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Proclamation Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Oct 21, 2016

Elected leaders and local lawmakers have announced proclamations against anti-Muslim bigotry.

Members of Rochester City Council, The Board of Education and Monroe County Legislature have sponsored proclamations supporting Muslim residents and their right to live and pray safely.

City Council member Molly Clifford, noting the tenor of the Presidential campaign, says they want our Muslim residents to feel welcomed and safe.

"We developed these proclamations because we want people to know that Rochester is a welcoming community and we will not discriminate on the basis of religion," she said.

Clifford adds they have also been in touch with the local leadership of the Muslim community.

Iman Abid is an activist and interim director at the Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

She says since the start of this presidential cycle, the Muslim community has become part of the political rhetoric.

"I think more than 70 percent of the time that Islam is mentioned or the Muslim community is mentioned, it's negative.  And unfortunately we've seen a rise in hate crimes, fortunately none in the Rochester community, but throughout the nation we have," she said.

Abid also relates the story of how she experienced hate one day when she left a mosque and was about to enter her home.

"Two men in a truck had driven by my house and slowed down to raise their hands outside of their windows and had their hands in the formation of what looked like a gun, and they were yelling out 'pow, pow,' and derogatory terms," she said.

The Islamic center is sending out a letter of thanks to those who have signed on to the proclamation.

Here's what Rochester City Council's proclamation looks like: