Fil-Am Muslims join rally against Islamophobia

NEW YORK CITY – “Muslim lives matter, all lives matter.”

It’s a chant that sounds all too familiar, but with a new meaning after the killing of the three Muslim youths in North Carolina.

Dozens of people with mostly Muslim backgrounds gathered outside CNN’s Columbus Circle headquarters to protest against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bias in the media.

Protesters are demanding fair and balanced reporting in the killings of Muslim college students: Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor and her sister Razan Abu-Sahla Mohammad.

It has been widely reported as a parking lot dispute, but protesters here believe it was a hate crime.

Imam Abdubaki of the Islamic Leadership Council in New York City said, “We do not want this racism to pervasively destroy the peace and security in America. We ask you the press to do your job to be fair and impartial and just.”

Community leader Lou Behr said, “Because hate crimes take place everyday against Muslim people in this country, hate crimes take place every day against black people, and Latino people in this country.”

Fil-Am Muslim Potri Ranka Manis said she has been dealing with and fighting Islamophobia since she was a child.

“Like in the subway, one woman who’s of course white, she told me when I was carrying my bag on my way to work as a nurse, she said, ‘I hope there’s no bomb in that bag.’ I said, ‘Oh actually there is one.’ So I opened my bag and show her Tiger Balm,” Ranka Manis said.

Filipino protesters here are also demanding for an end to Islamophobia in the Philippines amid cases of Muslim extremism.

“There’s always been war efforts by the Philippine government in Mindanao using Islam as the pretext to justify those actions,” Bayan USA’s Bernadette Ellorin said. “I think what happened in Mamasapano should not be used as a pretext for more militarization particularly in the Bangsa Moro territory.”

Meantime, a grand jury in Durham County, N.C. indicted murder suspect Craig Hicks on three counts of first degree murder on Monday.

While North Carolina police believe it was a parking dispute, they are not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime, at this time.

You can contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • Generoso Magaoay
    17 February 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

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