Here’s something you don’t hear about every day, via The Washington Post:
Hundreds of Shiite Muslims turned a major annual spiritual ritual into an anti-terrorism rally Sunday, marching, singing and praying for hours from trendy Dupont Circle to the White House as tourists and brunch-goers rubbernecked. Connecticut Avenue was a sea of black as Shiites mostly from the D.C. region waved banners with the name of their spiritual forefather, Imam Hussein, and pounded their chests with their fists simultaneously as an expression of mourning. His martyrdom 1,400 years ago is a major part of Shiite narrative and a defining event in the break between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and is marked annually. A few days ago, more than 22 million Shiites and others visited the Iraqi city of Karbala in a pilgrimage to the place where Hussein died. But this year the event twinned as a peace march. Muslims — including head-covered women, young children and hipsters with man buns on hoverboards — held signs condemning terrorism and the Islamic State and handed out hot chocolate and doughnuts in an effort to open conversations with passersby.“What’s happening now is we feel even more compelled to come out of our homes,” said Zehra Raza, 27, an electrical engineer from Alexandria, Va., who was at the rally with her husband.The crowd was smaller than in past years, she and others said, because many Muslims were afraid of being harassed or targeted with violence.
Meantime, Religion News Service posted this report:
Muslims in the West must step up and admit terrorism is rooted in extremist Islam, said four Muslim panelists speaking at a conservative think tank on Thursday (Dec. 3).
They criticized major U.S. Muslim groups that lament such tragedies but say their religion is not responsible. They insisted the violence has roots in Islam, and that Islamist political terror is nurtured in Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahhabi branch of the faith. And they blasted the Obama administration for steadfastly refusing to brand terror as Islamic extremism. President Obama decried the deaths and pledged a thorough investigation of the attack but cautioned against setting blame based on the killers’ Muslim names. “President Obama simply does not embrace reality,” said Farahnez Ispahani, a former member of the Pakistani Parliament and author of an upcoming book on that Pakistan’s religious minorities. She mocked the way that the administration responds to attacks. Rather than calling in progressive Muslim leaders in U.S civil society, she said: “They call in imams and they hold an interfaith event and they are all happy. “But there is no clear ideological campaign to fight ISIS or Islamists,” she said, to a smattering of applause in the audience of about 50 people. Islam has been “hijacked” and people are afraid if they admit it, it will spark Islamophobia, Ispahani said. “Terror is a Muslim issue, an Islamic issue within the house of Islam,” said M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, “and we must own it” to fight it. He moderated the event held at the Heritage Foundation, which had been planned after the Paris attacks.
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