Texas Muslim Capitol Day is a gathering hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which engages the Muslim community and local lawmakers. Two years ago, the Muslim participants who visited the capitol were met with dozens of protesters who interrupted their event and wouldn’t let speakers give their prepared remarks.
But this year, when participants walked up to the south steps of the Capitol on Tuesday morning, they were surrounded by a massive human circle made up of at least 1,000 supporters, mostly non-Muslim, who were there to make sure that the event went off without a hitch.
“I’ve never seen a sight like that, complete solidarity,” says Samiyah Hossain, smiling. “It was really an enveloping feeling that these people who I don’t even know, who don’t know me or us who have come from far away, are here for us anyway and to show solidarity and uniformity with us.”
Nearly 2,000 people attended the rally, making it the largest Capitol Day in its 14-year history. The event attracted people from several different faiths, some of whom donned T-shirts which read: “I stand with my Muslim neighbors.”