Georgia – Amid rising political tension, stirred by President Trump’s revised ban on people from six Muslim countries, Georgia mosques opened their doors to their neighbors, answering questions and correcting misconceptions about Islam.
“In a time when we’re seeing an increase in hate speech and hate crimes against American Muslims the best thing we can do is to show love to our neighbor,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Executive Director of Council on Islamic Relations-Georgia, told WTOC.com on Sunday, March 12.
Mitchell was speaking as mosques across the entire state of Georgia opened their doors for anyone in the community to learn more about their religion.
The Islamic Center of Savannah opened its door and welcomed people to a meet and greet style open house.
They taught the diverse crowd about Islam, allowed people to take a tour of the mosque and debunked common myths about terrorists and how violence goes against their religion.
“I see all of these people here supporting us, I feel so happy about that, and I feel like this is America,” said Fatimah Alhatemi, Mosque Member.
“I know America is a country of immigrants and all of us here are immigrants, we came from everywhere and this is how we make America great.”
The event was co-hosted by the Savannah Area Young Republicans, who attended the event to learn more than what is shown on television.
“We all got to learn a little more about each other and realize that whether we’re republican or Muslim, we’re all Americans and that’s what’s important,” Stephen Plunk with the Savannah Area Young Republicans said.
“Understanding between different groups who all live in one community and then once the travel ban came down it was even more imperative than ever to go ahead and get this off the ground as quickly as possible.”
“The countries around them they don’t allow them and then here if you ban them from coming where do they go? They don’t have anywhere else to go, so I would like please to remove the ban,” said Alhatemi.
Mitchell, with CAIR, added that actions speak louder than words and he wants people to see Muslims in a better light and see they’re just like you and me.
“Muslims, Jews, Christians have so much in common we should be building bridge with each other, not arguing with each other, not fighting with each other, let’s work together on our common values and to some extent our common beliefs,” said Mitchell.