“You Pray, We Stay! You Pray, We Stay!”
Such were the cheers protesters chanted as thousands across the US gathered at airports to express their disapproval of Trump’s unprecedented travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries. The executive order, disguised as a security measure, only affected innocent families and vulnerable refugees fleeing war and looking for safety.
Almost immediately following the ban, protesters rushed to occupy all major airports in the country to demand the release of innocent travellers with valid travel documents. One of the unintended outcomes of these demonstrations was the public acceptance of the Muslim ritual prayer at airports. As times of the five daily prayers entered, dozens of Muslims at the protests joined together to pray in congregation; the prayer somehow managed to become a form of protest itself at that point. This was a stark contrast to the usual circumstance where Muslims generally try to find secluded spots at airports and pray anxiously with hopes of avoiding too much attention. Moving images of protesters circling around Muslims as they say their prayers have gone viral on the internet; we share a few below that capture this historic moment.
Today, at Detroit Metro Airport, protesters made room for Muslims to pray.
— Diana Hussein (@heyadiana) January 30, 2017
— N. J. Burkett (@njburkett7) February 3, 2017
— Smiley Pool (@SmileyPool) January 30, 2017
Banning refugees is un-American. Prayer in protest at Denver Airport. (photo sent by a friend – I'm home, calling reps) pic.twitter.com/EAeV4c2Ip6
— Angie Pendergrass (@apuffycloud) January 29, 2017
— DLW (@Dlw20161950) January 29, 2017
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 3, 2017
For Muslims in Trump's America, prayer itself is a form of protest.
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) January 31, 2017