Top Moments of the Year: Community members rally in support of local Muslims

Participants carried signs and yellow flowers, which they placed on the steps of the mosque.

More than 200 people (and some dogs) gathered in Peace Park on Jan. 29 with signs and yellow flowers, then marched to the Islamic Center of Central Missouri, where they laid the flowers on the steps of the mosque and accepted refreshments from mosque members.

This march took place to express opposition to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that limited immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Fuad Khaleel, president of the Operating Council of ICCM, climbed to the top of the steps during the event and addressed the crowd, asking them to shout his words back at him so that everyone could hear and understand him.

In short phrases, with the crowd repeating after him, Khaleel said, “We appreciate the love, care and support that we’ve received from both here in our community in Columbia, Missouri, and across the nation, and across the world.”

The march was organized by leaders of CoMo for Progress via their Facebook group. The idea for the march began when Kelly MacNevin, a member of CoMo for Progress, stopped by the mosque the day after the executive order was issued and brought yellow flowers to the members. Some of her friends did the same throughout the day, and mosque members Khaleel and Abdelmonein Elfagir sat outside to welcome the visitors.

Since the rally, CoMo for Progress has grown from a loosely organized Facebook page to a structured organization with 2,700 members.

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