Hundreds Shield US Oldest Mosque to Support Muslims


Hundreds Shield US Oldest Mosque to Support Muslims

Hundreds of people from different faith groups and ethnicities circled America’s oldest mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, March 26, forming a human shield to show support to American Muslims against threats and hate mails sent to mosques across the US. “We want you to know that your support and encouragement to your fellow citizens, your Muslim neighbors, are the fuel that keeps us going,” said Imam Taha Tawil, the leader of the Mother Mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Public Radio reported on Monday, March 27.

The event was co-organized by Erin Bustin of Grinnell, who said she wanted to find a way to show her support for Muslims after mosques around the country were vandalized or sent hate mail in recent months.

It also followed President Donald Trump signing of two executive orders banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US, which put American Muslims in the middle of political debates.

Therefore, she reached out to the Rev. Wendy Abrahamson in Grinnell, who contacted Imam Tawil. Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Meskwaki Native Americans, atheists and Christians spoke at the event to show support for Muslims and religious freedom.

After the speeches, the group sang “This Land is Your Land” and formed a symbolic human shield around the small, white building.

“Today, Iowans stand with, alongside and around our Muslim friends and neighbors to tell you that you are loved, you are welcome, and you are part of us,” Bustin said.


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