|Holy Prophet Mosque -- Public Domain Photo by muritala yusuf olanrewaju|
About 200 people gathered at the Mosque of Nasreen in San Luis Obispo on Friday afternoon eager to do something “to make sure evil does not triumph,” as Rev. Jay Perry, president of the San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association, put it.
Speaking at a rally planned to show support for the local Islamic community, Perry, pastor at the SLO Adventist Church, said, “We are here today to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters who are increasingly coming under threat in this country. At the heart of every major world religion is the golden rule: That we must treat each other the way we would want to be treated in the same situation.”
Community and business leaders, local residents and members of other faith communities gathered in the mosque’s courtyard after the afternoon prayer had ended, some clutching homemade signs and holding them up high to face the constant stream of traffic on Walnut Street.
“These words stand for things I believe in and it seemed like a good opportunity to represent these values and support our diverse community,” said resident Will Jones, whose sign read: “Peace. Love. Compassion. Acceptance. No more fear.”
... Some members of the county’s Islamic community said they are conducting outreach and education to both Muslims and non-Muslims. They want to encourage Muslims to get involved in their communities and be productive citizens, and they want to encourage non-Muslims to reach out, learn more about Islam and have compassion for Muslims who are victims of the Islamic State.
The rally was planned after some local activists, pastors, rabbis and community members showed an interest “in coming together to support the Muslim community given the heightened hateful rhetoric against the Muslim community recently,” said Naiyerah Kolkailah, president of the Islamic Society of San Luis Obispo County. She estimates about 200 to 300 Muslims live in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties.
Several religious leaders, a local activist and County Supervisor Adam Hill spoke at Friday’s rally.
Cynthia Lambert: 805-781-7929, @ClambertSLO
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