GREENVILLE, SC — People of different faith groups gathered on Saturday, February 4, to attend “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” rally at One City Center in downtown Greenville, the protest called for after President Trump banned immigrants from seven-Muslim majority countries.
“It’s not only Muslims who are afraid. What’s at stake is the character, the essence of our country. It’s about all of us and who we are and what we stand for,” Greenville event organizer Akan Malici told WYFF.
“The idea of America is not always the reality of America. Native Americans knows this, African Americans know this, Hispanics know this, Jews know this, Catholics know this, Muslims know this.”
Malici has lived in America for more than 20 years after emigrating from Europe.
“I want us all to understand that democracy and it’s enshrined values are not an accomplishment, they’re a process,” Malici said.
“We need to keep working at the process.”
US Air Force veteran Nedal Mefleh was among attendants of the rally.
“I served in the military for 22 years. In the US Air Force, in Afghanistan several times, Pakistan, Iraq. This is my country. We love it and we want to stay here,” Mefleh said.
“We got shot at several times in Afghanistan but I made it to be here so I defend the country and I want to stand up for everybody else, all the refugees.”
Residents of other faith groups joined the rally to support the Muslim community.
“I think we’re neighbors. Refugees and diversity make our community a stronger place,” rally attendee Denise Long said.
“We’re going to resist policies that oppress and scare people. We want to be a part of the community and embrace all parts of our community.”