Annual Muslim Day Parade Aims To Promote Interfaith Dialogue
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Hundreds of Muslim New Yorkers gathered in Manhattan yesterday for a parade promoting understanding and cooperation between faiths.
The 25th Annual Muslim Day Parade marched down Madison Avenue.
Many Muslims said they made a special effort to come this year amid controversy surrounding the planned Islamic cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center site.
Organizers say it was a celebration of peace and blessings but also time for Muslims to speak out and protect their rights.
"Stop lying down. The time has come to stand up,” said Muslim Day Parade Chairman Dr. Shafi Bezar. “You stand up and protect your rights."
"We just came here to clarify that we are the average people like everybody else and we are just practicing our religion,” said one parade-goer. “And our religion has the same message as the other religions."
"We are just trying to show that we are a good community to the New Yorkers and everywhere,” said another.
The day's celebrations also included prayer and a bazaar with food, clothing and books from around the world.