people went into hiding or that his children, his father, and his brother are all lying and, in fact, he is still alive?”
However, after being emailed and seeing evidence that, in fact, Jews were killed in this national tragedy, Mr. Alam offered his apologies and explained that he had been convinced by the material he had read on the internet regarding the issue. Alam was then put in touch with other people who personally knew other Jewish 9-11 victims.
Alam then expressed some outrage that such misinformation could appear and promised that he would confront those sources. He requested that VIN News convey his sincere apologies to those who have been hurt by his initial claims.
According to the Washington Beacon, Mr. Alam is “an Obama campaign ally and Missouri-based Democratic activist who chairs the National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus (NDPAAC), a Democratic National Committee-sponsored organization that liaises with Asian minorities. ...
Hunter Walker reported in Politicker Dems Disavow 9/11 Truther Running For Missouri Office:
A candidate running for Secretary of State in Missouri is at the center of a controversy over comments he once made about the Jews and 9/11. MD Rabbi Alam has a website trumpeting his run for office and describing himself as “National Chairman” of the “US National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus,” but sources with the DNC say claims of his involvement with the party were greatly exaggerated.
... The Free Beacon report repeated Mr. Alam’s claim that he chairs the National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus and described it as a “a Democratic National Committee-sponsored organization that liaises with Asian minorities” based on a page on the Democratic party website. However, a source with the DNC told The Politicker the site includes user generated content made by people who want to form their own groups.
Mr. Alam did not cite any specific examples when we asked him whether his group works with any Democratic Party officials. He said the group is dedicated to grassroots work with the Asian, specifically South Asian community and he was inspired to create it because he saw a lack of voter engagement and awareness of some basic facts about the country. “I was so much disgusted with the attitude that, when you ask them give me the ten second time and tell me the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, they cannot even say….Can you tell me the preamble of the United States Constitution, they cannot say?” said Mr. Alam. “Basically, the grassroots work…is educating the people. They’re good people, you know, they’re good, law-abiding citizens. They’re good tax payers and they are well behaved.”
The Free Beacon also said Mr. Alam had once been “invited” to the White House. Records show he did indeed visit the White House late last year as part of a “group tour” that included “268 other people.” Mr. Alam may not have done much official work within the Democratic Party yet, but he says he’s the right man for the Missouri Secretary of State job. “I’m ready to be in charge of people,” Mr. Alam said.
Thankfully, and not surprisingly, Alam lost big time in this election. However, his conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic arguments, and outright lies not only reflected on him, but damaged interfaith and political relationships for the local American Muslim community in Missouri.
According to the AMPAC site, Alam is planning to run again in 2016. AMPAC seems to be a very small organization with only a few members. The co-founder of AMPAC, Kevin Barrett has a profile on the ADL site under Extremist 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Barrett runs a website called “Truth Jihad”.
The US News & World Report at the top of this page quotes Isa Hodge of AMPAC. Who is Isa Hodge? I have never heard of him before. I can find nothing by or about him through a google search. His name appears on the AMPAC site as Chief of Operations “Million Muslim March”, Executive Director of AMPAC, an AMPAC Radio Talk-Show Host, and campaign manager for MD Alam and his bid for the Senate 2016. That last item is probably the significant part of the description of Hodge.
And, based on past performance of this “organization”, it would not be much of a stretch to believe that this planned march is just a way of promoting this new political campaign. Alam and Hodge have set up a Facebook page for this march. That page includes entries posted posted with graphics referring to both a “Million Muslim march” and a “Million American March Against Fear”. When you click on the “about” on this Facebook page, it says: “Join 1 million Muslims on September 11th 2013 to help us get the truth about 9/11.”
I can’t help but wonder how it is that an organization with no track record of any activities on behalf of the American Muslim community, with no purpose other than promoting the political ambitions of one man, composed of individuals with no history or credibility as Muslim community activists, with no support from any known American Muslim organizations can be taken seriously enough to be given space in US News & World Report?
I also can’t help but wonder how individuals like Alam, Hodge, and Barrett can have the nerve to promote their conspiracy theories and nonsensical plans for this march as having anything to do with the American Muslim community. These are the ideas and theories of a group of marginal individuals who happen to be Muslim. They may have changed the name of this planned event from “Million Muslim” to “Million American”, but clearly the identification of the event and of their organization with the American Muslim community has already been made. Choosing September 11th as the date on which they plan to hold this event can only be considered controversial. Claiming that the “issues” that are of concern to them are “of special importance to the Muslim community”, and that “there is a significant degree of agreement among Muslims” on these issues which “is censored by the current leadership” is misleading, and unsubstantiated. The Facebook page for this march has only 488 likes (which is 488 too many) and indicative of the fact that such an organization would be unlikely to draw more than a couple of hundred supporters (if they’re lucky), and they are likely to draw more protesters.
The American Muslim community has enough problems to worry about without having such unscrupulous individuals attempt to involve us in their personal issues. Everything about this is distasteful and irresponsible. They have put themselves firmly in the camp of Muslim “useful idiots” by attempting a publicity stunt that can be used by the Islamophobia industry to humiliate Muslims generally - and that is about all that this will accomplish.
It is now less than a month from the date of this planned event, and the Islamophobia echo chamber is in full alarm mode.
Fox News got some traction on this non-story after MD Rabbi Alam went on Sean Hannity’s program to discuss the event. Others like Breitbart News, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Blaze, World Net Daily, Red State.com, etc. all are publishing alarmist articles that reflect not only on the individuals behind this non-event, but the entire Muslim community.
The Red State article is a good example of how this tarring of an entire community is accomplished. The article is filled with bigotry like this passage: “What Muslims most fear is exposure to Western thought and culture because, frankly, it is superior to their near-Stone Age definition of existence. Yet, they are not averse to using our pillars of Western civilization for their own gain and some of those pillars are enshrined in the Bill of Rights, like freedom of religion and speech and assembly. Are there any of these things truly present in any Muslim country? Is there any concept of the rights of women? The slave trade ended in the West, yet some forms still persist with nary a blink of an eye, in some Muslim countries. In a country where homosexuals are somewhat “accepted,” they are put to death in Muslim countries. Obama cancels meetings with Putin because he speaks out against homosexuals then bows to the leader of an Islamic country that puts homosexuals to death. Freedom of religion is non-existent or mere words in Muslim countries. Just ask a Christian in Nigeria or Egypt or Saudi Arabia.”
And, an article by Larry Klayman on WND, titled Bad news for our ‘Muslim’ president is beyond the pale. It includes this passage:
... The hard reality is that our nation, not just Egypt pre-Morsi, has been hijacked by Islam and our president is the leader of this Muslim revolution. It is no wonder Muslims have just in the last few days felt emboldened to declare that they will wage a “Million Man Muslim March” in Washington, D.C., this Sept. 11. They have been given a virtual green light to do so by the mullah in chief. And, even if he does not show his devilish face at this highly provocative demonstration of the growing Islamic influence in the United States and abroad, Obama will be there with his fellow Muslims in spirit.
Perhaps Obama fears what the Egyptian military has done to Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood because he knows that the American people and its military, who have been sacrificed to “win the hearts and minds” of the enemy, may one day rise up and oust him and his comrades. One can only pray – not to Allah, but to our Lord and Savior – that justice will be done and that We the People will soon be liberated from this modern-day pharaoh. While Obama’s political opposition is no Moses, we hold our own future in our hands and must act soon before all is lost.
Zuhdi Jasser, the Islamophobes’ favorite Muslim went on the Brian Kilmeade program to discuss this planned march. I agree with Jasser’s comments about the organization and individuals planning this event. But, then he did what he so often does, and went beyond that reasonable specific objection, and attempted to blame the American Muslim community. Jasser said: “He’s [Alam] just a whack job. But, at the end of the day, the silence of other American Muslim organizations in marginalizing him, I think, speaks volumes.”
This is nonsense. The American Muslim community, and American Muslim organizations have marginalized such characters by ignoring them. The only publicity they are getting is from those who are using them as “useful idiots” to further their anti-Muslim agenda. Corey Saylor of CAIR has said something. TAM has said something. Does Jasser really think that each and every American Muslim leader, organization, or community activist needs to speak up about each and every marginal figure? Such a comment speaks volumes about Zuhdi Jasser’s personal anger at also being marginalized.
The event is getting a lot of media publicity, although at least some in the mainstream press seem to realize that this event is just a publicity gimmick:
Nick Wing wrote on the Huffington Post ‘Million Muslim March’ Planned On 9/11 Anniversary Prompts Conservative Freakout in which he notes some key points: — AMPAC has been doing little besides trying to attract national attention ever since Alam’s failed bid for office. — A Facebook page for the “Million Muslim March”—which previously showed less than 10 people planning to attend—had been taken down by the time of publishing. — Corey Saylor, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to tell U.S. News last month that CAIR would definitely not support the event.
Examiner.com noted ‘Million Muslim March’ falls 999,951 short, mistakenly cites French beauty
The Washington Times notes “Whether AMPAC can get a million people to march on the National Mall is highly doubtful, however. The Facebook event page alone has only 5 attending.”
AMPAC has published a list of the organizations and individuals supposedly participating in this event:
AMPAC - The American Muslim Political Action Committee AMPAC in cooperation and solidarity with MANDAA - Movement Against the National Defense Authorization Act, NDPAAC - National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, NYDPAAC - New York Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, NABAB - North American Bangladeshi Association for Bangladesh, MDPAAC - Missouri Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, CLA - Community Leadership Affairs, SACC - South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Mosque Care, DC Area 9/11 Truth Movement ,A&E - Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Movement, OWS Movement, CAIR Los Angeles Chapter, MAS Freedom - Muslim American Society, MMAT - Muslim Marching Against Terrorism, MD Rabbi Alam - the Founder of AMPAC, Richard Gage - the Founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Movement, Dr. Kevin Barrett - the National Spokesperson for Muslim Think Tank, Imam Mahdi Bray the National Executive Director of MAS Freedom, Hussam Ayloush - the Executive Director of CAIR Los Angeles, and The March Against Drones (MAD) will be gathering on the National Mall, and then launching a march on the halls of power.
This list is very suspicious, especially since CAIR chapters are listed, even though Corey Saylor, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told U.S. News that CAIR would definitely not support the event. And, Mahdi Bray is listed as the National Executive Director of MAS Freedom which is an organization that no longer exists. If any of those listed as participating in this event are being falsely listed by AMPAC, they should make that known loudly.
AMPAC has also posted a list of supposed speakers:
Speakers - sequential 1. Dr. Kevin Barrett - AMPAC Think Tank 2. Greg Boyd - DC Area Community Organizer 3. Ruby Al-Sous - Woman Co Chair, Missouri Democratic Party Asian American Caucus and DNC - National Delegate 4. Enver Masud - Founder & President, The Wisdom Fund 5. Mohammed N. Mojumder - Chairman, Bangladesh - American Community Council - BACC 6. Matt Sullivan - Chairman, DC Area 9/11 Truth Movement 7. Sherbaz Khan - Executive Member, Community Leadership Association 8. Diana Castiyo - Founder, Madrid - Spain - 9/11 Movement 9. Ishaq Beg - Executive Member, American Muslim Alliance - AMA 10. Kamal Nawash, Attorney at-Law, Organizer & Founder, Muslim Marching Against Terrorism 11. Abu Zafor Mahmood, National Political Director, North American Bangladeshi Association for Bangladesh - NABAB 12. Angela Habibullah, Attorney at-Law, Member, Good Government Coalition 13. Syed Asif, Executive Director, South-Asian Chamber of Commerce & Movement Against National Defense Authorization Act - MANDAA 14. Wali Karim, Executive Member, Progressive Leadership Legacy 15. Sheila Casey - Journalist, Activist & Editor - Voice Against Controlled Main-Stream Medias 16. Imam Hanif Khalil - Executive Member of Mosque Care of Kansas & Member of National Board 17. Anwar K. Khan - Executive Secretary National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus - NDPAAC 18. Derron Black - Founder, Alpha Male Nation, Mid-west Radio Talk-Show Host, AMPAC Radio Talk-Show Host 19. Merlin Miller - 2012 Presidential Candidate 20. Dr. Cornel Ronald West - Scholar & American Philosopher, Member of Democratic Socialists of America, Marching Leader - MAD
21. MD. Rabbi Alam - Founder, American Muslim Political Action Committee - AMPAC
This list of speakers is also very suspicious. As with the list of participants, I wonder just how many of these individuals (outside of AMPAC members) have actually agreed to speak.
At this point, all that AMPAC has succeeded in generating is a lot of unnecessary negative propaganda against the American Muslim community. Not one American Muslim leader or organization outside of the marginal AMPAC is supporting this effort, or the statements of purpose by the AMPAC leaders.
The leadership of AMPAC and the organizers of this event owe the American Muslim community an apology for using us to further their own personal political agenda. They also need to cancel this event, and change the name of their organization to something that does not include the designation “Muslim”. I suggest, the Rabbi Alam Political Action Committee (RAPAC). And, if a few individuals do show up for this shameful event and get in an altercation with a bunch of bikers, don’t claim that it had anything to do with prejudice against Muslims, and don’t come running to legitimate Muslim organizations for help.
Bizpac Review reports Bikers organize massive counter protest to Million Muslim March:
Thousands of America’s patriotic bikers are organizing an enormous counter protest to the planned Million Muslim March on DC this Sept. 11.
The Facebook Page, “2 Million Bikers to DC,” has over 18 thousand “likes,” as of Thursday morning and individual state chapters of riders have launched pages on Facebook, as well. ... According to the organizers of the “2 Million Bikers to DC,” this is a counter protest to the Million Muslim March ...
As we get closer to September 11th, more and more of the Islamophobia echo chamber is using this event to spread their poison. Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s AFDI is planning a 9/11 event in New York City in which, as usual, they will mix actual commemoration of that tragedy with anti-Muslim rhetoric. Geller said in a statement: “The Million Muslim March on 9/11 in Washington is an attempt to obscure the reality of what happened on 9/11, portray Muslims as victims, and intimidate government and law enforcement officials into ending surveillance of suspected jihadists. Our memorial and press conference puts the focus back where it should be: on the victims of 9/11, and our need to be vigilant in the face of the ongoing jihad threat.”
And, on David Horowitz’ World Net Daily, Larry Klayman writes Stand up to Million Muslim March in D.C.! attempting to turn AMPAC’s couple of Muslims and a gullible media non-event into a religious war. A few passages from Klayman’s passive-aggressive screed:
— Christians and Jews need to come to the nation’s capital and in effect take Washington, D.C., by storm Sept. 11 to counter the planned Million Muslim March, recently renamed the American March Against Fear by its organizers, the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC).
— it is important for Christians and Jews to come to together and show the world that we will no longer tolerate American Muslims such as these who disrespect the Judeo-Christian culture and who frankly want to see us dead. It is time to call a spade a spade. Our president, who is so willing to play the race card to further the interests of his half-black race, has a duty to speak out and order the revocation of AMPAC’s permit, particularly since he is himself also half Muslim by birth. The Million Muslim March is not only an outrage, but presents a clear and present danger to the safety and welfare of inhabitants and visitors to the District of Columbia. It could incite violence if Obama does not act.
— I am calling all patriotic Americans not to engage in violence as these American Muslims advocate, but to come to the nation’s capital and to in effect take Washington by storm on Sept. 11, to quash this disgusting display of Muslim hatred of Christians and Jews and indifference to if not support of terrorism, and to show the world that we will “never again” pretend that Muslims of this ilk deserve to be part of this nation. And Obama must revoke the National Park Service permit to disallow this outrage to go forth!
Black conservative radio show host, Carl Boyd Jr., of WWTN Super Talk 99.7 FM Cumulus Media out of Nashville said that he is planning a different event “called the “Million Christian Patriot March” on the same day to counter the Islamic protest”.
As of 9/8/2013, The AMPAC Facebook page has 66 likes, and the 2 million bikers page has 49,993 likes. That alone should tell the AMPAC organizers that they are engaged in a fool’s mission. The fact that all of the negative publicity they are generating has been aimed not at AMPAC or the organizers, but at the American Muslim community should also cause them embarrassment and shame. They changed the name of the march from the Million Muslims March to the Million Americans March, but that change was too little, too late. They are also now announcing that Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. has agreed to participate in their event. This is very surprising.
I repeat: The leadership of AMPAC and the organizers of this event owe the American Muslim community an apology for using us to further their own personal political agenda. They also need to cancel this event, and change the name of their organization to something that does not include the designation “Muslim”. And, if a few individuals do show up for this shameful event and get in an altercation with a bunch of bikers, don’t claim that it had anything to do with prejudice against Muslims, and don’t come running to legitimate Muslim organizations for help.
Well, this event is over, but it is likely that shock waves will be felt for some time.
Not surprisingly, Zuhdi Jasser was quoted in an article published today on The Christian Post as saying: “These guys are basically exploiting an annual commemoration of an attack in which America lost over 3,000 lives to radical Islam. It’s part of this lobby of Islamist groups in America that believe America is to blame rather than taking ownership.” I agree with Jasser that AMPAC is exploiting the commemoration of 9/11, and in condemning them for organizing this event, and for their bigoted beliefs, but although Jasser knows better, his attempt to connect AMPAC and the organizers of this event with the Muslim community generally, or with mainstream Muslim groups is ridiculous. It is statements like this that cause Jasser to be included in the same marginal category as AMPAC.
The “Million American” or “Million Muslim” march was scheduled to begin at noon. NBC Washington reported that there were about 25 people at the march as of 12:30 p.m. and about that many counter protestors. At 12:07, Dawud Walid posted this photo on twitter:
The fact that AMPAC has received no support from the mainstream Muslim community, and the fact that no one showed up for this march should be a wake-up call. The Muslim community completely boycotted this event. No one is interested in the conspiracy theories and bigotry that they are promoting. I would love to ask Rabbi Alam if it was worth it to cause so much distress to so many people for a little publicity for his coming political campaign which is sure to fail.
There was limited press coverage of the AMPAC event, but even that shows just how clueless the AMPAC organizers are. The Washington Times reported that Ruby Al-Sous (an organizer) said: “We want to stand here in solidarity with the American people against hate and violence.” Unless she is a visitor from some other country, then she is (or should be) one of the American people.
Huge numbers of police needed to be called out to protect everyone, and all of this in addition to all the other problems it caused, was a huge waste of our taxpayer dollars.
The 2 Million Bikers event may not have drawn 2 million, but it numbered in the tens of thousands. And, reading comments in articles, on the biker event Facebook page, and on twitter, it is clear that many of these tens of thousands were protesting Islam, and Muslims - not simply AMPAC and its leaders.
Outright lies on the part of AMPAC about this event
The Washington Times reported that AMPAC’s permit for this “million” whatever march was only for 1,000 people, which means that AMPAC leaders knew well in advance that what they were hyping was not ever going to happen.
As I said earlier in this article, the list of supposed participants and speakers released by AMPAC was very suspicious. At this point the only well known individual outside of AMPAC that was actually there was Prof. Cornell West. And, it is my guess that he was misinformed about who this group actually represented.
CAIR has posted a disclaimer:
CAIR Has Not Endorsed the ‘Million American March Against Fear,’ Formerly Known as the ‘Million Muslim March’. CAIR staff have received reports that organizers of the “Million American March Against Fear,” which until February 2013 was called the “Million Muslim March,” claim that CAIR has endorsed or co-sponsored the event. While we believe in the right of every American to express his or her views, CAIR has not agreed to endorse or co-sponsor the “Million American March Against Fear” or the “Million Muslim March” on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Any assertions to the contrary are false.
It is still not too late for AMPAC to make a public statement of apology, although I doubt that it will be offered. I was able to get in touch with Hussam Ayloush of CAIR-LA, and he sent me an email saying:
My name and that of CAIR were listed without authorization from myself or from anyone at CAIR. When this issue came to my attention, I wrote the AMPAC organizers a strong email and sent text messages to the organizers asking that they remove the names immediately. The main person texted me back and apologized for adding my name and that of CAIR by mistake and without our authorization. Unfortunately, they removed the names form most of the pages, but kept it on one of the event pages, despite my repeated requests. I have to say that I am extremely disappointed with the organizer’s lack of ethics or professionalism. He obviously was trying to exploit people’s names without their permission in order to gain some legitimacy for his program, a program that I had little knowledge of until recently. Very shameful behavior.
Al Arabiya reported that Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR-National said “We’re concerned that the event has aligned itself with so-called 9/11 truthers.” And, “Hooper said it was unlikely that any mainstream Muslim-American organization would participate in the march.”
Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver’s office has issued a statement denying that he ever agreed to participate in this event. He did meet with members of AMPAC including Rabbi Alam because they are constituents, but he did not agree to participate or speak. And here is the announcement posted on AMPAC’s Facebook page for the march, announcing that Rep. Cleaver would be speaking:
And, of course, Ryan Mauro of the infamous Clarion Project published an article saying that CAIR’s denial that they had anything to do with this AMPAC march is not enough. In fact, Mauro says No matter who is lying, CAIR’s statement on the radical event is far from the condemnation that is necessary. It doesn’t even say that CAIR is against it; only that CAIR is not a part of it. Why would any Muslim or Muslim organization be obligated to issue a condemnation for every small group of nut cases who happen to be Muslim.
Benny Johnson at BuzzFeed published “Million Muslim March” Actually Just A Handful Of 9/11 Truthers The title and the many photographs he provides seem to sum this event up perfectly.
Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989. Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism, and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia. Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan. Biography You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )
Originally published 7/18/2013