UIW, community members show support for Muslims

Group shows solidarity in face of travel, refugee ban

SAN ANTONIO – Worshippers who entered the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center for congregational prayer Friday were greeted with flowers and smiles by a group of supporters.

"I hope that it shows them that they're welcome here, they're wanted here, and we're going to do whatever we can to make them feel safe and supported," said Allison Clifford, who organized the group of greeters.

The show of solidarity was one of several such events that have been taking place around San Antonio.

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump that bans citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, halts the refugee program and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees, helped spur a rally last weekend.

The ban also prompted the University of the Incarnate Word to offer support and advice to its students.

The handful of community members at MCECC were there to gather cards for the victims of the Quebec mosque shooting and the Victoria, Texas, mosque that was destroyed in a fire.

In the wake of the travel and refugee ban, members of the group were there to show their support .

The event says "that we value them, that I'm happy that they're here, that they're welcome," Sara Burns, a supporter, said.

Muslims who attended the prayer service were happy for the group's presence.

"I was actually very surprised," said Zeschan Hyder, a Mulsim. "You know, Islam is going through a lot of stuff right now. Seeing people come out here, and support us, and really back us up, it's really positive, and it's moving in the right direction."

UIW administration is offering help and information for students affected by or worried about the ban. The university is advising students not to leave the United States because they might not be allowed back in the country.

The administration said all of its students are "valuable members" and encouraged respect for its "global community."

Acting UIW President, Dr. Denise Doyle, said Friday's event was a show of solidarity.

"You might feel isolated. you might feel someone's coming after you," Doyle said of the affected students. "So we're really trying to get into conversation with them to show them that we're here to help them."

Doyle said besides three students from Syria the university advised not to attempt leaving the Unites States, there are no students who have been directly affected by the ban.

UIW letter on immigration executive order.pdf by David Ibanez on Scribd

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