"We want to send a message to every American in every corner of America to say, please don't hate. Please don't fear."
Dozens of people gathered outside the Islamic Center of Southern California Friday as one in a series of nationwide rallies in solidarity with immigrants and the Muslim community in response to President Donald Trump's recent order temporarily banning visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Waving signs and chanting slogans, participants in the afternoon rally said they wanted to send a message of togetherness, and also to combat notions that Muslims should be feared.
"We want to send a message to every American in every corner of America to say, please don't hate. Please don't fear," ac
tivist Jarin Islam told the crowd.
Organizers of the rally said they wanted to show unity with people who have been "ostracized by the Trump Administration" and decry "hate- mongering."
"We are one nation, united and strengthened by century-old traditions that no one administration can undo," said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "Our unity and demonstrations of love and resistance will defeat hate and division."
A separate march and rally with the same message was held at the University of La Verne.
"We have many students who are personally affected by an executive order that bans certain groups of people, so it creates a sense of lack of belonging or fear," university chaplain Zandra Wagoner told ABC7.
"Our unity and demonstrations of love and resistance will defeat hate and division."
Trump's order suspends entry into the United States for those traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and all refugee admission for 120 days. It indefinitely suspends refugee admissions from Syria.
Trump has defended the order and condemned characterizations of the action as a "Muslim ban."
"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion -- this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.
We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days. I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as president I will find ways to help all those who are suffering."