By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Forward Action Michigan Dearborn rallied people and community leaders together to show unity during Neighbors Stand Together for Justice and Peace Feb. 4.
About 100 people gathered outside Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave., less than 24 hours after the rally was announced.
“We got this together very quickly when we realized that the policies would affect our community directly,” Forward Action Michigan member Nancy Dziedzic said of the immigrant moratorium executive order signed by President Donald Trump. “This rally shows our friends, neighbors and business owners that this community would not be what it is without diversity. We have a special community.”
The executive order suspends the entry of all refugees for three months and suspend the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and impacts refugees and immigrants. Under the order, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are not allowed to enter the United States with their visas for the next three months.
“We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by fear,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) said. “We have to stand up for what America truly is. Our Constitution is the most important thing we have.”
She also thanked Ford Motor Co. as she pointed to their world headquarters across Michigan Avenue for speaking out against the executive order.
“The Dearborn community is all in this together,” Dingell said. “We are the strength of democracy and we will remain strong.”
Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. told the crowd that Dearborn residents have the opportunity to let people know what its like to live with generations of Muslims.
“All of us have the knowledge to share the facts with others because we know and live here with Muslims,” he said. “We have seen the positive impact and how they have become part of the community. They help make the city go.”
Councilwoman Susan Dabaja shared her view as a Muslim living in the community and leading the city council as its president.
“I couldn’t be prouder to serve in this city because of people like you,” she said. “We live in a community that exemplifies the type of community that cares.”
During the rally, non-perishable foods, personal hygiene items, and diapers were collected for immigrant and refugee families in need.
All donated items will be distributed by The Bridge: A Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Alliance.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])