Washington, DC – Days after the conclusion of the UN-sponsored International Day of Peace, the much advertised ‘Islam on Capitol Hill’ prayer event was held Friday, Sept 25 in Washington, DC. The prayer took place at the site where President Obama was inaugurated, below the steps of the US Capitol’s West Front. The ‘Islam on Capitol Hill’ website listed its purpose: .»..to invite the Muslim communities and friends of Islam to express and illustrate the wonderful diversity of Islam.»
Although event organizers publicized an attendee goal of 50,000 Muslims, an unofficial count of 5,000 showed up for the traditional Friday congregational prayer. A number of Christian protesters took to the sidelines to grasp the attention of the Muslim participants, through pamphlets and chants expressing their dissatisfaction with the event and many misconceptions about Al-Islam.
Participating members of the United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF) took advantage of the occasion, and in an odd turn of events, engaged in dialogue with several protesters to stress the need for unity between Muslims and Christians above dissention and mistrust. The cooperative discussions centered around the Second to Last Prophet of Islam, Jesus, Son of Mary (Peace be upon him). UMCF was founded by El Sheikh Syed Mubarak Ali Gilani, Vice
Chancellor of the International Qur’anic Open University, to organize open dialogue sessions, joint community events, symposia and even prayer events that unify Muslims and Christians, by highlighting the foundation of both
religions – belief in Almighty God.
After the prayer event, chatter amongst attendees showed many enjoyed the beauty of Muslims gathering at the seat of American government, but for some, Islam on Capitol Hill fell short, not only in numbers, but in the message delivered; some preferred to see events designed to unify and promote peaceful coexistence amongst Muslims and Christians.