CAIR-LA Joins Civil Rights Organizations in OC MLK March

Fifty years ago, Dr Martin Luther King spoke a famous line from his legendary “I Have a Dream Speech” in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the historic March on Washington. He said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Last Sunday, September 1, that speech was commemorated by a march and rally at Santa Ana’s Sasscer Park in which CAIR-LA joined nearly 30 civil rights and community-based organizations to reflect upon and honor the legacy left by Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

Around 200 people participated in the march, which took place at 5 th Street and Ross Street in Downtown Santa Ana. CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush spoke at the rally, alongside community leaders who gave eyewitness accounts of the 1963 march and reflected on the next steps to fulfill the promise of liberty and justice for all.

Ayloush delivered an invocation in which he expressed the support of American Muslims in the fight for equality, as well as the hope that America, as a nation, will be able to fully realize Dr King’s dream in the near future.

Recently, the executive director of CAIR’s Washington DC chapter Nihad Awad wrote about the stubborn remnants of racism and bigotry that plague America today in the forms of voter suppression campaigns, racial and religious profiling , the targeting of undocumented immigrants, and bigotry such as Islamophobia .

Awad elaborated that Islamophobia -- whether expressed in the form of unconstitutional anti-Islam bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide or spewed by anti-Muslim hate bloggers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer -- is just the latest manifestation of the same intolerance faced by Dr King and other civil rights leaders of his time.

“After 50 years, the Civil Rights Movement is at a crucial juncture,” Awad wrote. “American Muslims are now part of that movement and we stand ready to do our part in the never-ending struggle for justice undertaken by Dr King and men and women like him throughout our nation's history.”

American Muslim organizations, like CAIR and other groups, continue to join coalitions in defense of the rights of American Muslims, and Americans of all backgrounds, in an effort to actualize the preservation and promotion of civil rights and equal treatment under the law for all.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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