Remarks of Imam Khalid Griggs,
Co-Chair Muslim Peace Coalition, USA at One Nation Rally at the Lincoln Memorial October 2, 2010
I greet you in a universal supplication and greeting of peace, a greeting extended to one another by 1.5 billion Muslims around the world; people from all nationalities, ethnicities, races, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds. Assalaamu alaykum.
Much has been said in recent weeks about sacred ground. But on this day, in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, we declare that we are standing on sacred ground. The same sacred ground that the world-renowned African American contralto Marian Anderson stood on in 1939 and serenaded over 75,000 people after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let her sing in Constitution Hall because of the color of her skin.
The same sacred ground that over 250,000 representatives of the progressive religious community, and civil rights and labor movements gathered on in front of this memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The joyful noise heard on this occasion resonated throughout the halls of Congress and the streets and alleyways of this land until America’s dark citizens were finally freed of many of the legal shackles that prevented their full citizenship.
The same sacred ground that over 100,000 Vietnam War protestors gathered on October 21, 1967 to protest our government’s pursuit of an unholy war of devastation that created widows, orphans, mentally and physically handicapped and dead soldiers on both sides of the conflict while diverting precious resources from our national education, employment, and social service needs.
The same sacred ground that over one million African American men stretched from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial on October 16, 1995 to recommit themselves to their families, crime and violence-free lifestyles, and positive work in our communities.
It is sacred ground because the religion of Islam teaches that God is on the side of the oppressed. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad the son of Abdullah, taught for the mighty and powerful to be particularly careful how they treat the weak and oppressed because there is nothing standing between the prayers of the oppressed and God, and God answers the supplications of the oppressed.
So, One Nation Working Together makes this ground sacred today. We are lifting up God’s Name and championing the victims of uncontrolled corporate greed, an out-of-control military and prison industrial complex, and misguided education policies. It must be so, God-willing.
Fight Islamophobia by working with those who stand with us!
There are a number of commercial options when traveling to DC, including flights, trains, and buses.
Washington DC is accessible by 3 main airports: Reagan National (DCA), Dulles (IAD), and Baltimore-Washington (BWI). Of these, DCA is the closest to the city and is accessible by metro. There are buses, taxis, and shared-ride vans from all three airports. Check each of the airport’s websites to find more details.