Anti-Islam Protests Across Nation Fall Flat
In the wake of Anti-Muslim protests, CAIR-Chicago extends gratitude to the interfaith supporters that stood with American-Muslims in Chicago and around the country. After much anticipation, and calls for increased safety measures by CAIR, the Muslim community and anti-bigotry activists who prepared for a weekend of anti-Muslim protests were met with rallies that fell flat or, in some cases, didn't take place at all. An estimated 20 anti-Islam protests were planned in cities across the country, but these hateful protesters often found themselves in opposition to an outpouring of support for the Muslim community. No protests were planned or took place in Illinois yet CAIR-Chicago still received contacts from local community members and churches wanting to express solidarity.
In many cases, those who came out in support of American-Muslims outnumbered the people who came out in protest. In Dearborn, Michigan, for example, about one dozen protesters came out, compared to the 30 counter-protesters that arrived, according to an article in USA Today. In Corpus Christie, Texas, no protesters showed up, but a couple dozen supporters arrived with signs showing their support for the Islamic Society of Southern Texas.
The story of an embrace between an anti-Muslim protester and a Muslim woman in Hilliard, Ohio, circulated the internet on Saturday. The hug, according to the woman, was meant to melt away the fear and replace it with trust. She was the only protester to have showed up at that location on Saturday, but the hug was enough to chip away at the barrier between herself and the counter-protesters that showed up.
Support for the American-Muslim community also made its way into social media as activists and allies of the Muslim community wrote tweets that included the hashtags, #HateUnchecked and #LoveTheyNeighbor. #HateUnchecked, a campaign devoted to raising awareness for the need to defend American religious freedom, inspired responses from activists, leaders in the Muslim community and even politicians such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
We support the rights of Muslim Americans to worship freely in mosques without intimidation. #HateUnchecked
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) October 11, 2015
— Lauren Schreiber (@food4theory) October 9, 2015
We'd especially like to thank the communities who stood in solidarity with Muslim community this past weekend, including Jewish Voices for Peace for the letter they wrote in solidarity, Amnesty International, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Human Rights Campaign, and The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.