Nearly 200 people, including representatives from over 30 organizations, rallied in Evanston Sunday afternoon against "anti-Muslim bigotry."
Rally-goers, who demonstrated at Evanston's Fountain Square, also distributed posters in support of refugees and against racial and religious profiling to local businesses and homes. The signs said, "Stop Profiling Muslims" and "Refugees Welcome."
"People ask, 'Why have these rallies, especially in a place like Evanston? What good does it do?'" the event's lead organizer Lesley Williams said in a statement. "Well, this past Saturday, two Northwestern students were arrested for spray painting the university chapel with racist, homophobic slurs, and painting swastikas over the faces of Muslim students. Clearly, even in our 'enlightened' Evanston community, there is a need to speak out and speak up against bigotry."
"Make no mistake: the bigotry that profiles Muslim men at checkpoints, rips hijabs off Muslim women, or calls for mass deportations of the undocumented is the same bigotry that results in young black men dead in police custody, in harassment and threats against gay or transgender students, and in toddlers drowning because they cannot find asylum," Williams added. "I'm proud to be standing with over 30 religious and community organizations, who differ on certain issues, but who are united in their condemnation of racial and religious bigotry, and of anyone who exploits bigotry for political ends."
The event was organized in part by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago, Jewish Voice for Peace - Chicago, the Muslim Community Center and Open Communities.