A message from Dr. John Abd al-Qadr Davies:
Whether inauguration day on Friday was a difficult day for you or not, you can take heart from what followed on Saturday. The Women’s March on Washington and its companion marches in every state of the nation and around the world were held in close to 700 cities.
The gathering was bigger and more inspiring than anything I’ve seen in Washington, an estimated 500,000 spilling way beyond the national mall (almost triple the inauguration crowd according to crowd scientists, though still short of Obama 2008), with another 750,000 in LA, and several cities with 100-250,000, well over two million in the US alone.
There was no violence, no arrests – a joyous, energized and celebratory crowd, cheering each other and dancing in the streets even as they waited for and squeezed into trains and buses to the mall. Women (and men – no exclusions) of every age and color, Muslims (including many with pink or American-flag-themed hijabs), Hispanics, LGBTQs, even police with pink pussyhats.
A moving sea of signs and banners were backed by waves of chanting and cheering:
- Support of immigrants and refugees was displayed by pink statue of liberty hats to welcome them; “We are the Wall Around Trump and He Will Pay”; “Bad Hombre” shirts.
- An inclusive democracy by “This Is What Democracy Looks Like”; “Women’s Rights Are human Rights.”
- Greens for energy and climate responsibility with “Protect Our Mother for Our Unborn Children – Stop Fracking.”
- Women marching for dignity and respect, equal rights and pay, empowerment, pro-all-of-life through signs like “Make America Kind Again”; “We the People Are Greater Than Fear.”
- Organizers worked hard to promote a non-partisan atmosphere, and progressive voices of all stripes mostly softened their criticism with humor, such as “Make America Anti-Fascist Again”; “Make America Think Again”; “Trump Did Unite America”; “Free Melania.”
The speakers and organizers were powerful, diverse role models for women and men everywhere – activists, senators, feminists, film makers and actors, artists, singers and poets, mothers and children. Linda Sarsour called for a coming together of all the progressive social movements: “civil rights are moot if we don’t have a planet in 30 years”.
Bernice King (Martin Luther King’s granddaughter) quoted her mother Coretta: “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” I believe that is a call for all of us.
USHS has asked me to lead an 11-session webinar series beginning on Jan 31 on what Allah may be asking of us in these “interesting times” of polarization over not just policy, but the values our nation stands for, we stand for, that guide our actions.
Values such as justice, compassion, peace and freedom; dignity, truth, kindness, caring, respect, strength, humility and love – loving for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves. “Living Peace – Riding the Waves in Turbulent Times” offers support for Sufis and all people of integrity for rising to the challenge that the inauguration and the Women’s March represent for all of us.
We can realize and sustain the values that brought so many together, that represent the soul of the nation and the soul of the human race, both through deepening the inner work that is needed to truly embody these values that represent the higher, God-given human nature, and also through accepting responsibility (khalifa) for putting our unique gifts into constructive action to help and protect others in need, whatever their color, gender or creed.
With love and gratitude,
Dr. John Abd al-Qadir Davies
Are you feeling unsure how to proceed in our increasingly divided world?
You’re invited to join Dr. John Abd al-Qadr Davies to
learn from a professional peacebuilder how to navigate the challenging road ahead.
LIVING PEACE: RIDING THE WAVES IN TURBULENT TIMES
begins in 1 week, Tuesday, January 31, 2017
John Abd al-Qadir Davies is Visiting Associate Professor and Co-Director of Partners in Peacebuilding at the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management, co-founder of the Masters in Peacemaking Program at the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, and Director of the Living Peace Program at the Farm of Peace.
He has led peace initiatives in over 30 countries around the world, co-developed conflict and genocide early warning systems for the US government and international coalitions, and trained UN peace keepers from many countries.
He mediates conflicts between couples and within communities, organizations and families and leads retreats and workshops for those seeking peace and reconciliation at all levels of life.
You’re invited to join Dr. Davies for this informative and experiential program.