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What is the Million Muslim March and who is behind it? (EDIT)

Posted by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM
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 EDIT: Ok Shit is getting real stupid on Face Book over this now ... Go figure. If you have a page please copy/paste the link and share it all over. Thanks.

First of all I owe Allah, the Muslim community, and the group an apology. I jumped the gun last week in the post about the Million Muslim March and defended it without having heard of it or the organization. I have asked around as well as done my own research on the march and the organization behind it. And it turns out it is not even a legit organization and has never been voted on or approved as a legit Muslim organization.

Due to the length of the post I had to divide it. The first reply is the continuation.

AMPAC “Million Muslim March” all hype and no substance

by Sheila Musaji


US News & World Report just 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.

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.

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a-million-muslim-march

by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM
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muslimah
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM
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 Second half of original post

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.


UPDATE 8/16/2013

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 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.”

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.


UPDATE 8/22/2013

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 ...

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.

 

********************

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 )

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a-million-muslim-march

SherryBerry106
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:49 AM
1 mom liked this

good

candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:56 AM

My husband told me about this.   He had heard about it on the radio.

muslimah
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:39 AM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting candlegal:

My husband told me about this.   He had heard about it on the radio.

 Well apparently nobody is interested in knowing. That would kill all the fun of bitchen, pissing and moaning.

candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

You are probably right.   Actually, I was wrong, he heard about this guy on EWTN, not the radio.

Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting candlegal:

My husband told me about this.   He had heard about it on the radio.

 Well apparently nobody is interested in knowing. That would kill all the fun of bitchen, pissing and moaning.


muslimah
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting candlegal:

You are probably right.   Actually, I was wrong, he heard about this guy on EWTN, not the radio.

Quoting muslimah:

 

Quoting candlegal:

My husband told me about this.   He had heard about it on the radio.

 Well apparently nobody is interested in knowing. That would kill all the fun of bitchen, pissing and moaning.


 

 The American Muslim community is distancing them self from this thing as far as they can. They want nothing to do with it. This guy is a nobody. In the Muslim community to have any kind of legitimacy with anything like this there are political channels you must go through. It has to be presented before a bored backed by legit recognized and approved organizations, the bored has to approve it and then there has to be a vote on it. The Muslim community is represented by Muslim organizations all of which are pretty much related and have been through the process of approval.

This guy and his so called self made organization has not been through those channels to be considered a legit Muslim organization and from what I have found of him and his hand full of followers they would never get an approval.

Why do you think there are only like 40 or 50 people signed up for this thing? If this was something through the legit organizations like MAS ISNA IANA MMA etc there are too many to name but all are related with millions of members and if it was through them there would be millions showing up for this

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM
2 moms liked this

 Thank you for clearing that up for us.   It appears the media did not bother to get enough background on this 'fake' group, or they wouldn't have been all up in arms over this mini protest.  Unfortunately, they just gave a lot of free publicity to this non-event.

billsfan1104
by Jules on Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:29 PM
1 mom liked this
I was kinda upset about his march, when I first heard about it. Especially since my Dad was a a survivor.
With that being said, when I saw who was doing it, it was a non issue after that.
Kristi831
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

As always, thank you Muslimah, for your input.  

Aestas
by Gold Member on Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM
2 moms liked this

It irritates me that these nutjobs are trying to use the American Muslim community to further their whackadoodle agenda, and it irritates me even more that some right-wingers are running with it to try to legitimize their Islamaphobia, despite the fact that these guys obviously do not represent American Muslims.

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