Muslim Hoosiers Condemn Recent Terrorism, Support Education and Freedom of Expression

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Muslim Hoosiers Condemn Recent Terrorism, Support Education and Freedom of Expression

Rally Open to People of All Faiths in Solidarity with Victims of Terrorism Everywhere Led by Muslims for Sanctity of Life, Freedom of Expression, Universal Education, and Religious Liberty

(Indianapolis, IN, 1/19/15) On Wednesday, January 21st, a group of Muslims and people of many faiths in Indianapolis are planning to hold a rally in support of freedom of expression, universal education, and religious liberty. The event will take place at the IUPUI Democracy Plaza. People of all faiths are warmly welcome to join in conversation, prayer, and solidarity.

WHAT: Indianapolis Rally Against Terrorism
WHERE: Democracy Plaza, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
CONTACT: Annie Hayat [[email protected]]
Parking is available in visitor parking garages on campus.

The recent horrific spate of terrorist murders in Nigeria, France and elsewhere claimed in the name of Islam contradicts its teachings on universal education and freedom. The Quran’s first revelation is a call to ‘read’, as ‘your Lord .. taught with the pen.’ The Prophet Muhammad said that “seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female”, and, by some reports, said “seek knowledge, even unto China”, referring to secular knowledge. He arranged for non-Muslim prisoners to earn their freedom by teaching Muslim children to read and write. For centuries, Muslims have sought the sciences of all other civilizations and built upon them. Boko Haram and the Taliban have cast themselves out of this endeavor, but will never thwart it.

The Prophet of Islam was continually mocked and often assaulted during his years of preaching. He endured these personal attacks and taught his followers to forgive, flee if necessary, and to make peace. He prayed for and worked for people’s welfare, even that of his assailants, and taught his followers to not mock the symbols of other faiths. The criminals who have murdered or threatened writers, journalists, and cartoonists in Europe and elsewhere have utterly abandoned the gentle example of the Prophet. The power of education, scholarship, and free expression has been immensely valued in Islamic civilization, recognizing that the pen is ultimately mightier than weapons of violence. There is absolutely no justification in Islam for the killing of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and Jewish shoppers in France, schoolchildren in Pakistan, worshippers in Jerusalem, or innocent people of all faiths in Nigeria and other nations.

While denouncing terrorism, the rally is intended to reinforce support of sanctity of life, freedom of expression, universal education, and religious liberty. These are positive values that Muslims not only share with all humanity, but indeed helped to take shape over the centuries. The rally was conceived by a group of Indianapolis-area Muslims and is co-sponsored by a growing list of local organizations: Butler University Muslim Student Association, Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations, Indianapolis Muslim Community Association, Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, IQRA Center of Indiana, Islamic Society of North America, IUPUI Local Global Peace Network, IUPUI Muslim Student Association, Masjid Al Fajr, Masjid Al-Mu’mineen, Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Muslim Volunteers of America, Nur-AllahIslamic Center, Rise for America, Veterans for Peace.

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