NEW YORK, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Community and religious leaders, local officials and celebrities will join together to protest the targeting of American Muslims and Arabs in upcoming congressional hearings in support of equitable civil rights for the Today, I Am a Muslim, Too, rally. The physical event will take place on Sunday, March 6th in Times Square (42nd Street and 7th Avenue), New York City. Throughout the weekend, a virtual rally will commence online through social media networks with supporters and influencers – including Russell Simmons, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Rachel Roy – showing their support by taking to Twitter and posting the hashtag #Mar6.
"By making this a virtual rally artists, actors, fashion designers and other influencers, that are unable to attend the event in Times Square can help us reach tens of millions of other people with their following," said Russell Simmons, Chairman of Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. "It's my prayer that this effort will start a process to eliminate the horrible sickness that is islamaphobia that is so prevalent in this country today.
Taking place in response to upcoming Congressional hearings led by Peter King (R-LI), a broad coalition of over 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental, and civil liberties groups will come together in person and online in support of equitable civil rights. Rally-goers will stand together against bigotry caused by anxiety, misinformation, and ignorance, to show Congress a united American community which seeks to strengthen – not dilute – our bonds of friendship and trust. Organizers of this rally believe one can be a loyal Muslim as well as a loyal American without conflict.
Other celebrities that are expected to show their support through the weekend include; Juelz Santana, Kimora Lee Simmons & Djimon Hounsou, Adrien Grenier, Cory Booker, Susan Sarandon, Common, Swizz Beatz, Jermaine Dupri, Lorraine Bracco, John Legend, Heather Graham, Jim Jones, Kelly Bensimon, Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Run, Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian, Reverend Jesse Jackson Congressman Charles Rangel and many more.
In addition to Simmons and Rabbi Schneier, additional guests expected to appear include; Imam Shamsi Ali (Islamic Cultural Center), Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (Cordoba Initiative), Rev. Bob Chase (Intersections), Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein (Central Synagogue), Katherine Henderson (Auburn Theological Seminary), Rev. Chloe Breyer (Interfaith Center of New York), Rev. Amandus J. Derr (St. Peter's Church), and many other religious, community, and political leaders. There will also be a performance by UN Goodwill Ambassador Salman Ahmad of Junoon Band.
Alarmed at the demonization of an entire community, hundreds of civil liberties groups have signed letters opposing the hearings as they are currently planned, including a petition circulated by Faith in Public Life. On February 1, 2011 a letter to House Majority and Minority Leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, protesting the bias evident in King's hearings.
SOURCE Russell Simmons