February 28, 2017

Hilmy Bakri of Islamic School of RI to Join Whitehouse for Joint Session of Congress

Hilmy Bakri, President of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic School of Rhode Island, will this evening attend the address by President Donald Trump before a joint session of Congress as the guest of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

“On election night, President Trump pledged to be a ‘president for all Americans.’  But in one short month, his rash and controversial actions have provoked fear and uncertainty among millions of Americans,” said Whitehouse.  “As the eyes of the world turn to the President tonight seeking some sense of stability from this administration, I’ll be watching in the House Chamber along with Hilmy Bakri of the Islamic School of Rhode Island – one of the many Americans to whom Trump so swiftly broke his promise.”

Bakri lives in Cranston with his wife and three children, and works as a project manager for an eyewear company.  He received a standing ovation from hundreds of attendees at a community forum hosted by Whitehouse in Providence last month.

“As Muslims, we feel the pain and anxiety shared by millions across the country targeted by President Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and false accusations,” Bakri said.  “Muslims have joined in on the Women’s March, protested the travel ban and have demanded more from our elected officials.  Post-election, I have increased my advocacy to protect our civil rights, helped build a grassroots organization within our community, participated in round table discussions against Senator Sessions’ nomination for attorney general, and canvassed against state bills opposing immigration in Rhode Island.  I intend to do much more and, God willing, our community will work with allies on issues such as health care for all, equal pay for equal work, safe schools, strong education, and justice.”

Trump signed an executive order last month banning travel from certain majority-Muslim countries and freezing the refugee program, immediately undermining the legal status of thousands of individuals and families, including legal permanent residents and refugees already in transit, and setting off chaos at airports across the country.  A federal appeals court has halted the order nationwide, calling it an unconstitutional use of executive power.

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