Members of the Muslim community in Columbia gathered with the larger community yesterday to emphasize the importance of peace in the world.
KBIA’s Carah Hart has this report on how some Mid-Missourians worked to bridge religious and racial barriers in a march of peace.
One hundred pairs of feet brush along a green carpet inside the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. These feet belong to one hundred Mid-Missourians concerned about world peace in conjunction to September 11.
“There were victims from all over the globe and I think sometimes in the heat of the moment that aspect tended to be forgotten.”
Morgan Matsiga is a resident originally from Africa. He says there were people from his country who lost their lives in the trade center attacks.
“We have to acknowledge our differences and also celebrate that one is of humanity and that is what is so sad about 9/11. The event happened and it was a shock not just to American society, but worldwide.”
A panel of eight religious leaders takes their seats toward the front of the room. Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid joins them. The crowd sits on the green carpet. Each religious leader remembers the day of terrorism and acknowledges similarities in religion.
As the meeting adjourns, the group gathers for a march of peace. Across the busy side streets of downtown Columbia young and old hold flowers to remember those who lost their lives.
As the group reaches the Boone County Courthouse, they find a seat around the courthouse square. The crowd is asked to pledge their peace. They are encouraged to become active in stopping the war.
For the peace groups, a decade of remembering September 11 as patriotism is important. Some think, perhaps not as important as the reminder of having a reminder that we are all Americans and each of us deserves to be at peace.
“Too many people have lost their lives. Too many lives have been disrupted. It’s really time to end that cycle of violence and create a future that’s more peaceful and cooperative.”