NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Yorkers of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds will join hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons, and Chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, along with religious leaders and over 50 organizations on Sunday, February 19th from 12:00 to 4:00 pm in New York's Times Square, (at the corner of 48thStreet & Broadway) to declare their solidarity with Muslims facing discrimination and a travel ban enacted by the Trump Administration which is currently facing numerous legal challenges.
Simmons will be joined by Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), and Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center, who served as Grand Marshall of New York City's Muslim Day Parade last fall.
"Everyone except white privileged males are in immediate danger. African Americans, women, Latinos, Asians and LGBTQ are all at risk, but there is no freedom in that privileged status either, because the spirit of the oppressor is oppressed as well. We are living in a time when unity will make America great. This is a special moment for all Americans of good will to band together to promote the kind of compassion and equality for others that we want for ourselves," said Russell Simmons.
According to Rabbi Schneier, who co-organized the first "Today I Am A Muslim Too" rally which drew more than 5,000 New Yorkers to Times Square in March, 2010, "We are heartened that in recent days, people across the country have been coming out to protest the recent unconstitutional travel ban and the growing anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia in our country. We need to come together again, in the heart of Times Square, people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. We must join together at the most famous crossroads in the world to make a collective statement that; 'Whenever my Muslim brothers and sisters are demonized and vilified, discriminated against or victimized by hate crimes and violence, 'Today, I am a Muslim too.'"
Imam Shamsi Ali, an immigrant from Indonesia and co-author with Rabbi Schneier of Sons of Abraham: a Candid Conversation About the Issues that Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims, commented, "The Muslim community of New York City is deeply grateful to people of all backgrounds, who will come to Times Square on Sunday, February 19 to say they will stand with, and even register as, Muslims if this discriminatory pattern continues," said Imam Shamsi Ali. Polls have shown that the vast majority of American Muslims are loyal and productive citizens who should not be tarred with guilt by association with a handful of extremists whose hateful ideology violates the basic tenets of Islam. American Muslims and their leaders should be engaged in the fight against extremism, violence, and terrorism, not wrongly labeled as complicit in it."
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SOURCE Foundation for Ethnic Understanding