News & Politics

'I Am a Muslim, Too' Say Thousands at New York Rally

People carry posters during a rally against President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, in New York's Times Square, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

New Yorkers gathered on Sunday for a rally in Times Square to show their support for Muslims.

The demonstrators — many of them hoisting placards featuring a woman in an American flag hijab with the caption “we the people are greater than fear” — gathered at one of the world’s most famous public places to denounce what they see as threats and pressure aimed at Muslim communities.

The rally was called “Today I am Muslim, too” and was described as a “a day of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in reaction to the vicious attacks by (President Donald Trump).”

The demonstrators wore signs saying “I am a Muslim, too” and CNN reports that one person was dressed as President Donald Trump carrying around a bald eagle in a cage.

Protesters ‘I Am Muslim Too’ rally, New York, USA – 19 Feb 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)

As with many of the progressive rallies there were numerous celebrities there:

The list of speakers was extensive, according to the program. In addition to entrepreneur and Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, who helped organize the event, attendees were scheduled to hear from rabbis, imams, a Sikh, a Buddhist, Episcopalian and Presbyterian reverends, a Mennonite, a Seventh Day Adventist minister, a Hindu, a Baptist pastor, local politicians and civil rights advocates.

Actor Susan Sarandon and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke, and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton tweeted that the rally marked her 2-year-old’s first protest.

Simmons, no stranger to activism, told those at the rally to focus on how Trump, his onetime friend, had unified the people in attendance.

“So we are here today to show middle America our beautiful signs and, through our beautiful actions and intention, that they have been misled — that the seeds of hate that were small and maybe just ignorance cannot be watered, and that hate cannot grow because we are here to assist them in promoting love,” Simmons told the crowd.

Protesters ‘I Am Muslim Too’ rally, New York, USA – 19 Feb 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Controversial Women’s March leader and Muslim Linda Sarsour also spoke at the event.

“I am unapologetically Muslim, all day, every day,” she told the cheering crowd. “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.”

Sarsour has tweeted support for Sharia law and threatened human rights activists Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

“Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away- they don’t deserve to be women,” Sarsour tweeted out in 2011.

The crowd was protesting President Trump’s travel restriction for people holding passports from seven terrorist-laden countries.