A resolution aimed at combating anti-Muslim sentiment will come before the city council in Michigan City, Indiana, Tuesday evening, with the goal of shoring up support for Muslim residents and immigrants. Supporters of the resolution hope it will push the state’s governor, Mike Pence, into softening his stance toward accepting Syrians, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.
"As a nation of immigrants, we have to treat all of the immigrants with the same respect that our ancestors were treated," said Jeanette Neagu, chairperson of Concerned Citizens for Syrian Refugees, a local group that supports Syrian refugees, the Indiana newspaper reported.
If it passes, the resolution will be presented to the governor and members of the house and senate. Councilwoman Pat Boy, who is expected to present the resolution, is hoping it will encourage politicians to advocate for tougher legislation against hate crimes.
"We're trying to tell the governor basically that not everybody in this country hates everybody else," Boy said.
— NW Indiana News (@NWINews) February 16, 2016
One of the U.S.’s oldest mosques sits in Michigan City and Muslims – although a small minority – make up the largest non-Christian group in Indiana, the Huffington Post reported.
The state’s governor is among two dozen mostly Republican state leaders to have vowed to halt resettlement of refugees from Syria in their state. The proposed resolution — which highlights Muslim contributions to the nation — was partly responding to a call for a partial ban on Muslim immigration into the U.S. Republican front-runner and business mogul Donald Trump said Muslims should temporarily be prevented from entering the country, following attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead in November.
After Trump said accepting Syrian refugees was "insane" President Barack Obama fired back. “Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That’s not who we are. And it’s not what we’re going to do,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Michigan City resolution states that "hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States' values of acceptance, welcoming and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs and cultures."