The event included speeches from several local and religious leaders, who all supported a unified message as a community in response to the recent attacks against the religion of Islam, which intensified over the last several weeks due to an ant-Islamic video that caused worldwide uproar. The event started with a message from Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American News, who told the packed venue filled with adults and children that despite the intimidation that might have led the Muslim community into silence, he was stunned to see the community turn out to this particular event.
"When you were called to duty to come and stand up for prophet Muhammad and all the messengers of God, you said 'when and where' and now you are all here today. They keep dividing us into Sunni and Shia, but today all of us stand here more importantly as Muslims, more importantly as Americans and more importantly as human beings to condemn the violence, the hate, the extremism, the terrorism, and the attack on our prophet," Siblani told the crowd.
The crowd included both women and men of all ages as well as children and teenagers, many of whom held signs that displayed their love for the profit and denounced all forms of hate speech. Some of the signs in the audience included one's that read "we love prophet Muhammad" and "stand up against hate." Religious leaders from local mosque's were also present at the event, some of them taking the podium to address the crowd in both English and Arabic.
"I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come here and raise your voice in condemning the filthy movie that degrades our holy prophet in such a horrible way. We are gathering here to say that we as Muslims and all Muslims around the world do not accept this kind of bigotry, and this kind of message should not be taken in the name of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not entitle these bigots to attack our holy prophet," Imam Hassan Al-Qizwini stated.
Attorney Tarek Beydoun, who was one of the head organizers of the event also got the crowd in attendance involved through social media, telling the crowd to take a picture of the packed room and use their twitter accounts along with the hash-tag "stopthehate" to spread the message to the entire world.
Other representation at the event included members from the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice, the NAACP and CAIR-MI. Also present at the event was Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly and Judge Richard Halloran from the Wayne County Circuit Court.