In the continuing wave of protests against U.S. President Donald Trump, “I am Muslim too” rallies cropped up in cities throughout the weekend in solidarity with Muslims and against Trump’s immigration policies.
More than 1,000 people congregated in New York on Sunday in Times Square, and attendees heard from rabbis, imams, Sikh clergymember, a Buddhist, Episcopalian and Presbyterian reverends, a Mennonite, a Seventh Day Adventist minister, a Hindu, a Baptist pastor, local politicians and civil rights advocates.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the rally, saying “we have to dispel the stereotypes” and that the United States is “a country founded to protect all faiths and all beliefs.”
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons headlined the event and told the crowd that even while Muslims are being scapegoated, “diversity will prevail.”
Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian Muslim activist and one of the organizers of the Women’s March, also spoke at the rally in New York.
“I am unapologetically Muslim, all day, every day,” she told the crowd, as reported by CNN. “I am not afraid because fear is a choice; it is not a fact. So today I ask you, in the true grit and spirit of a New Yorker, that you choose courage in the face of fear.”
Across the country, in Oregon, people demonstrated in front of the Oregon State Capitol to voice their support for immigration rights, with people carrying placards that read “we the people are greater than fear”.
In Dallas, a day earlier on Saturday, police estimated that more than 1,700 people rallied downtown in support of immigrants and refugees.