By Leah Hope
Faith groups, immigrant rights leaders and community activists all took part in a Day of Action–like the one seen outside JFK Airport in New York–in response to President Trump’s new travel ban.
Similar rallies were held in in Bridgeview and Chicago.
Midday prayer at the downtown Islamic Center preceded by an interfaith gathering on State Street.
Events across the country were organized to offer support to the Muslim Community in which there is great concern the president’s immigration ban could permanently divide Muslim families.
As midday prayer let out at the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation, visitors showed their support with signs, words and the act for being here.
One woman’s daughter was helped after 911 by Muslim strangers.
“They stood there and handed out bottles of water on 911. I thank them every day,” Phyliss Salerno said.
It was an interfaith and multi-ethnic gathering on the cold Friday.
“We will be here every time that is necessary for us to stand together, to defend each other and to struggle together to set the record straight,” Oscar Chacon, Alianza Americas, said.
“We Jews stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters. If Muslims cannot worship in peace, we cannot either,” Rabbi Michael David, Jewish Voice for Peace, said.
They formed a human chain in front of the Mosque. In line, some strangers got to know one another – like Maryam Sulieman Abukurah a Jordanian visitor here to help her American sister after surgery and Heather Altena a teacher from Evergreen Park.
“These are not enemies, these are potential friends these are people who are suffering,” Heather Altena said.
“It is not our fault we are Muslim. We don’t like terrorists,” Maryam Sulieman Abukurah, said.
If Abukurah leaves, she doesn’t know if she will see her sister again.
She and others fear the ban and what could come next despite the show of support.