[ The following were my remarks given at the Universal Rally for Peace, which was held Friday December 4, 2015 at One Government Center in Toledo, Ohio]
Good Afternoon! We have come here today to demonstrate publically that-quite frankly- to proclaim that WE ARE TIRED of what we are constantly seeing. Constantly, we are inundated with acts of violence in the name of religion or being associated with religion.
Religion teaches us that God is Just, and that likewise he demands justice in his creation. That makes sense, because God cares for all that He has created!
The Qur'an, the scripture given to the Prophet Muhammad, tells us that justice is an attribute of those who truly believe and proclaim their acknowledgement of God. For those who are interested, this statement is in chapter 3:18.
This statement is an evidence! The one who strives to bring injustice, usurping, talking away the lives of innocents, that person DOES NOT represent the Divine will.
We are here to proclaim that enough is enough. We speak not only of San Bernardino, California, but also of Beirut, Mali, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Ferguson, Missouri and Charleston, South Carolina!
There is a universal culture of violence in today's world. The actions and the results are the same, regardless of the identities of the victims or the perpetrators. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said "an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere."
So while we have focused upon what is grabbing the headlines globally, yet there were 355 mass shootings this year alone, as Pastor Heilman as already pointed out. So it's not a Jewish or Muslim or Christian problem, it is a world problem!
We need to be humans, to act as humans and return to the healthy ethos given by God's guidance. God says in the Qur'an, as well as in the Bible, that he who takes a life, it is as if he has killed off all humanity. He also says that life has been made sacred, so it is not to be taken. God also says in the Qur'an that he has given nobility to all human beings.
So reform is needed. The Voice of Peace and Justice must be LOUD. It MUST drown out the voices of chaos, bigotry and ignorance.
So let us work for peace and justice to prevail on Earth. Let us humans, of all faiths and of no faith, return to sanity, to that which our faith ultimately calls us towards.