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Rallying to fight Islamophobia in downtown E.L.

Posted: 7:56 AM, Dec 16, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-16 12:56:19Z

Sarah Mourtada is a Michigan State University student and a Muslim.

She says she and people she knows have experienced discrimination and hate because of their religion recently.

She was even refused service at a store after the clerk found out she was Muslim.

So she decided to do something about it.

"The best way to make people aware that what's going on is wrong is by standing here and teaching them that Muslim represents peace and terrorism has no religion," Mourtada said. That's why she joined around a hundred demonstrators on the Grand River Avenue median in Downtown East Lansing.

People at the rally held up signs showing love and support for Muslims and refugees. Mourtada brought two signs with quotes from the Quran.

"And when the foolish ones address them with harsh words, they reply: Peace!" adorned one sign.

Another Muslim at the rally echoed that sentiment. "This religion is peaceful and it's not about hate and it's not about violence," said East Lansing High School student Malak Aldasouqi. She and Mourtada said the support of the entire community was beautiful and made them feel loved and supported.

That was the point of the rally, one of the organizers said. "In East Lansing, we have a mosque, we have people who attend it. We live in the state of Michigan with a large Muslim population," Kenneth Harrow of the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice said. "We have to acknowledge that Muslim people are like us. There's no difference, and we have to become humane towards other people."

The rally was organized on Facebook and took place Wednesday, December 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.