Pro-Syrian Refugee Protest Takes Place at Wooldridge Square Park

Carrying signs urging tolerance and acceptance, hundreds of people gathered in Wooldridge Square Park on November 22 to protest Governor Greg Abbott's remarks on Syrian refugees. Days earlier, Governor Abbott sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, informing him that the state would not be accepting Syrian refugees. "Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees - any one of whom could be connected to terrorism - being resettled in Texas," Abbott wrote. Demonstrators attended the protest to counter the statement, which they considered inflammatory and Islamaphobic.
Carrying signs urging tolerance and acceptance, hundreds of people gathered in Wooldridge Square Park on November 22 to protest Governor Greg Abbott’s remarks on Syrian refugees. Days earlier, Governor Abbott sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, informing him that the state would not be accepting Syrian refugees. “Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees – any one of whom could be connected to terrorism – being resettled in Texas,” Abbott wrote. Demonstrators attended the protest to counter the statement, which they considered inflammatory and Islamophobic.
After hearing about Governor Abbott's remarks, Miriam Kubary contacted several organizations and found out about the demonstration. Myluhu, Kubary and a third friend drove in from Houston earlier that morning. "I was born in Dallas, Texas. I'm also a Muslim and my dad came here from Syria in '84. Governor Abbott is supposed to represent me just like he represents all these people who think people like me are all terrorists."
After hearing about Governor Abbott’s remarks, Miriam Kubary contacted several organizations and found out about the demonstration. Myluhu, Kubary and a third friend drove in from Houston earlier that morning. “I was born in Dallas, Texas. I’m also a Muslim and my dad came here from Syria in ’84. Governor Abbott is supposed to represent me just like he represents all these people who think people like me are all terrorists.”
Graduate student Jasmine Myluhu, and two friends drove from Houston to attend the demonstration. "There are 2 billion Muslims on the planet. It's completely ridiculous to make an entire nation of 2 billion people pay for the mistakes of, literally, a group of assholes."
Graduate student Jasmine Myluhu, and two friends drove from Houston to attend the demonstration. “There are 2 billion Muslims on the planet. It’s completely ridiculous to make an entire nation of 2 billion people pay for the mistakes of, literally, a group of assholes.”
News of the demonstration reached Jill Lewis on Facebook. Lewis hoped that the demonstration would draw attention to the human dimensions of the debate. “Just to remind people that we’re all humans, you know? It doesn’t matter what color you are, what race you are.”
News of the demonstration reached Jill Lewis on Facebook. Lewis hoped that the demonstration would draw attention to the human dimensions of the debate.
“Just to remind people that we’re all humans, you know? It doesn’t matter what color you are, what race you are.”
Moved by the images from Syria, Rawlinson and Lewis felt compelled to show their support.“We’re both mothers, you know? I think the images that have been coming over have been really heartbreaking. I hope that people would open their hearts a little bit and minds and understand that the refugees are people who are not a threat to us.”
Moved by the images from Syria, Lisa Rawlinson (pictured) and Lewis felt compelled to show their support.“We’re both mothers, you know? I think the images that have been coming over have been really heartbreaking. I hope that people would open their hearts a little bit and minds and understand that the refugees are people who are not a threat to us.”
Members of The Syrian People Solidarity Group lead protestors in chants. The group organized the event, which garnered significant attention. According to the Facebook Event page for the protest, 6,400 people were interested in attending.
Members of The Syrian People Solidarity Group lead protestors in chants. The group organized the event, which garnered significant attention. According to the Facebook Event page for the protest, 6,400 people were interested in attending.
A protestor holds up a sign in English and Arabic that references a verse from the Quran.
A protestor holds up a sign in English and Arabic that references a verse from the Quran.
Demonstrators hold a banner with the word “Coexist” made with various religious symbols.
Demonstrators hold a banner with the word “Coexist” made with various religious symbols.
A protestor carries a sign comparing the Syrian refugees’  search for asylum to Mary and Joseph’s biblical search for shelter the night Jesus was born.
A protestor carries a sign comparing the Syrian refugees’ search for asylum to Mary and Joseph’s biblical search for
shelter the night Jesus was born.
Eventually the protestors ended the demonstration at the Governor’s mansion, where they chanted and held their signs.
Eventually the protestors ended the demonstration at the Governor’s mansion, where they chanted and held their signs.

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