(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/8/14) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, yesterday joined the Montgomery County branch of the NAACP, the National Coalition for Civil and Human Rights, the Human Rights Commission, the African American Chamber of Commerce, and many other groups at an "Every Life Matters" march and rally in Rockville, Md., to support African-American youth and the value of African-American life.
Some 200 participants, including faith leaders, activists, elected officials, youth leaders, and others gathered at MCPS Carver Center and marched to the Montgomery County Executive Office Building chanting slogans like "Hands up, don't shoot" and "No justice, no peace."
The event was organized in response to grand jury decisions to not indict the police officers responsible for the killings of unarmed African-American men, including Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The decisions set off a firestorm of protests across the nation to condemn the treatment of African-American men and youth by law enforcement officers.
At the conclusion of the march, CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry joined activists, members of the clergy, County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President George Leventhal, Montgomery County Police Department's Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds, and others in addressing a standing-room-only audience.
"We must recognize that justice cannot only be for 'just us,'" said Chaudry. "Many young people are growing up believing that the justice system that is supposed to protect them is actually built to fail them. Our moral compass can point us in the right direction, but it cannot walk us there. We must do that ourselves."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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