12:04 - November 14, 2016
News ID: 3461418
TEHRAN (IQNA) – More than 100 people of different faiths thronged the parking lot of First United Methodist Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois on Saturday to denounce the anti-Muslim vitriol spurred by the election season.

Faith Leaders in Oak Lawn, Illinois Call on Businesses to Support Muslims

Community members listened to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders speak and brought signs sprinkled with hand-drawn hearts that read: "We stand with our Muslim neighbors!" and "United against hate."

After a brief rally, organized by interfaith groups and community members split up into teams and traveled to businesses across Oak Lawn, asking owners to post signs in their windows that read "We support our Muslim neighbors."

Those who spoke at the rally demanded Trump's administration denounce the verbal attacks on Muslims and revoke his pledge to deny entry to the country to all Muslims. Religious tolerance, they said, is among America's core values, Chicago Tribune News reported.

Michael Kooy, of the Oak Lawn Clergy and Religious Workers Association, said it's important for his fellow Christians to stand alongside those of other religions because it makes them more compassionate. Working with Muslims, he said, has made him a "better Christian."

"Certainly it's the job of the government to protect us from violence, the violence of terror, the violence of defamation, the violence of assault," he said. "And some perceive they are threatened or see the harm that may come their way. Mercy urges me to stand up with people who are threatened in these ways."

Barbara Lyons, a 79-year-old member of Jewish Voice for Peace who works on its anti-Islamophobia Committee, led a group of 10 community members up and down 95th street, visiting businesses and asking their employees to post fliers supportive of Muslims in the windows of their shops. 

An employee at Chimera's Comics said the business has several Muslim customers, and that they should always feel welcome.Lyns said community members should make every effort to support those who feel attacked or marginalized, no matter their religion.

"Anything you can do can make a difference," she said. "The difference between doing nothing and doing something? It's everything."

Tags: IQNA ، Quran ، US ، faith leaders ، support ، Muslims ، Oak Lawn
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