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Cardinal hosts meeting of local Muslims leaders, officials


Gov. Charlie Baker, Cardinal Seán O'Malley and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh listen to remarks by Shaykh Yasir Fahmy of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center at a gathering hosted by the cardinal at the rectory of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Feb. 2. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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SOUTH END -- Representatives from the Archdiocese of Boston gathered with Muslim leaders and public officials Feb. 2 for an impromptu meeting to convey support and solidarity, especially in light of the recent executive order that restricted immigration into the country.

Held in the rectory of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, attendees included Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodios, and director of the Islamic Council of New England Nabeel Khudairi. A number of Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Muslim community representatives and faith leaders were also present.

The meeting was held just days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order, Jan. 27, that bans all refugees from resettling in the U.S. for four months, and all Syrian refugees from resettling in the country indefinitely. The order also blocks immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from coming into the U.S. for three months. Several courts blocked parts of the order, and as of press time, a federal appeals court was deciding whether a restraining order issued by a lower court against the travel ban should remain in effect while a challenge to the ban proceeds.

"We come here today to express our commitment to solidarity," said Cardinal O'Malley, speaking to the Muslim leaders.

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