California community holds ‘Ask a Muslim’ forum to answer neighbors’ questions

FREMONT (KRON) — The Muslim community has seen backlash from the recent terror attacks both in California and abroad.

In the East Bay, a Muslim woman is holding a community meeting on Tuesday night to tell others that her religion does not pose a threat to public safety.

The room full of people in Fremont were asking questions about prayer routines, and how do Muslims feel about other religions?

And Moina Shaiq, one of the women on the panel, said she expected those questions. She said no question is off the table.

That is part of the reason the Ask a Muslim open session is happening, where people can ask anything. Shaiq said Muslims have faced backlash because of all the ISIS-related terror attacks.

“We are victims as much as anybody else. We need to stand together. We need to unite together to face an enemy,” Shaiq said.

Soon after the attack in Brussels, Sen. Ted Cruz called for special patrols in Muslim neighborhoods. And Donald Trump echoed what he’s said before–that the U.S. needs to have stronger borders.

“They might as well just put us in internment camps. We’re going back so many years into our dark history,” Shaiq said. “…We call it dark, and now we’re trying to do the same thing again today.”

But these Muslims said there may be a silver lining.

“If there’s a police car outside my home, I’ll feel safe that there won’t be any backlash towards me…,” Shaiq said.

People that came with their questions ready now understand that not all Muslims are terrorists.

“I think it dispels some of the fear. All Muslims are not like that. Here…are wonderful neighbors and individuals and people that we’d like to have in our communities,” said Rev. Barbara Myers, who is with Connections Counseling Center.

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