A perfect Sunday in Times Square as tourist buzzed around, city cabs blocked intersections, and theater watchers stood online in heels and bow ties. Chats in the distance “I Am Muslim Too” in-between the honking of the midtown traffic “I Am Muslim Too.” It was sixty-five degrees a perfect Sunday for a rally. More than a thousand people rallied in support of American Muslims in Times Square on a Sunday afternoon, with pumping fists and chants of “We are One” echoing through the air. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons headlined the rally. Posting reminders on Instagram daily and reminding social media that “Muslim Rights Are Human Rights!”
The “I Am a Muslim Too” march was co-organized by the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding and the Nusantara Foundation in response to the uncertainty and anxiety created by President Donald Trump’s now-rescinded executive order. Every president dating back to our first George Washington has used executive powers in some fashion or another. But, because of the harshness of the current president’s campaign and bitterness, the word executive orders is new to many and scary. An executive order is an official document signed by the president that declares government policy. In an executive order, a president is giving instructions to government agencies and departments about how to operate in a certain area.
What sparked this rally? President Trump signed an executive order preventing visa holders and sworn-in American citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering into America. According to the president correspondents, the order was intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.
This resulted in rallies being held in international airports and lawyers providing pro bono service to visa holders and sworn-in American citizens. You had airlines who were stopping travelers from boarding airplanes, preventing them from entering the Unites States. You had loved ones waiting for their family members to return back home to the United States. You had children longing and worrying for their parents.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chelsea Clinton spoke to the thousands of supporters as American flags waved through the air alongside picket signs that read “I am a Muslim too.”
“There are one point six billion Muslims in the world, who are overwhelming peace loving people. Who care about their family?” said an enthused Mayor de Blasio.
As demonstrators pumped their fists in the air and listened to many passionate speakers and singers the greeting As Salaam Alaikum filled my soul. We will continue with “Making America Love Again.”
A small protester from Mount Vernon, New York joined the crowd. Brooke Burgess a 1st grader who attends Our Lady of Victory. She carried a “We the People Are Greater Than Fear” sign which was originally created for the Women’s Marches held the day after the Trumps inauguration. Brooke said, “He is not my president.”