The demonstration, called the "Million Muslim March," was organized by the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) under claims that Muslims nationwide have been victims of anti-Islamic bigotry in the years that ensued the al-Qaida terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil.
"On 9.11.01 our country was forever changed by the horrific events in New York. The entire country was victimized by the acts done on that day," the group said in a statement. "Muslim and Non Muslim alike were traumatized but we as Muslims continue 12 years later to be victimized by being made the villains. To this day every media outlet and anti Islamic organization has committed slanderous and libel statements against us as Muslims and our religion of Islam."
"Yet our Government either sits idly by and does nothing to protect our freedoms or it exacerbates the problem with its constant war on terrorism in Islamic countries, congressional hearings on Islam in America, and its changes to the NDAA law," the statement says.
At one point the group attempted to change the controversial name of the march to "Million American March Against Fear," but later reversed to the original title as the second one didn't get much traction.
While speaking to Fox News on Thursday, one of the march organizers, M.D. Rabbi Alam, said the movement aimed to "show America that we Muslims denounce terrorism."
Critics, on the other hand, claim that the U.S. has gone through great lengths to differentiate between Islam and Islamic extremists since the 2001 attacks.
"They're basically a bunch of 'truthers' who think that America's to blame for everything," Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the Islamic Forum for Democracy, told Fox News on Friday.
"These guys are problematic and they're trying to exploit 9/11," Jasser said. "If they were truly patriotic Americans and moderates, they'd be marching on the courthouse steps of the Fort Hood trial that's happening this week to tell Americans that we want the death penalty for Nidal Hissan rather than this circus that they're doing in exploiting the murders and horrific acts of 9/11."
"America has gone on to liberate Muslims," he continued. "They gave our families freedom that we could not have in any so-called Muslim countries."
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