Ali Alkelani stood on the curb of Main Street near East Coffee Street, helping hold up a sign that said, "Muslims Against Isis."
He said he and other Muslims have found that people are tying them to ISIS in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
"This is something we're really against," Alkelani said. "We believe ISIS is a terrorist organization. And the Muslims, they have nothing to do with ISIS. So we as Muslims, we condemn the ideology and acts of ISIS. So we're here to say we have nothing to do with ISIS."
The Islamic Society of Greenville organized the rally in downtown Greenville, and Alkelani, one of its members, made and distributed signs.
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Ted Morrison, of Greenville, learned about the event at the beginning of church Sunday at St. Giles Presbyterian and decided to support it. He held a sign that read "Stop ISIS not refugees."
"Let's be realistic: We're all immigrants," Morrison said. "And I think that we do disservice to hospitality and community if we reject people who are different than us. And in this case, they would be people who are refugees from hostility. Gosh, these people are really yearning to breathe free. And we're America. We're supposed to support those who are seeking freedom."
No one openly disagreed with Morrison's sign downtown Sunday. However, refugees have been a hot topic statewide and nationally.
More than two dozen governors last week signaled that they would prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states, USA TODAY reported. They are concerned refugees seeking to relocate to the United States might have terrorist ties after reports surfaced that one of the attackers in the Paris attacks may have entered France as a Syrian refugee.
Governor Nikki Haley, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, questioned the ability of federal agents to thoroughly vet Syrian refugees and asked that no Syrians be sent to South Carolina.
Anchia Kinard, of Simpsonville, happened to be walking through downtown and noticed the rally. She said she agreed with it and was encouraged to see so many cultures represented.
"I wouldn't expect to see this in Greenville," she said.
Akan Malici, an associate professor at Furman, addressed the crowd, calling ISIS an enemy of humanity. His eyes watered as he spoke about how Muslims have been killed by ISIS and are fleeing for safety.
"It means so much to us that you are all here," he said.