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CNY Jews Stand in Support of Local Muslims, Part of National Peace Effort

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Some of Central New York's Jewish residents took a day of Hanukkah to show solidarity with local Muslims.  More than 30 people gathered at the menorah in Clinton Square to protest against what they call growing Islamophobia.  Mara Sapon-Shevin is against singling out any religion.

"As Jews we have memories of what it's like to have been oppressed because of our religion -- what we wear, what we worship, who we are --  and we find it completely unacceptable for that to happen to any other group.  Someone I know who is a survivor of Auschwitz pulled up his sleeve and showed the numbers tattooed on his arms and said 'this is what happens when we start registering non-Christians.'"

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Syracuse demonstration in Clinton Square was part of a national series held under Network Against Islamophobia, by Jewish Voice for Peace
Andy Mager says such events took place in many cities across the nation this weekend.
"We need to oppose this rising intolerance towards Muslims and to say the efforts to close the doors to our country to refugees from Syria, or as Donald Trump has suggested, to all Islamic refugees, is outrageous and something that we need to work to stop."

The commitments listed on the signs carried by demonstrators are:

  1. We will not be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes;
  2. We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities;
  3. We challenge, through our words and actions, institutionalized racism and state-sanctioned anti-Black violence;
  4. We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians;
  5. We fight anti-Muslim profiling and racial profiling in all its forms;
  6. We call for an end to racist policing #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter;
  7. We stand against U.S. policies driven by the “war on terror” that demonize Islam and devalue, target, and kill Muslims; and
  8. We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong for immigrants’ rights and refugee rights.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Local Muslims also joined the event, at which people held signs of the principles of Hanukkah and lit menorahs in support of tolerance.