Closed borders, bodegas: Yemeni workers protest ‘Muslim ban’

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Hungry for justice: Striking bodega owners outside Borough Hall on Thursday rallied in solidarity with fellow Muslims barred from entering the U.S. by President Trump.
Submission, then resistance: The demonstration began with an Islamic prayer.
Got your back: One pious patriot wrapped himself in the American flag.
One nation: Many signs bore unifying messages as Old Glory mingled with the banned nations’ banners.
Serious: Demonstrators fly the Syrian Independance flag, a symbol of opposition forces in the nation’s ongoing civil war, and a throw-back to the flag when the country first gained independance from France.

Talk about bodega heroes!

Yemeni deli workers protesting President Trump’s “Muslim ban” went on strike on Thursday and flooded Borough Hall Plaza, carrying flags from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen — and plenty of Old Glory. They were showing their dedication to the American dream, said one business owner.

“We are here to stay. We are the fabric of our communities, our city, and our country. People depend on us and our businesses, and we deserve to be here, our families deserve to come here, and we deserve respect.,” said Ahmed Abboud, who closed his Bay Ridge bodega earlier in the day and came down with his brothers and staff.

President Trump’s order suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocks citizens of the seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, except legal permanent residents.

Demonstrators packed in hours before the 5 pm kick-off, chanting “No ban, no wall, NYC for all” and “We stand together.” The rally began with an Islamic prayer followed by remarks from a slew of local pols and community activists urging solidarity.

“We are all Muslim today,” said Borough President Adams. “You have the right to your American dream. And to be part of what America stands for. And this sends a loud and clear message.”

Many at the rally said they have been in the U.S. for decades. But some were newer arrivals who came a few years ago fleeing political instability — only to jump out of one frying pan and into another.

The section of Bay Ridge jokingly called “Bay Root” for its sizable Middle Eastern community was a ghost town Thursday afternoon. More than a dozen Fifth Avenues businesses went dark for the rally, many of which with signs plastered in their storefront that read, “Refugees and Immigrants are welcome here. No Muslim ban. No border wall. Our communities stand tall.”

Taking a hit at the cash register was worth it to make a statement, one store owner said.

“I don’t even care that this is costing me,” said Hussein Bahar who co-owns a bodega with his brother in Sunset Park. “This is too important not to. How can I stay at home and not come out and defend myself? The people need to know we are upset.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Anony from Plg says:
It is a misrepresentation to call this a "Muslim ban"
There are 50 majority Muslim countries. This is a temporary ban on travel from seven, specific states that are failed states or otherwise so dysfunctional that we cannot vet anyone from them for terror ties in a meaningful way.
These seven countries were not even a list made up by the Trump Administration. His executive order only places this reatriction by reference to those specific countries designated by the Obama Administration as the most terror infrared.
And please stop ignoring Islamic extremist terror. Just as this is not a ban on all Muslims it is very true that not all Mullins are terrorists. However there is an unacceptable risk, now, that too many from these particular countries are Islamic extremist terrorists.
The Trump Administration, in this, is fulfilling the mandate of a lawful election to prioritize the safety of Americans over the privilege of some, specific countries to have their citizens travel here.
Feb. 3, 2017, 7:47 am
Ahmed from Bay ridge says:
Why not demonstrating against Yemen to stop terror? I disagree with this demonstration against America , we should demonstrates against terror in Yemen and other Muslim terror states. America wants to protect the people against Isis and al Kaida and radicals from coming into America and making trouble here. We Muslims suffer much more from these radicals coming here we don't want terror here we should stop demonstrating America and demonstrate against Yemen terror
Feb. 3, 2017, 8:51 am
Tyler from pps says:
We the people protest and demonstrate to effect change in our country -- this includes how our nation interacts and intervenes on foreign soil.

It makes no sense to have a "protest against Yemen."

We have, as a nation, ACTIVELY engaged our military in Yemen. We just had a raid in Yemen against al Qaeda that ended with 14 dead al Qaeda militants, 1 dead Navy SEAL, and over a dozen dead civilians. We are diplomatically engaged with the Yemeni government (not all unrest in the country is "terror based", we are partnered with neighboring states (Saudi Arabia, etc.)

There are no protests "against terror in Yemen" because we are committed, and pretty unitedly so as a nation, that al Qaeda and ISIS are "bad" (understatement of the year). However, we do protest and demonstrate about HOW we conduct ourselves, what the ultimate goal is, are we sacrificing our values for expediency, sacrificing freedom for a (false) sense of security, etc. etc.

A protest/demonstration "against al Qaeda" isn't going to make al Qaeda say, "Oh, they're right, we're very naughty!" But it may (and does) affect how our lawmakers, diplomats and military approach a situation.

Similarly, when people in our country take to the streets (and telephones) to demonstrate against things like "oppression of women in X country" or for "democracy in Y country" -- we are pressuring OUR country's lawmakers, diplomats and so on to put pressure on or direct intervene in X or Y country... Even when they are "solidarity" demonstrations in support of demonstrations in other places/countries, they are signals to OUR OWN government representatives that they should be reflecting our values and thoughts.
Feb. 3, 2017, 10:52 am
Ahmed from Bay ridge says:
Tyler i agree what you said , all I say is that is wrong for Muslims to demonstrate against America . America very good to Muslims more better then any Muslim country in the entire world. So why should Muslims demonstrate against America ? Trump don't hate Muslims , president trump want to stop terror from coming from Muslim countries to America , president trump don't hate Yemenite community, it's a lie
Feb. 3, 2017, 11:45 am
Tyler from pps says:
Ahmed -
I hope you're right about Trump (and especially his advisors) not hating Muslims. I am not so sure.

However, we don't want to sacrifice our American values for "feeling" safe -- at the expense of other. These American values extend to ALL people in our country. Muslims shouldn't have to be silent and feel "lucky" because it's better here than somewhere else.
Feb. 3, 2017, 12:42 pm
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
Stop the Muslim ban!
Feb. 3, 2017, 12:53 pm
Ban all Muslim from Germany says:
Just ban Muslim immigration period. 99.9 terror acts are Muslims
Feb. 3, 2017, 1:53 pm
Dooter from Park Slope says:
Please keep their filthy rat-attracting, over-priced, dirty stores closed forever. Go back to Yemen, no one will genuinely miss them.
Feb. 3, 2017, 2:18 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
All comments above are either un-American hateful views or without sense or understanding.

All Americans have the right and duty to petition and protest their government. No American has any more right to this country as any other.

And, to the idiots above, a diverse group of Amercians will overtake your sorry human state of mind group and marry your daughters, and will live in your homes with a more just and kind purpose than you ever had.
Feb. 3, 2017, 3:06 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Charles -- I hope you're leaving me and Ahmed out of this...
Feb. 3, 2017, 3:14 pm
Gunther from Manhattan says:
Charles, don't be an ignorant, sharia law punishes with death every Muslim that married a non Muslim , Muslim family members will murder their own family for that
Feb. 3, 2017, 3:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I'm not getting why Yemen is being singled out here. Weren't the majority of the 9/11 hijackers from Saudi Arabia? Why aren't there restrictions on that country? Maybe it's because of oil or that House of Saud will stop having good relations with the US. What I don't like is the fact that when it comes to protesting Islamic terrorist attacks, I didn't see a lot Muslims in that protest. As a matter of fact, I do remember when going to rallies to protest Hamas, who is a terrorist organization according to the US State Department, there were Muslims actually defending their actions and even calling for them to do another intifada. For the record, I don't care about their practices just as long as they aren't forcing it on me and/or calling me an infidel just for thinking differently from them, which shows that there is also hatred existing with them as well.
Feb. 3, 2017, 4:13 pm
Ben from Bronx says:
Tal, you are baned as a Jew from entering most Muslim countries so are all Israelis .
Feb. 3, 2017, 4:54 pm
Frank from Furter says:
How many terrorist attacks in the USA from people from these 7 countries? I am pretty sure it's zero. Most of the terrorist attacks occurred from people born in the good old USA. Remember Oklahoma City? He was from western N.Y. Didn't most of the 9- 11 Saudi's come through Canada...yet no extreme vetting for Canada. The recent terrorist attack in Canada was home grown there too.
Feb. 4, 2017, 7:06 am
Frank from Furter says:
But with what Trump has done recruiting will be easier than ever..
So says the CIA too but we know that President Bannon doesn't believe them either.
Feb. 4, 2017, 7:11 am
Adolfo from Panama says:
Put all yemenites on a ship and sail them off back home
Feb. 4, 2017, 11:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ben what really annoys me about Muslims is their double standards when it comes to respecting others. I have found it an irony that they always call for everyone else to respect them, but at the same time, they hardly ever show it to others especially Jews. As a matter of fact, where do they have the right to complain about not being let into other countries in the world when they don't allow certain groups to enter theirs'? They have to learn that tolerance is a two way street here. More importantly, why are we not denying those from Iran since it has a long history of funding Islamic terrorist organizations despite numerous traces leading to that? Does Iran also have something to prevent that as well? Overall, I don't support denying Muslims as a whole, just the ones that are possible terrorists.
Feb. 5, 2017, 4:01 pm
George from Jersey city says:
I used to buy my newspaper at the corner Yemenite candy store , he had a beautiful wife that attended the customers , one morning when I didn't see her , I asked where is she? No answers, not even her husband said anything , two weeks latter her nefhew were arrested on murder charges , her husband was also a suspect but took off to Yemen and he was charged in absentee , the reason she was murdered is because the family was ashamed of her because she was very courteous with customers and suspected her of having to much to do with males. What a sick people these Muslims are, so no I don't give a dam if they ban Muslims , just ban theses people forever from entering the USA
Feb. 5, 2017, 6:56 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Any one think we have been admitting person's from Iran without careful screening already? How many people executed this week from Saudi Arabia? No one says that Iran is not a problem...but there is no simple solutions only simpletons think so.
Feb. 6, 2017, 12:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Perhaps this letter from today's Voice of the People on the Daily News will answer why Trump doesn't ban anyone from these countries.

The plain truth

Manhattan: To Voicer Victor Binghi: It’s great to defend an opinion, but one should have facts first. Not one American has been killed here by any citizens of the countries in Trump’s Muslim ban. In fact, 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and the rest from UAE and Egypt. None of these are on the ban list, but all of them are on the Trump business list. Those are real facts.

Doreen Canuelas
Feb. 6, 2017, 3:30 pm
Gary from Fort Greene says:
Doreen, the seven countries were not chosen at random. They were the subject of previous legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. These were countries that, except for Iran, are failed states: there is no administrative apparatus in any of them on which we can rely to determine whether a potential entrant into the USA is who s/he says. The delay is necessary to study the problem and put other measures in place.

All proceeds, if there are any, will go to the Clinton Foundation.
Feb. 6, 2017, 5:16 pm

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