Muslims hold interfaith rally on National Mall

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WASHINGTON — Temperatures climbing high into the 90s forced organizers to convert a midday march into an evening rally on the National Mall. But the rallying point remained the same: condemn terrorism, hate and violence.

The rally was scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, The Associated Press reported, and organizers had initially planned the rally earlier in the day, but changed the time because of the oppressive heat.

Some people in the small crowd carried signs that read “Muslims Against ISIS” and “No Racism, No Hate.” Attendees said the atrocious attacks of global terrorism have given Americans the wrong impression of Islam and it was important to speak out.

“We’re just like every other American and we’re not here to apologize for anything but here to explain this is our religion … a religion of tolerance, peace, ethics,” said  Abduel Hussein, 16, of Fairfax, Vrginia, and a Boy Scout from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center and a student at Woodson High School.

People at the rally listened to speeches, prayers and music.

“It’s always been said that Muslim never speaks, so this is a great opportunity for people to hear that we’re speaking out against terrorism, against violence,” said Imam Ali Siddiqui of the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia, alluding to the sometimes heard criticism that Muslim leaders don’t sufficiently condemn terror attacks.

Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Buddhist faith leaders also took part in the rally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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