Muslim Peace Coalition-USA
September 21, 2010
Press contact: Dr. Shaik Ubaid
The recently concluded Muslim summit in New York had generated extensive media coverage worldwide.
It attracted vitriolic and demonizing attacks by islamophobes who consider the empowerment of Muslims in America as a threat to their interest.
Some of the Muslim leaders wished that the media covering their summit had paid more attention to the climate of hatred spreading all across the country rather than focusing so extensively on Project51. They lamented the fact that the decision to have a nation-wide bridge-building campaign in October this year to have open houses for their masjids (mosques) and their decision to start mobilization for the mammoth October 2nd rally in Washington, DC, that is being organized by One Nation for Peace (, were not covered. The Muslim appreciation of the principled stand by religious leaders, civil rights activist, media commentators and elected officials also did not find much mention in the media.
These leaders vowed to continue with their bridge-building efforts.
Here are some excerpts of statements and controversies from during and after the summit:  
Imam Talib  Al-Hajj Abdur-Rashid who is the 2nd Vice President of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic leadership Council) of New York,encouraged the media not to  focus exclusively on the Park 51controversy. "Masjids (mosques) all over the country are being attacked" he stated. these attacks have been going on before the Park51 project was even announced. He reminded that there was a "musalla" (Muslim prayer space) in the destroyed World Trade Towers, and that lower Manhattan contains hallowed grounds. "Much of the area from South City Hall park over to Broadway was built over the graves of African slaves who are the ancestors of African Americans", he said.  "Many of them were Muslims, so when people demand  that we abdicate their civil and human rights when it comes to building masjids,  it is not fair or acceptable."
Dr. Shaik Ubaid, one of the the media spokesperson explained that Muslims supporting Park51 are doing it not just to safeguard the interests of the community but also are fighting to protect the constitution. Abdicating our first amendment right will not only open up the gates for institutionalization of anti-Muslim bigotry but will weaken the civil rights gains.

"The worst symbolic attack in our nation's history was when the British burnt down the White House in the 1812 war.  The British King was the head of the Church of England yet we have the Saint John's church just across from the White House because the American Episcopalians had nothing to do with the British invasion. Park 51 is not an Al-Qaida office, it is not even a Saudi cultural center!" reminded Dr. Ubaid.  "We hope that the media coverage of the summit is not overshadowed by the Park51 Islamic center controversy.  This controversy and the threat to burn the Quran that held the country hostage, are symptoms of a dangerous disease- religious bigotry and ethnic hatred.  If not countered this hatred will undermine our democracy and continue to sully American image outside.
 Addressing the sensitivities of Americans about ground Zero, Imam Khalid Griggs of North Carolina, who co-chairs the Muslim Peace Coalition declared that "We, American Muslims consider Ground Zero as hallowed grounds. The Islamic Center is not being built on Ground Zero. My ancestors built this nation with their slave labor. I am an American and a Muslim just as Muhammad Ali and Karim Abdul Jabbar are. American Muslim blood too was shed on September 11th.  Therefore, when someone tells me that I cannot have the same rights as other Americans, it brings back the memories of segregation."
The summit leaders vowed to increase their outreach efforts towards other communities and groups. One such effort is the mobilization of Muslims by the Muslim Peace Coalition-USA, a participant in the summit, to attend the October 2nd rally in Washington, DC. the rally is being organized by One Nation United ( ) and sponsored by 175 groups.  Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, the chairman of World Parliament of Religions and a speaker at the Muslim Summit has blessed this mobilization by the coalition.  The Muslim Peace Coalition, with the support of Imam Mujahid, will be requesting the summit to support the rally which many national Muslim organizations have already endorsed. The coalition is an alliance of Muslim communities from 15 states and growing.