Demonstrators gathered in Washington Square Park, New York on November 16 to protest Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim agenda.
Protesters said they feared their image would get worse under Trump, who plans to force all Muslims in the United States to register on a database.
“Trump may or not be a threat but his words sound like a threat,” said Avifel Gutierrez, a 16-year-old high school junior from Manhattan who organized the protest.
Gutierrez is concerned that Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric will continue to blur the distinction between Islam and radical terrorist group ISIS. She urged Muslims to stand up in their communities.
Other protesters believe that while the Muslim community has been mobilized since Trump’s candidacy, activism has increased since November 8.
“There’s a lot of people on the front lines, and we can’t lose steam. If anything we have to pick up steam and find [the] benefits of working together across minority groups in the same plight,” says Kesav Wable, 36, a writer from New York.
Wable, who grew up in India, has seen first-hand what happens when religious tensions escalate into sectarian violence. He says he recognizes the dangers of the Trump administration.
“That’s why it’s important to assert ourselves now to send a signal that we are not going to be pushed about like this.”
Photo via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)