Gatherings to speak out against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban toward seven predominantly Muslim countries continued on Sunday, with the “I Am A Muslim Too” Rally led by Russell Simmons in New York City.
A crowd gathered in Times Square on Sunday afternoon to show solidarity with Muslims, chronicling the event on Twitter with the hashtag #iamamuslimtoo. Attendees included Q-Tip, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, activist Linda Sarsour, and others. Simmons, the Def Jam founder and music/media mogul who once considered Trump a friend, led the rally.
“We are here today to show middle America our beautiful signs and, through our beautiful actions and intention, that they have been misled,” Simmons said. “We are here unified because of Donald Trump. We want to thank him for bringing us together.
“…We have been fighting Islamophobia for many years, but there is a shift towards more hate crimes and more hate,” Simmons continued. “But at the same time, we have to recognize there’s also an acknowledgment of that hate and a connectivity that it brings, and a partnership and unity that it brings, so we can have this lovefest today.”
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) February 19, 2017
Shortly after his inauguration, Trump enacted an executive order that temporarily banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees, indefinitely banning Syrian refugees, and preventing green card residency holders from coming back to the United States. The order, he said, was an attempt to keep Americans safe from terrorists.
The sudden enactment of the order left airports around the U.S. in disarray, with travelers being detained upon their arrival back into the country and protesters gathering at airports. Federal judges have objected to the ban in appeals court, allowing the travelers to stay in the U.S. instead of being deported out of the country.
According to reports, Trump plans to issue a new executive order to that will address the federal appeals court’s objections.
[h/t Rolling Stone]