NEW YORK – Hundreds of people will be joining hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons to the “I Am a Muslim Too” march through Times Square in New York City, in response to the uncertainty and anxiety that was created by President Donald Trump’s controversial Muslim ban.
“Believing that people are the same takes you a long way,” Simmons told NBC News this week.
“I love doing this work. It’s purposeful. It makes me happy.”
More than 1,800 people are planning to attend the march, according to the event’s Facebook page Saturday afternoon.
Simmons will be joined by Imam Shamsi Ali, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Dr. Debbie Almontaser, Daisy Khan, Linda Sarsour, Q-Tip and many other leaders from the community.
The event comes to protest Trump’s executive order, which initially barred foreign travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.
While the ban was halted in court, Trump has said it would be replaced by something new.
“[This] rally, I would say, has been triggered by the Muslim ban, but there is a wider message here,” said Rabbi Schneier.
“We are acknowledging that it has been open season on Muslim Americans.”
Schneier added that the American Muslim community has been and will continue to be “our greatest ally” in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism.
Sharing the fight for freedom against religious persecution and prejudice, the current situation brought the Jewish-American and Muslim-American communities together.
“I have not seen this outpouring of support since the Civil Rights Movement,” he said.
Schneier and Ali both say that Trump’s polarizing order has also brought American Jews and Muslims closer together.
“One of the blessings in disguise of Donald Trump is that many, many Americans are coming to us and saying we are with you,” Imam Ali said.
“Hopefully, our rally on Sunday is not only educating New Yorkers, but maybe will get to Washington, also,” Schneier added, referencing what he considers either the “ignorance or insensitivity” of the Trump White House — not just to the Muslim community, but the Jewish community as well.