Following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Muslim communities all over the world have reported instances of Islamophobia, blatant discrimination, and even violence toward innocent members of their communities.
In Chicago, prominent leaders and community members decided to take action and promote peace in the city.
As the Chicago Sun Times reported, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago convened on Wednesday, Nov. 25, in order to speak out against the “wave of anti-Muslim discrimination sweeping across the country.”
“We urge everyone in metropolitan Chicago to oppose discriminatory actions and behavior against all members of religious communities, and particularly, at this time in our history, against Muslims,” the Council stated.
The Council specifically called on American media groups and political leaders to “desist from inflammatory rhetoric” when talking about Muslim groups. Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson, in particular, have already garnered plenty of media attention for their anti-Muslim remarks, and many people in the Muslim community fear that these remarks are creating widespread anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.
Although Illinois mosques have not experienced the same number of hate crimes as mosques in other states, according to the Chicago Tribune, members of the community have been working tirelessly to keep Muslim residents safe, whether they’re walking down the street or praying in a mosque.
Around 100 Muslim men recently marched through Chicago’s Loop, ABC News 7 reported, to commemorate the death of the seventh century revolutionary leader and prophet Hussain. Those who organized and participated in the march said that Hussain’s teachings of peace and equality have never been more important to commemorate.
Islamophobic sentiments were present in the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks, yet many people believe that anti-Muslim sentiments are even more prevalent after the attacks on Paris, which killed 129 civilians and injured more than 350.
Refugees from ISIS-controlled territories, especially Syria and Iraq, have been fleeing their home countries and settling temporarily in European refugee camps throughout Greece, Germany, and France.
Ironically, just as France was celebrating its 226th anniversary of independence on July 14 this past summer, media outlets began reporting that the French people were less than welcoming toward the foreigners who sought refuge in the French town of Calais.
Although French President Francois Hollande announced that the country would officially welcome at least 30,000 Syrian refugees into its country over the next two years — especially after the atrocities that ISIS had planned in an attempt to derail refugee resettlement — the U.S. has yet to follow suit.