These are interesting times here in Lodi.
With the town still buzzing about the arrest of two suspects on terrorism related charges
and three more suspects behind bars for immigration violations, controversial Sacramento talk radio host Mark Williams
is leaning on Lodi to help organize a July march of Muslims to renounce terrorism.("A `Million Muslim March` for Lodi?
" by M.S. Enkoji, Sacramento Bee
, June 22, 2005)
The tentative plan is to have Muslims march on the city streets between the mosque and City Hall.
Lodi Mayor John Beckman has turned responsibility for organizing the event to the "Breakthrough Project,"
a coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish congregations dedicated to "breaking through walls of hate and prejudice."
On his show and weblog, Williams has repeatedly exhorted Muslims to stand with Americans
against terrorism….something that the nation has been hoping
to see since 2001.
Local Muslims are not warm to the idea. They claim that they have been strongly anti-terrorism since 9/11 but have never been able to convince Williams.
Basim ElKarra, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
of Sacramento Valley, claims his organization
has an online petition signed by 688,560 people who have denounced terrorism.
Ironically, Williams and the Breakthrough Project board members may know the same thing: that Muslims are unlikely to participate in a march for a variety of reasons.
A poorly attended
"Million Muslim March" would generate fodder for Williams` show—perhaps his objective—and embarrass Lodi`s Muslim community.
But at the same time, it would partially answer the question of the hour in Lodi: what side
is the majority of our Islamic community on regarding the war on terrorism?
The guess from this corner: look for the Million Muslim March concept to never leave the ground.