Russell Simmons to host Times Square rally supporting Muslims

SHAFAQNA – New Yorkers are expected to gather in Times Square this weekend in a show of solidarity with the city’s Muslim community.

The “I Am a Muslim too” rally will take over the Crossroads of the World beginning at noon on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. It will be hosted by Russell Simmons, Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali.

Organizers said the event was planned in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

Despite recent legal challenges to the travel ban, Simmons said everyone “except white privileged males” are in danger of Trump’s policies.

“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,” Simmons said in a statement ahead of the rally. “We are living in a time when unity will make America great. This is a special moment for all Americans of goodwill to band together to promote the kind of compassion and equality for others that we want for ourselves.”

This isn’t the first installment of the “I Am a Muslim too” rally. According to Schneier, the original rally in March 2010, also held in Times Square, drew more than 5,000 people.

Organizers said they expect thousands of people to attend the rally on Sunday. So far, there are 1,100 people who said they are attending on the Facebook event page and another 5,800 who said they are interested.

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