9/11 Unity Walk Reaffirmed My Muslim-American Identity

By: Aamir Hussain

September 13, 2011

I was recently able to experience intersections of my religious, national, and ethnic identity at the 9/11 Unity Walk, which marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Houses of worship throughout the Embassy Row area opened their doors and allowed people of all faith and non-faith backgrounds to learn from each other. I entered a Sikh Gurudwara for the first time, and learned about Orthodox Christian mosaics at St. Sophia’s Church.

Some unexpected events happened, too; for example, there was an Adhan (Muslim Call to Prayer) given in a Jewish Synagogue, and “Amazing Grace” and “Marching in the Light of God” were performed by a Gospel Choir at the Islamic Center of Washington.

The day ended with a march from the Islamic Center to the statue of Mohandas Gandhi, where the Mahatma’s grandson Arun Gandhi reflected on the importance of cultivating a culture of nonviolence, and community service in the modern era.

For me, this event reaffirmed my core values as a Muslim-American. Witnessing this strong display of religious solidarity in an era of division and fear was truly inspiring. I truly believe that the interfaith movement is gaining recognition and momentum, and that events like this will set an example for the rest of America, and the rest of the world.

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9/11 Unity Walk Reaffirmed My Muslim-American Identity