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Crowd Flocks To Times Square For 'Today, I Am A Muslim Too' Rally

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A crowd flooded Times Square Sunday to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies, claiming they target Muslims.

The order, which was placed on hold earlier this month by a federal judge, banned travel from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also banned all refugees from across the globe. On Feb. 9, a three judge panel from the the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the temporary ban.

But at the rally, organized by music producer and businessman Russell Simmons, speakers said Muslims are under "increasing threat and pressure" under the Trump administration. The rally was titled, "Today, I am a Muslim Too."

"(Trump) will leave a legacy of hate in America moving toward greater love," Simmons said. "All of the diversity that we see here today will prevail, and America will go back to moving toward a more loving place."

Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the speakers at the rally.

"Here's the message I want to give as mayor of this city, to everyone who's here. Regardless of your faith or your background or where you were born, this is your city," de Blasio said. "And to everybody, this is your country too. This is your country too. And think about the origins of this country – a country founded by people fleeing religious persecution. A country founded to respect all faiths and all beliefs. This is who we are as Americans, and this must be protected."

Actress Susan Sarandon had harsh words for the Trump administration.

"We are standing here at this moment in history when it no longer possible to be neutral. If you are silent, then you are complicit," she said. "We are here because we will not be cogs in this machine that is dismantling our constitution; that is dismantling our bill of rights."

President Trump has argued that his travel ban did not amount to a "Muslim ban" and did not target immigrants.

He said at a news conference last week that he would release a new executive order on immigration in the week to come to -- in his words -- "comprehensively protect our country.''

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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