Islamophobia protest at U.S consulate

Hundreds demonstrate in Toronto against travel ban and mosque attack

Islamaphobia sign
Protesters gathered at the U.S consulate on Feb.4 to oppose islamophobia and white supremacy.  (Cellie Agunbiade/Toronto Observer )

Mark Hagan, 32, had never gone to a demonstration before.

But U.S. president Donald Trump’s travel ban sparked him to join a protest on Feb. 4.

“It is important that people stand up against oppression, ignorance and prejudice,” Hagan said.

Hagan joined the crowd of hundreds at U.S consulate to protest Islamophobia and white supremacy.

It was also 27-year-old Dhrumil Mehta’s first time attending a protest.

“I was never the type to come to a political protest but now that I have been here I am inspired by it and I feel like I can do more,” Mehta said.

Speakers at the protest called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to openly disapprove Trump’s actions and limit communication with him.

“[Trump] is vilifying all Muslims in the world, I also feel [the travel ban] is the most stupid policy and the problem is that he is in charge of the world’s only superpower,” Hagan said.

The crowd chanted “No Muslim Ban on stolen land” and “What we gonna do is rise up and fight back.”

“I think what’s more important is that we should collectively agree that racially motivated attacks can happen and that the biggest message is if we love each other we can connect with each other more and we can eliminate [the attacks],” Mehta said.

Although the travel ban is on a temporary hold as of Feb. 3, the ban and the Québec City mosque attack, fuelled the protest.

Yusra Khogali, a speaker, called the protesters “freedom fighters” who stand for peace, justice and love.

Khogali paid respect to the six victims of the attack by stating their names and the jobs they previously held.

“We have to honour those six men praying to Allah, while giving to Allah, while giving their last breath,” Khogali said.

Muslim protesters had assembled in front of the crowd to pray for the victims.