Flint church hosts "Get To Know Your Muslim Neighbor" event - WNEM TV 5

Flint church hosts "Get To Know Your Muslim Neighbor" event

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Nearly one-hundred people came out to a local church for the “Forgotten History:  Muslims & Early America," informational service and panel discussion.

The event was in part, a response to anti-Muslim rhetoric during the presidential election and President Donald Trump's executive order limiting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

"I want people to know us so they know that we are not different, Muslim and Islam is part of America" said Qudsia Ijaz.

She’s lived in America for almost 30 years, but says there's still a need to break down cultural barriers and open lines of communication.

Ijaz and other members of the Muslim American Society attended the "Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbor" event in Flint.

Hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Flint, the event was a way to enlighten folks in the community through hands-on cultural activities.

"I think in today's society a lot of times we focus on fears and we focus on the things that are different between each other and today was a celebration of the things we have in common," said Worship Associate, David Clement.

Focusing on the aspects of religion that unify rather than diversify, the discussion panel also touched on the forgotten history of Muslims in early America.

Attendees checked out a poster exhibit, novels, henna tattoos and calligraphy booths. Women even had the option to dress in hijab.

"You know the old saying if I don't stand up for them, who's going to stand up for me?" Said Bonnie Pabocik. She said she admires the modesty represented by Muslim women, “I wondered what it would feel like to dress in one, and it’s pretty cool,” Pobocik added.

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