An Albuquerque March for Peace to Condemn the Firebombing of the Islamic Center

Photos and text by DAVID CORREIA

Attacks and vandalism at the Islamic Center of New Mexico on Yale in Albuquerque is not new. It happened again last Friday, when security cameras at the mosque captured video of a group of people throwing a homemade firebomb at the Mosque. In response a number of local organizations held a peace march yesterday, October 30, 2014. Marchers began assembling at 5 PM outside the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
Attacks and vandalism at the Islamic Center of New Mexico on Yale in Albuquerque are not new. It happened again last Friday, when security cameras at the mosque captured video of a group of people throwing a homemade firebomb at the Mosque. In response a number of local organizations held a peace march yesterday, October 30, 2014. Marchers began assembling at 5 PM outside the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
Members of the Islamic Center led the marchers west from Peace & Justice toward Yale where the march turned south toward the Islamic Center.
Sue Schurrman (center), Coordinator of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, and Imam AbdurRauf Campos Marquetti (left) led the marchers west from Peace and Justice toward Yale where the march turned south toward the Islamic Center.
What began as 100 marchers at Peace and Justice quickly swelled to more than 200 by the time marchers reached the half-way point of the march.
What began as 100 marchers at Peace and Justice quickly swelled to more than 200 by the time marchers reached the half-way point of the march.
March monitors, such as Isaac Mitchell (left), blocked traffic when needed and protected marchers as they crossed streets on the way to the Islamic Center.
March monitors, such as Isaac Mitchell (left), blocked traffic when needed and protected marchers as they crossed streets on the way to the Islamic Center.
Murad, who is a member of the Islamic Center, came to New Mexico form Saudi Arabia to attend school at UNM. "I'm told attacks and vandalism have happened before to the mosque, but this is the first time it's happened since I've been here." I asked another member of the Islamic Center who told me that there have been at least five separate incidents in the past 10 years, including burnings of the Quoran in the parking lot, Molotov Cocktails and an attack on the Imam a few years ago in which a man threatened him with a knife in the mosque's parking lot.
Murad, who is a member of the Islamic Center, came to New Mexico from Saudi Arabia to attend school at UNM. “I’m told attacks and vandalism have happened before to the mosque, but this is the first time it’s happened since I’ve been here.” I asked another member of the Islamic Center who told me that there have been at least five separate incidents in the past 10 years, including burnings of the Quran in the parking lot, Molotov Cocktails and an attack on the Imam a few years ago in which a man threatened him with a knife in the mosque’s parking lot.
By the time marchers reached Murad, just a few hundred yards from the Islamic Center, there were more than 250 marchers. "I didn't expect this many marchers," he told me.
By the time marchers reached Murad, just a few hundred yards from the Islamic Center, there were more than 250 marchers. “I didn’t expect this many marchers,” he told me.
The march ended at the Islamic Center, where more than 100 people waiting to greet them.
The march ended at the Islamic Center, where more than 100 people were waiting to greet them. KRQE reported “dozens” marched. The Albuquerque Journal wrote that 100 marched to the Islamic Center. We counted more than 300 by the time the march reached the Islamic Center. I recommend local editors check their reporters for basic math skills.

The Islamic Center prepared seating for a short program.
The Islamic Center prepared seating for a short program.
Meanwhile, on the south side of the Mosque, marchers laid flowers on a table in front of the site of the firebombing.
Meanwhile, on the south side of the Mosque, marchers began laying flowers on a table in front of the site of the firebombing.
After the President of the Islamic Center, Dr. Abdel Rahman Emawy, welcomed marchers to the mosque, he introduced Sue Schuurman, Coordinator of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, one of the organizers of the march. Sue thanked the marchers for attending. "I thought 20 people would come, but look at us!" she told the crowd, which now included more that 300 people. "We're here to replace ignorance with love."
After the President of the Islamic Center, Dr. Abdel Rahman Emawy, welcomed marchers to the mosque, he introduced Sue Schuurman, Coordinator of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, one of the organizers of the march. Sue thanked the marchers for attending. “I thought 20 people would come, but look at us!” she told the crowd, which now included more that 300 people. “We’re here to replace ignorance with love.”

After the short service, the Islamic Center offered food and fellowship for the
After the short service, while children played in the playground, marchers and members of the Islamic Center shared food and fellowship
Before leaving, marchers left flowers at the site of the attack in order to turn a site of hate in a place of beauty.
Before leaving, marchers left flowers at the site of the attack in order to turn a site of hate into a place of beauty.
Advertisements

2 comments

  1. thank you david so much for this wonderful account!

    we are so lucky to have several dedicated community journalists.

    by the way, there’s a photo of us walking with the banner. you identify imam shafi on the left and me in the center. in actuality, imam shafi didn’t join us until half way. the man at left is in fact, my friend, Imam AbdurRauf Campos Marquetti. 🙂 sue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s