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Rally against Muslim ban draws over 1500

The event on the pedestrian mall featured music, speeches and poetry.

February 6, 2017

In response to the executive order placing a hold on people traveling from seven majority Muslim countries, citizens of Iowa City held a rally that featured speakers, music and poetry to show solidarity with those affected.

The event was originally organized when members of the Muslim and Jewish communities agreed to band together to support each other.

“After the inauguration and after President Trump signed the executive order about the Muslim Ban, we felt like this is our issue,” said Sarah Frank, one of the event’s coordinators. “So . . . we decided to plan a rally. We do feel very strongly that we need to come together as a community and support each other.”

We need to come together as a community and support each other.”

— Sarah Frank

The rally featured speakers including religious leaders from a handful of different faiths, Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton and Congressman Dave Loebsack.

“I think it’s important to come and show my opposition to the ban,” Loebsack said. “There are a lot of other reasons I have issues with President Trump, of course, and a lot of the policies he’s already tried to implement . . . but in particular this ban.”

Loebsack voted in favor of increased refugee vetting following the Paris attacks, but believes that Trump’s plan will actually threaten national security.

Though the event was organized by adult community members, West students were able to take the stage and lead the march through downtown.

“We put a lot of time and effort and money into this, honestly,” said Lujayn Hamad ’18. “This means a lot to us. It means a lot to everyone. We really need to show that we won’t sit down and take it.”

Hamad, among other West students, spoke in front of the crowd; Raneem Hamad and Ala Mohamed ’17 recited one of Mohamed’s poems.

Also present at the rally were some Trump supporters. They were not looking for any violence, and were not in any way disruptive.

Though the protest was against the ban, it took a very positive stance, and many of the speakers talked about the importance of love, acceptance and community.

“Right now, they’re targeting Muslims, so we’re all here to support Muslims,” Frank said. “Then they’ll come after someone else and we’ll all be here to support whoever is next on the list.”

Citizens hold hands on the stage to demonstrate solidarity.

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