Omaha Muslims Break Bread with Officers

OMAHA – Two years after the Islamic center in Omaha, Nebraska, was vandalized in a hate attack, Muslims and law enforcement officers have developed a special relation of mutual understanding.

“We all sat at the same table and shared our life stories,” Angela Reza told KMTV on Saturday, October 21.

Reza was talking during a luncheon hosted by the Islamic Center of Omaha.

Members of the Omaha Police Department, Department of Justice, ACLU and FBI attended the event.

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Saturday’s event is not the first to be hosted by the center, which has been hosting community events for a few years.

Members say hate crimes like vandalism two years ago have actually brought out a wonderful and encouraging response from the Omaha community as a whole.

Craig Schnackenberg, a supervisor of the Omaha FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, says relationships help keep everyone safe.

“Doing this kind of outreach and meeting with the public is one of the most important things we can do,” he said.

“Nobody wants to be discriminated against for any reason. Certainly folks are here just because of the clothes they wear or their religious beliefs. That’s one of the things we do here at the FBI is to protect all people.”

The Islamic center hosts similar events twice a month, a tradition its leaders intend to preserve.

“I think we had a wonderful turnout,” Reza said.

“I think a lot of officers showed up. I think everybody was happy. Everybody was welcoming.”