AUSTIN – As protests and rallies continue to happen in response to President Donald Trump's executive order blocking entry of refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, thousands took to the state Capitol during the biennial Texas Muslim Capitol Day.
For practicing Muslims, such as married couple Abdussamad and Rahil Peera from Dallas, seeing the massive crowd on the southern steps of the Capitol was a welcome surprise.
"Kudos to the supporters, the ones who have signs here like 'We have your back.' It's just amazing. It really is," Rahil said.
Even though some said they've felt hated and discriminated against recently, they aimed to show others their solidarity in their faith and by their presence.
"We just want to show that we are here and we have some needs that are different than others in terms of our religious beliefs but they are no different than any American," Abdussamad said.
The couple held a book with them that they say deals with Islamic topics many may not understand, while others chanted and held signs.
Although outnumbered, President Trump supporters, such as Jake Crosby also attended the rally.
"They were trying to intimidate me because they were forming, as soon as they saw my shirt, started forming this human chain around me," Crosby said.
Crosby agrees with all the executive actions the president has signed so far, and believes the travel policy is necessary after growing up in New York and witnessing the aftermath of Sept. 11.
"I don't have any animus towards Muslims. I think the vast majority of Trump supporters don't have any animus towards Muslims. I think they want this country to be safe," Crosby said.
After the rally participants attended a program on political activism and then met with lawmakers.