Russell Simmons Leads Today, I Am Muslim Too Rally in New York
Russell Simmons led the charge yesterday (Feb. 19), at the Today, I Am Muslim Too rally in New York City.
The event went down in Times Square from 12-4 p.m., with thousands of people, of all shades, gathering for the cause. The show of strength was put on by Russell, religious leaders and over 50 organizations.
At the event, the hip-hop pioneer advised the masses to band together against a common enemy: hate. “We’ve been fighting Islamophobia for many years. But there is a shift towards more hate crimes and more hate,” he said. “At the same time we have to recognize there is also an acknowledgement of that hate and the connectivity that it brings. And a partnership and a unity that it brings. So we can have this love fest today.”
People peacefully mobbed deep in the streets, toting signs that read: “I Am Muslim” and “Protect My Rights.”
“Thank you to the thousands of people who showed up today to show their support for Muslims,” Russ captioned an Instagram pic of people marching. “It was an inspiring day, but we must keep it up!”
Uncle Rush has been against Trump’s Muslim Ban since it was enacted. Shortly after the executive order was signed, the Def Jam co-founder hopped on Twitter to express his disdain for Trump’s decision. “I have worked for decades on religious tolerance,” he wrote. “@realDonaldTrump’s Muslim ban is against everything this country was founded on. Shameful.”
It even appears Russ had an inkling something like this would play out even earlier. He penned an open letter to the then president-elect, following his win over Hilary Clinton, that warned the reality show politician against doing exactly what he ended up doing. “While I disagree with many of the things that you have said during your campaign and many of your policies that you have proposed, you will still be our president, and I am willing to work for and with you,” Simmons wrote.
“Donald, you cannot target a religious group of people,” he added. “That is dangerous. You cannot separate families and deport people who have only known this country as their home. That is immoral.”
Check out footage from the rally below.
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