Hundreds of men, women, and children who practice Islam marched through central London during the UK Arbaeen Procession on Sunday to call for peace and unity.
The march, organized every year by the Husaini Islamic Trust UK, is a celebration of Imam Husain – a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed Muslims revere as a prophet who died fighting terrorism.
On its website, organizers wrote they aimed for a “peaceful and successful procession and to cement a bond of unity and friendship between people of all ages and cultures under the banner of love for the Holy Household.”
Mohammed Al-Sharifi, a part-time activist and regular volunteer at The Husaini Trust told Unilad, “We can still apply the same principles today when we are terrorized by the likes of ISIS. The message applies now more than ever to current issues.”
He added, “We are trying to undo people’s misconceptions about Islam – this a multi-faith event and we are trying to promote universal human values.”
Hundreds of Muslims flooded the streets of London yesterday to condemn terrorism. Media’s response: Silence. RT pic.twitter.com/ACDxXc9D1L
— Mohammed Al-Sharifi (@Malsharifi) December 7, 2015
Mohammed believes the march was not covered by the media because the media is reluctant to give a platform to moderate Muslims.
“It’s never covered because it’s not juicy,” said Mohammed. “If a Muslim does something juicy it goes viral, it’s front page news.”
Mohammed is also involved in the #NO2ISIS official Facebook page, which has gathered over 17,000 likes since the terrorist group first came into existence.
He said, “I’ve never met anyone who is pro-ISIS, 99% of Muslims just want to lead peaceful lives, you know, have a coffee with friends. This is the message we want to get out there.”
On the other end of the world, dozens of Muslims in Kansas City, Missouri gathered one day earlier on Saturday afternoon for their own annual celebration for Imam Husain — but this year they too had a very important addition to their message.
“This year is different because we want to show people what Islam is all about,” said Salam Ghafli, a Muslim who lives in Kansas City. “Islam is all about peace, nothing but peace,” he added.
“We stand for what he died for, which is people’s freedom, tolerance and acceptance of people that are different than you,” said Ghafli.
The Shia group marched from Kessler Park to their mosque, the Al-Kahf Islamic Center, while carrying signs condemning terrorism and ISIS.
More signs promoted peace, hoping to help their fellow Americans understand that they support the U.S. in their fight against terrorism and that they believe the religion claimed by terrorists is not true Islam.
“We’re here for peace. We are against ISIS. We plant flowers, we don’t plant bombs. We love peace. We’re good American citizens. We work, we pay taxes. This is our little community the majority from Iraq, Saudi Arabia. We’re here for every innocent person who got killed,” said Huda Alesawi, a preschool teacher.
“99% percent of the Islam world condemns terrorists and the terrorists are very minority in Islam. And not the real Islam. The true Islam is peace,” said Abraham Alsalman, a local Muslim who helped lead the two-mile march.