Senator Durbin Discusses Islamophobia with Muslim Youth at CAIR-Chicago

“…let’s be honest: in America discrimination against Muslim Americans is on the rise. It is a terrible situation that we need to speak out against, all of us. Not just Muslim Americans and politicians, but everybody. We are a diverse nation, our diversity is our strength…” –Sen. Dick Durban

“In this current political climate, we believe that it is critical for our elected officials to publicly acknowledge what our young people are going through and to stand with us against hate. Understand that what you went through was not a one-off. This happens to Muslims unfortunately every day. That’s why we create organizations like CAIR-Chicago to ensure we are able to fight for you and work to ensure things like this don’t happen again.” – Ahmed Rehab

Last week, Senator Dick Durban made a visit to the CAIR-Chicago office to tour the space, speak with staff, and have a conversation with young Muslim teens on experiences they’re facing. Specifically, the Senator wanted to hear first-hand the story of the 5 young teens who were faced with vitriolic harassment at Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, and make it known this sort of bigotry would not be tolerated.

Heartbreaking stories were shared, from being yelled at by passing cars to fear of standing too close to the train platform and getting pushed onto an oncoming train to harassment by customers at work. After the discussion, Senator Durbin gave a press statement, calling on politicians and everyday people to stand up to hate and bigotry wherever they see it. We thank everyone who came out to share their stories, and to Senator Durbin for his consistent support of CAIR-Chicago and our work defending civil rights and fighting bigotry. We will not remain silent in the face of Islamophobia.