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August 13, 2006

MAS Mobilizes Over 30,000 Muslims for March on Washington

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Demonstrators Surround White House as U.N. Resolution for Ceasefire Develops C-Span Re-Cast Set for Sun. 8/13 at 2:46PM By Aishah Schwartz WASHINGTON, DC - Aug. 13, 2006 (MASNET) Saturday's National Emergency March on Washington, in defense of Lebanon and Palestine, bringing over 30,000 Muslims from across the nation, was a huge success. The event, sponsored by the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom), the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, and the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), was broadcast live on C-Span and throughout the Arab world by Al-Jazeera. (Event slideshow here.) Organizers of the event were pleased to see the massive turnout exceeding expectations as busses rolled into Washington, D.C. throughout the morning. MAS chapters provided transportation and buses for this historical event from Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Maryland, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, Iowa, Raleigh, Charlotte, Richmond and Tampa, producing the largest mobilization of the Muslim community since the Bosnian rally and the 2002 rally for Palestine. Throughout the early afternoon Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of conscience made their voices heard in opposition to the Israeli induced atrocities committed in Lebanon and Gaza funded by U.S. tax dollars. Speakers included, Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General; Dr. Clovis Maksoud, Former Ambassador from the Arab League to the U. N, Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC); Dr. Esam Omesh, President, Muslim American Society; Ibrahim Ramey, Muslim Peace Fellowship; Brian Becker, National Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five; member of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation to Louisiana and Texas; Ben Dupuy, Former Ambassador At Large for the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1991-1993); Secretary General of the National Popular Party; Co-Director of Haiti Progress; Mounzer Sleiman, Vice Chair National Council of Arab Americans; Peta Lindsay, National Youth and Student Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; Howard University student; Carl Messineo, attorney and co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice; Eugene Puryear, Co-Coordinator, Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R.; Howard University student; Osama Siblani, Publisher, Arab American news; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Sr. Pastor, Plymouth Congregational Church. President, Ministers for Social and Economic Justice; Magdy Mansur, Muslim Student Association; Dr. Imam AbdurRahman Al-Khalidy, Witness to the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, Vice President of Board of Trustees, Islamic Center, Albany NY; Dr. Ashraf El Bayoumi, Egyptian Committee Against Imperialism and Zionism; Lamis Deek, Al Awda; Hyuk Kyo Suh, Korean Americans against War and Liberalization; Asma Hanif, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations; Amen Al-Baba, Muslim youth; and Yenica Cortes, Party for Socialism and Liberation. The crowd was deeply moved by the story told by 15-year old Amen Al-Baba, an American Muslim of Lebanese descent, who was actually trapped in and witnessed the devastation and violence of the Israeli military bombings. MAS Freedom also co-sponsored rallies in Seattle, San Francisco, L.A. and Kansas City as well as various other cities across the nation, bringing together countless thousands of supporters unable to make the long trip to Washington, but nonetheless just as enthusiastic to be a part of the historic event. "I really believe that the local rallies sponsored by MAS Freedom chapters in over 26 cities really contributed to the massive participation of the Muslim community. Certainly this is a demonstration of the fact that when properly educated and motivated, Muslims are willing to come out under the banner of 'Faith Over Fear and Justice for All', stated MAS Freedom Foundation Executive Director, Mahdi Bray. "I am especially proud of our youth who came out in droves to volunteer in supplying logistical and promotional support for this important event. We wanted to make it clear to the world that American Muslims will not be silent in the face of injustice, be it abroad or at home. However, as I have always said, when the rally ends, the real work begins. MAS Freedom will maintain a proactive campaign in support of justice for those in the Middle East and our community at home," Bray concluded. Despite the Israeli Cabinet approval of U.N. Resolution 1701, as reported live on CNN Sunday morning, MAS Freedom will forge ahead in the outreach component of its Middle East campaign through teach-ins at masjids, churches, schools and various other public venues, because at best, the road to peace and justice will be long, and it remains to be seen if the announced ceasefire will be effective. The stated goal of the U.N. Resolution is to 'change the rules of the game' in order to achieve its objectives by other than military means. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni added, however, that Israel would not relinquish its demand for the return of allegedly kidnapped soldiers. U.N. Resolution 1701 also calls for a ceasefire effective at 8:00 a.m. Beirut time or 1:00 a.m. Eastern time Monday, however, with the Israeli military's recent assault plan now being cut by 7 days, the attacks on southern Lebanon reached a 33-day pinnacle in severity with 28 reported casualties overnight. MAS Freedom wishes to thank its supporters. The campaign seeking justice for the people of Lebanon and Palestine needs your continued support in order to address these issues proactively. If your organization would like to sponsor a speak-in please contact MAS Freedom. Guest speaker information is available on the Muslim American Society's website. If you wish to donate, volunteer or join MAS please contact us at (202) 496-1288. Published by Daily Muslims, IBN News and The Muslim Link. ------------------------------------------------------------- The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at Support our work at MAS Freedom Foundation by mailing a check or money order payable to "MAS Freedom Foundation" at the address below. ------------------------------------------------------------ MAS Freedom Foundation 1050 17th Street NW, Suite 600 Washington, DC 20036 Tel: (202) 496-1288 Fax: (202) 463-0686 URL: http://www.masnet.ort/index_publicaffairs.asp Email:

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