On Sunday, as America mourned the loss of nearly 3,000 lives on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, dozens of Muslims and left-wing activists gathered in downtown Los Angeles to rally in solidarity with American Muslims, whom the protesters allege are victims of “hate crimes” throughout American society.
“In recent weeks, we’ve noticed that unfortunately there’s been a higher rate of hate crimes against Muslims or those who appear to be Muslim,” Crystal Keshawarz, director of communications for Muslims for Progressive Values — the organization leading Sunday’s event — told Southern California Public Radio (SCPR).
Keshawarz told SCPR that the rally was also meant to “send a message that the power of fear shall not overcome us as a city,” and insisted that people attend mosques or Muslim faith-based events in order to realize that “there’s no reason to live in fear” of them.
According to SCPR, the walk, accompanied by the social media hashtag “#IllWalkWithYou”, began at Pershing Square around 2 p.m. and ended with a rally and candlelight vigil at City Hall. The hashtag reportedly started back in August after Imam Maulana Akonjee, 55, and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64, were shot and killed in a New York suburb. (It is not clear that the victims were targeted for being Muslims.)
On social media, attendees posted some selfies from the event.
— Coach Key (@KDBConsulting) September 12, 2016
This image also appears to have been taken at the “#IllWalkWithYou” rally:
Oh man, I love this shirt pic.twitter.com/0ESLXkpQKl
— Rahuldeep Singh Gill (@RahuldeepGill) September 11, 2016
SCPR noted a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes at the end of 2015, in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks. A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACHR) found that eight out of nine hate crimes took place in December, after the San Bernardino shooting.
Breitbart News also noted Monday a fire broke out shortly after midnight at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce in Florida, the mosque once attended by terrorist Omar Mateen, who opened fire at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando this past June, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others.
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