Global human rights organizations stand hand-in-hand with local Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP, Call for Community-wide #BlackLivesMatter #MuslimLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter “Peace Rally” at Miller Park in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Sunday, February 15
In the wake of today’s murder of three Muslim students at UNC Chapel Hill, global human rights organizations speak out against violence and hate crimes targeted at Muslims:
Acts of violence and terrorism are perpetrated by “extremists” of all races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds who claim “religion” as their cause, from the Christian “extremists” who are burning people alive in Central African Republic to the “extremist” terrorist organizations that have grown out of the Middle East like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
We as Western Americans must ask ourselves the question, what has paved the way for the rise of this terrorism, both here and around the world?
The violence perpetrated against these three Muslims students at UNC also serves as a stark reminder of the recent local story of another Muslim student Hassan Elnour, who was studying in University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s engineering program, and who went missing and then was found dead, washed up on Maclellan Island in the middle of the Tennessee River, less than one month ago in January 2015.
From recent rallies and public forums in New York City to Washington, D.C. to U.C. Berkeley, global human rights organizations Gandhi Global Center for Peace, Egyptians Abroad for Democracy Worldwide, CODEPINK, Gandhi’s Be Magazine have been participating in the rise of global movements and events taking a stand for freedom, democracy, human rights, and social justice here in the United States and around the world.
CALL TO ACTION!
In light of the murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff, the three Muslim students at UNC, and the death of the Muslim UTC student here locally, a growing global sentiment of violence, racism, and hatred has been swelling that must end.
A call is being sent out to the entire community of the greater Chattanooga area–Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, all faiths–to join in solidarity with global movements speaking out for freedom, democracy, human rights, and social justice here and around the world.
A local peace rally will be held this Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. E.S.T. at Miller Park to take a stand against all violence, including the ongoing violence right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a city and state which have recently been named one of the most violent in the United States.
WHAT: #BlackLivesMatter #MuslimLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter Peace Rally
WHERE: Miller Park “the People’s Park” (located at 850 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402)
WHEN: This Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. E.S.T.
It is time we begin a local and national dialogue about stopping violence and terrorism, period. We must move forward together with respect, nonviolence, and peace for all people, no matter our diverse backgrounds, religions, or races, before it is too late.
Mohamed Ahmed Ismail, Coordinator, Egyptians Abroad for Democracy Worldwide said: “We must stand together hand-in-hand and condemn all violence, no matter our background, religion, or race. In light of recent political events, we, as Egyptians Abroad for Democracy Worldwide, feel compelled to deliver a message to all Western countries. Some across the Western world have been continuously putting the blame on extremist groups for the many atrocities that take place today. While this may be true to a certain extent, we as a group must look into the cause of how these groups, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, were created in the first place. More importantly, what paved the way for the rise of these terrorists?”
Missy Crutchfield, Editor-in-Chief, Gandhi’s Be Magazine and Co-Founder, Gandhi Global Center for Peace said: “The violence and hatred must end. We must stop pointing fingers at Muslims, and labeling them all as ‘terrorists.’ Our movement of nonviolent revolution is absolutely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Whatever happens to the least of us, happens to all of us, and no movement leader exemplified that message more than Gandhi. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was inspired by Gandhi, said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And, with the struggles of Apartheid in South Africa, Mandela used Gandhian nonviolence to win the battle for justice there. Today, we are still fighting racism and hate, but also an increasing war over religion. Gandhi also said, ‘An eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind.’ We must learn to love our brothers and sisters as we are taught by the masters, who we profess to follow in our individual faiths. We must stop the hypocrisy and embrace our humanity. Only then, can we realize: we are one.”
Dr. Elenora Woods, President, Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP said: “The NAACP represents all people and we stand for justice and equality for everyone. We really want our 2015 message and moving forward to be: ‘All Lives Matter.’ We have a serious problem in Chattanooga. Our African-American communities are toxic. When you wake up in the morning and you hear that our African-American youth are dead and nobody says anything? That is wrong. But, what is equally wrong is the way our Muslim brothers and sisters are treated, and the recent killings of the three Muslim students strikes a deep chord in the African-American heart and spirit. I challenge all of our NAACP members to join in this protest Sunday and make a statement that the violence must stop. And we must never forget the words of our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he reminds us that ‘We are All God’s Children’.”