By Kirsten Glavin


PROVIDENCE, RI -  Speakers were frustrated and lost a bit of their patience Monday, after dozens swarmed the state house to protest those wanting Syrian refugees out of Rhode Island.

"We're not anti–Muslim, anti–Judaism, we're not any of that. We're here just to voice our concerns,” argued Russell Taub, candidate for U.S. Congress and one of the speakers.

But hardly any concerns were heard.  Every speech was interrupted by chants, booing and screaming. 

The message that speakers tried to deliver was that welcoming refugees into the country isn't safe.  They said the concern was mainly due to possible connection to terrorism, and argued that Syrians are raised to hate people of the Jewish faith.

"If you let emotion rule the day, you're going to end up making bad decisions,” Pete Hoekstra, Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told ABC6 News.

Hoekstra’s message, along with the others, was not well received.Especially by refugees and immigrants in the audience.

“We are not killers, we are not terrorists…  we are not the scary narrative that they are trying to present out there,” said Omar Bah, founder of the Refugee Dream Center in Providence.  

"Use your heart and use your conscience because people need shelter,” added Youssef Bahra, an American born and raised in Syria. “They're dying on a daily basis.”

The numbers were overwhelmingly in the protesters favor, completely drowning out the complaints against the governor's welcome.

"I think the huge presence in the crowd today shows conclusively that Rhode Islanders do not share this view,” said John Robbins, a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Massachusetts.