Organizations, community groups, and congregations from across Chicagoland on Sunday, March 20, rallied in Evanston’s Fountain Square to stand against anti-Muslim bigotry. After the rally, groups canvassed businesses and homes to display posters supporting refugees and demand a stop to racial/religious profiling.
Open Communities’ speaker at the rally highlighted the connection between activists in Evanston in the 1960s with today. She said, “When Open Communities went door to door, right here in Evanston, in our fight for fair housing, the belief was that people didn’t support integrated housing.
In one-on-one conversations, it was very clear that most neighbors wanted inclusivity and diversity. This is the overwhelming sentiment that Open Communities sees in our 17 north suburban communities.” Representing Chicago’s Muslim Community Center at the event, Dr. Alia Ammar said, “Some repetitions of history must be avoided. The resurgence of bigotry and Islamophobia promoted within the current presidential race is particularly concerning to people whose moral values embrace common humanity and who clearly understand that ‘never again’ applies to all people at all times. MCC and PEACE are proud to join this interfaith multicultural coalition in this rally against Islamophobia.” Together, co-sponsoring organizations affirmed: Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim are enduring vitriolic, frightening levels of hate and violence throughout the country being spit on, verbally harassed and abused, physically assaulted, and even shot. This hate and violence do not exist in a vacuum. It takes place in the context of ongoing and systemic Islamophobia and racism that are pervasive and deep without society.
The following organizations and the Chicagoland community publicly participated in the rally:
American Friends Service Committee- Chicago American Muslims for Palestine- Chicago Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Beth Emet CAIR-Chicago Center for Inclusivity, Chicago Area Peace Action Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC); Curt’s Café First, Congregational Church of Evanston, UCC Forward Humanity Freedom, First International SCLC GCE Lab School, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago, Lake Street Church of Evanston, Latino Resources, Main Street Alliance, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, The Musical Offering, Muslim Community Center, North Suburban Teachers Union, Open Communities, Peaceful Communities, People Encouraging Acceptance thru Communication & Education (PEACE), Public Interest Fundraising Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Roman Catholic Order of Mass, the Society of the Divine Word at Techny Second Baptist Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Tzedek Chicago Unitarian Church of Evanston, YWCA Evanston/Northshore.