Interfaith Rally in Seattle Calls for End to Violence

August 12, 2006

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On August 12, 2006 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, "Shehle Anwar has seen images of the suffering in Lebanon, from a war that has already claimed hundreds of lives. Still, someday soon, she hopes people will be willing to put aside their geographical divisions and political differences, and fighting will end in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. A girl looks back at spectators as she walks to the Idriss Mosque Friday with her mother before the peace march. 'We are all human,' she said. 'Every single human being deserves peace.' That hope drew her and more than 300 others to an interfaith rally and march in Northgate Friday afternoon, organized by members of a Seattle mosque. Though primarily there to promote peace in Lebanon, where Israeli soldiers have been warring with the Hezbollah militia since early July, the marchers also carried signs decrying violence and pleading for peace in other troubled regions, such as Iraq and Darfur. Organizer Aziz Junejo said the rally had been in the works for weeks, but had been postponed after the July 28 shootings at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, in which a gunman professing to be a Muslim killed a woman and seriously wounded five others. Some had questioned whether the rally should be postponed again, after British authorities uncovered an apparent terrorist plot early Thursday involving more than two dozen Muslim men. But the situation in Lebanon was escalating, and the pain felt in the Muslim community was becoming more acute, Junejo said. He decided the rally couldn't wait any longer. 'The Muslim community needs this,' he said. 'And the American public needs to see Muslims respond in a positive, public way to all the violence.' The local Muslim community is not always united, but every mosque in the Puget Sound area sent representatives to the peace rally, he said. Nearby residents also joined in to show their support."