AMV joins Martin Luther King Day
January 19, 2004 - Hundreds of people marched and rallied to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in San Francisco. City leaders, activists, performers and school children walked together from Caltrain's station at 4th and Townsend streets to the Civic Center.
Later a press conference was held by the groups attending the rally. The groups included African Americans, Arab Americans, Latinos, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and Muslims.
Speakers appreciated Martin Luther King’s vision, his dream and his humanitarian efforts to fight for civil liberties and justice for all in non-violent manner. The speakers reflected upon their ideas, what Martin Luther King Jr. will say under the current political situation. The universal message was the message of unity, non-violence and persuasion to continue to fight against the injustices of our administration.
The speakers pointed out that Martin Luther King believed that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King, they added, firmly believed in non-violence which he saw as “the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
Representing the Muslim community, American Muslim Voice Executive Director, Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas, quoting Martin Luther King, said, life begins to end the day you stop talking about things that manner. “I feel fortunate to be among so many friends who have decided to speak against the injustice.”
“Our administration has targeted historically one community at a time and currently Muslims are the target. I feel fortunate that our fellow Americans are standing by us in our plight. If we follow Martin Luther King’s message of unity, our administration will never be able to target anyone of our communities.”
“I didn’t grow up in this country and never had a chance to meet Martin Luther King but I am certain that if he was alive today he would have been here standing with us.
Public reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech
On January 15, the People's Nonviolence Response Coalition organized an outdoor reading of his speech – I have a dream - in front of the Oakland Federal Building in Oakland. Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas, the Executive Director of American Muslim Voice, was also invited to read part of the speech: “Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”