A few dozen demonstrators attending a rally on the Mall once billed as the Million Muslim March were vastly outnumbered Wednesday by a Christian group objecting to their event and a counterprotest consisting of motorcycle riders honoring Sept. 11 victims.
The noon rally, called the Million American March Against Fear took place between 13th and 14th streets in Northwest and was sponsored by the American Muslim Political Action Committee.
Speakers — among them author and Princeton University professor Cornel West — struck mainstream themes, calling for social justice for Muslims while promoting peace and condemning violence. Attendees also held a moment of silence to honor Sept. 11 victims.
Ruby Sous, from Kansas City, stressed that Muslims and American-Muslims “stand with America against terrorism.” “We want to stand here in solidarity with the American people against hate and violence,” she said.
But other speakers addressed fringe topics, condemning what they called the use of U.S. tax dollars to kill innocent people in the Middle East and advancing conspiracy theories around the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.