The American Islamic Outreach Foundation hosted a “Meet your Muslim neighbor” event, inviting thousands of people in the surrounding community to do just that.
On Saturday afternoon, a Muslim call to prayer echoed through the Islamic Community Center of South Charlotte, a foreign sound to some inside.
“There are people around this mosque who are not Muslims, we want people to feel secure and safe from us and we want to feel safe and secure from them,” Mohammed Haron Sait said.
Sait said that the event was aimed to help stop stereotypes that are sweeping through our nation.
“Islamophobia is on the rise, unfortunately. We don’t want that to be the case. We love this country and we wish good for this country,” Sait said.
Terror attacks carried out in the name of Islam have fueled recent ideas and efforts to ban Muslims coming into the US, that alone has sent shock waves this community.
“We left our home countries to call this as home and to hear or to think of such a thing happening here, that’s really disheartening,” Sait said.
Theology major Justin Frantz attended the event. He hopes to be a pastor one day and came to learn more about the Islamic faith.
“You can’t play on people’s fears and ignorance which is what politicians are good at these days,” Frantz said.
Frantz hopes others step out of their comfort zones in the name of understanding.
“If you don’t get out and try and learn, then you’re going to stay in fear your entire life and that’s not a way to live,” Frantz said.