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March 6: Russell Simmons to Lead “I am a Muslim, Too” Rally

An interfaith march to stand up to institutionalized bigotry against Muslims.


(The Boombox)

On March 6, Russell Simmons plans to lead over 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental and civil liberties groups in a rally that supports Muslim rights within the U.S. The gathering, an apparent response to Congressional hearings by Peter King (R-LI), aims to show a united American community with full cooperation amongst various religions. It will take place at New York City’s Times Square at 2PM EST.

“As invested Americans, we acknowledge the important work of the Congressional Committee on Homeland Security,” said Russell Simmons in a statement previewing the event. “However, we’re concerned the hearings will send the wrong message and alienate American Muslims instead of partnering with them, potentially putting their lives at risk by inciting fear and enmity.”

Guests at the rally will include a wide assortment of imams, rabbis, priests and many other religious and community leaders. Simmons jumped on board because he was alarmed at the “demonzation of an entire community.” He also hopes to build signatures on a petition sent to house majority and minority leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi that protests “the bias evident in King’s hearings.”

These hearings specifically dealt with the “radicalization of Muslims in America.” Representative King has been widely criticized for having political motives rather than encouraging cooperation and social improvement.

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  • Jasmine

    Khushboo, Russell Peters isn’t Muslim either.
    But anyone who is willing to stand with a group so vilified as Muslims are today is good in my book.
    It’s actually what we need: a non-Muslim to support and speak out for the community. It’s kind of expected to have Muslims protesting this and standing up and say, “Look, I’m a good American and I’m not a terrorist” etc. Having a non-Muslim say there’s nothing to fear, that Muslims are alright gives us more credibility. (However, it absolutely does not exempt us from taking initiatives to combat Islamophobia!)

  • Khushboo

    OH! I was thinking Russell Peters, the comedian. They share the same name. So sorry!

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq


    are you sure? it seems like you have him confused with Dave Chappelle here..didn’t know he(Simmons) was a Muslim or a convert/revert. As far as i know he is a New Age type Hindu/Buddhist who practices transcendental meditation. If i am wrong i will be the first to say takbir(!) Could you provide a source or link?

    Anyway i was just saying that if an actual Muslim said “i am a Muslim too”, meaning ” I’m Muslim,do you guys hate me too?”, then organized a rally behind this concept, it would have more resonance in the community. Besides, i believe everyone is born Muslim anyway, so i don’t have a problem with Russell Simmons’ good deed in principle :)

    Allahu A’lam

  • Dan

    I’m going to blast out the track he did with the late Bruce Haack called ‘Party Machine’ from 1983 in honor of Simmons.

  • Khushboo

    Muhammad, Russell Simmons is an “actual Muslim celebrity”. He’s a very good comedian and is doing a very good deed. I wish more Muslim celebrities thought of that. I would love for Kareem Abdul Jabar, Dave Chappelle, and Asif Mandvi to join in.

  • Garo

    Gadaffi is an international fugitive and criminal and should be treated as such. Using Jett fighter airplanes and military tanks against his own people is not only unconscienable,it is criminal because his people,who protested against his rule of 41 years,were unarmed civilians.

  • Mosizzle

    Also Jack Cope, Gaddafi offered them plenty of money. I suppose that was enough for the celebrities to entertain a murderous family.

  • Jack Cope

    It may well be the one who went to the Qadaffi son’s party, so what? Loads of people went to that guy’s parties, he was very popular about them and very good at fooling people with his false pretenses.

  • Harry

    Success with the March!
    And together with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist and others we will march for accepting Islam as one of the religions in US. It is our duty to accept the constitution of US, where religions are free and accepeted.
    Together we make US, not by destroying the Islam and Muslims.
    Go on!

  • TheDemiprist

    I like interfaith dialogues and events,
    it’s good for the general community. :)

  • GiveMeABreak

    This is the same Russell Simmons that attended the Qadaffi son New Years Eve party, right?

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    While i do appreciate this gesture, truly, i believe it would be much more effective if an actual American Muslim celebrity, like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, organized something like this. Many non-Muslims seem to be keen to accept them as exceptions to the i hate/fear Muslims anyway.Plenty of people who i used to be friends were very shocked to learn that i reverted to Islam, some 13 odd years ago. when an actual Muslim that Americans admire/respect stands up and says ‘i am Muslim too” it would make all the difference.

    Allahu A’lam

  • jacque

    Darn, March 6. I wish I would have known beforehand. I would have flown there.

  • Khushboo

    Throw in Chapelle and I’ll join! 😀

  • mindy1

    I can’t go, I will be there in spirit. 😉

  • Cynic

    Wow, this is the kind of stuff people need to do. We need to get off our asses and organize something. Those who hate us have no problems finally getting some fresh air and protesting our mere existence.

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