Dozens of people rallied in Palos Hills Monday in support of Muslim immigrants and against a local elected official’s comments that Muslims are dangerous.
There were so many protesters inside a trustee meeting in Palos Hills Monday that they overflowed, filling an area outside.
Protesting what they see as hate speech, people from Palos Hills and beyond rallied calling for township trustee Sharon Brannigan to go.
“Sharon Brannigan’s comments are creating a space where it’s ok to use hateful rhetoric towards a minority and it’s not,” said activist Emily Biegel.
The protesters say Brannigan is anti-Muslim after Facebook posts of hers surfaced questioning headscarves, sanctuary cities and immigrant students.
In a recent post, she asked why schools here are “filling with Middle East students without proper documentation?”
And back in 2015, she wrote about Muslims saying “…very few integrate within the communities keeping themselves and their activities hidden….”
“It seems she’s trying to spew hate online to get votes and popularity that way. But when your constituents are Muslim – 25 percent are Muslim. That’s not the way to go,” said resident Mervate Mohammed.
But Brannigan told FOX 32 she’s only questioning illegal immigrants’ impact on the township’s bottom line.
“All it is about is taxes. And what it’s doing to residents here, so it’s puzzling to me that my words would be turned in such a manner,” Brannigan said.
After the rally, fire codes kept dozens of community members waiting outside while Brannigan faced about 40 people who squeezed into the Palos Township trustee meeting.
“I am fully supportive of inviting all hardworking immigrants who contribute their fair share,” Brannigan said.
But it wasn’t enough to appease the protesters.
“We call upon Brannigan to resign and resign immediately,” protesters said.
Brannigan says she has no plans to resign, and the board can’t force her to go since it’s an elected position.
Protesters plan to be back at every trustee meeting until Brannigan is gone.
video and photo courtesy of Fox 32 Chicago