Madison city, 15 Rabi’ul Akhir 1437/25 January 2016 (MINA) – Madinah Community Center (MCC), a mosque in Madison, a western city in USA, hosted a panel discussion on Saturday to help the community better understand Islam and Muslims, amid fears nationwide over the threat of ISIS.
Leaders from all over southern Wisconsin shared a strong message of unity while taking part in the function, International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The open panel discussion called “Islam, Muslims and the West, ISIL – Our Common Enemy” happened at the Monona Terrace and it was sponsored by the MCC.
During the event, Muslim leaders spoke about their hope for peace despite fears of terrorism.
“We are living peacefully and we love one another and our objective is to do something that will benefit us in this country and benefit the common generations in future,” said Imam Alhagie Jallow, with Madinah Community Center.
It was a packed room at Monona Terrace on Saturday, as people heard from Muslim leaders like Madison Alder Samba Baldeh, who came to the U.S. from Gambia 16 years ago.
“With this kind of a forum, we will be sending a message to both Donald Trump but also to the Republican Party that America is a country of immigrants, that America is me and you,” Baldeh told the crowd. “You cannot tell a difference who’s a Muslim here, who’s a Christian, who’s a Jew, or who is what and we want to send that message very clear, loud and clear, to everybody out there.”
Congressman Mark Pocan spoke about changing the political rhetoric to avoid discrimination.
“Someone goes into and attacks people in an abortion clinic and claims they’re doing it in the name of Christianity, we don’t condemn Christianity, and yet when ISIL does what they do across the globe some are trying to blame anyone who happens to be a Muslim and that’s just wrong,” Pocan said.
Others, like Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne talked about the importance of religious freedom and understanding of others.
“This nation is not based on one religion, but based on the belief that it is better for all of us to have the freedom to practice and express ourselves, whether we believe and for some who don’t,” Ozanne said.
Moderator Masood Akhtar of Middleton, says the event is critically important to combat an environment of fear. He wants to send a very strong message “that we are in this fight together” in creating understanding of Muslims and how groups like his are trying to maintain peace and harmony, inspite of what he calls the fear that that terrorist organizations like ISIL use as a recruiting tool. (T/P006/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)