By Silvia Mazzocchin
BU News Service
Frigid temperatures and snow-covered streets did not stop dozens of participants from meeting in front of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) in Boston to form a “Human Wall of Compassion” so show solidarity with Boston’s Muslim residents on Saturday afternoon.
The demonstration, organized by Richard Inonog, was a response to the travel ban issued by President Donald Trump that targeted seven Muslim-majority countries. Colleen O’Malley, Inonog’s wife, said that, even though they are atheists, they wanted to support and protect the values of the United States, which welcomed Inonog after he immigrated from the Philippines. Inonog created an event on Facebook that got over 3,600 “interested” RSVPs.
Participants stood silently for about 45 minutes during the midday prayer. Some held signs that said “We Have Your Back” and people heading to the mosque shook the hands of the demonstrators and thanked them.
At the end of the demonstration, the participants were invited into the ISBCC, where members of the center offered them coffee, hot chocolate and tea. They gathered together in a common room and members of the center addressed them with welcoming and thankful words.
“After all the protests of the past weeks, I am glad to take part in something that has simply managed to take people outside and connect them together,” said Monica Ek, of Boston, who participated in the event.