"The love for another human being is not a religious issue. It's not a race issue, it's not a nationality issue — it's a human reality," Faizan Syed, the executive director of the Council on American–Islamic Relations St. Louis, said at a rally on Sunday.
"Nationally, this is more of an issue now, and with that comes a lot of racist rhetoric, but that also means people are coming now and more people at least paying attention," rally-goer Raquel Dominguez said.
St. Louis' resettlement office sponsors about 650 refugees every year. But that number is expected to rise.
That's not nearly as many as Canada and several other Western nations.
"When you see such images of humanity being attacked, you have to do something, you have to say something," Syed said.
"We're just here to welcome refugees. We're not here to get involved in any severe political debates," rally-goer Madison Bouse said.