WICHITA, Kansas – People of all faiths joined together Sunday night for a message of peace and understanding.
Part of President Barack Obama’s address focused on the same message the people at the Muslim Community Center hold dear, the radicals in these terror attacks don’t represent their faith.
Sunday night’s meeting was to bring that message front and center in Wichita.
Planned as the usual gathering, organizers say the timing couldn’t be better.
“It was designed because things have been going on, both hatred of Muslims and lots of discrimination of Muslims has been happening in this country, it has been accelerating, so we felt this program was really well-timed,” said Gretchen Eick, President of Global Learning Center of Wichita.
Hussam Madi with the Islamic Society of Wichita says since the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino in the past month, the words Islam and Islamic have been used in a negative context,
“The remarks we’ve been hearing, because of the Islamophobia rhetoric that is out there so that’s why we are excited about it, we’re connecting with a lot of our fellow Americans,” said Madi.
The hope being, Madi says, to help answer many of the questions people of other faiths might have.
“It is merely to educate, to dispel any fear anyone has or might have,” said Madi.
Also, to give people a new outlook on the Islamic faith.
“The hope of this meeting is that people who come will go away with new eyes, with new vision of each other,” said Eick.
Organizers tell KSN they did extend a general invitation and sent formal letters to the Sedgwick County Commissioners offices for this event.
This comes after comments Commissioner Karl Peterjohn made last month regarding Muslims.
Organizers say none of the commissioners were in attendance this evening.