Muslims, Christians, Jews and others come together to oppose a rising tide of hate and fascism

“If the Holocaust has taught us anything it is that when regular folks go silent in the face of tyranny, bad things happen and their silence favors the oppressor,” said the organizers of Never Again Means Never Again, a multi-faith, multi-denominational gathering that took place at the Holocaust Memorial on The River Walk in Providence on Sunday.

The event was held in response to the wave of bomb threats across the United States, including the one called into the Providence Jewish Community Center last week. There have been other incidents in Rhode Island as well, including a smeared feces swastika on the Rhode Island School of Design campus and another swastika burned onto a bike path sign in Barrington.

The event was unavoidably set within the national context of Donald Trump‘s dangerous and divisive presidency. Trump has been vocally anti-Muslim, quiet about the spate of hate crimes and tacitly, if not overtly, supportive of bigotry and white supremacy. Many speakers voiced support for not only religious diversity but for LGBTQ rights and the rights of the undocumented. All communities under threat are finding common ground in the face of Trump and rising fascism.

The event was organized by Dr. Ehsun Mirza, Aisha Manzoor of RICMA (Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement) and Rabbi Sarah Mack, president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island. Supporting organizations included Abraham’s Tent, Americans Helping Others ProspEr (AHOPE), Islamic School of Rhode Island (ISRI), Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA), Sisterhood of Salam Shalom (SOSS), More Than My Religion, MAE Organization for the Homeless, Rhode Island Council of Churches, Interbelief Club of Wheeler and the Refugee Dream Center.

Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Jack Reed, Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline all spoke at the rally, an important demonstration of public support for the affected communities.

Hate crimes in Rhode Island never seem to divide our community. Instead they provide opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and community. Below are all the speakers from the event and dozens of photos.

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1 Comment

  1. A lovely event! Elected-official-credit also goes to the Secretary of State and the General Treasurer. Yay Rhody.

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