An American Muslim outreach group in Louisville is hosting regular open houses to answer people’s questions about Islam after the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan.
“It so happens that when people, when they don’t know each other, there is a fear of the unknown,” said Sabeel Ahmed, director of GainPeace, a national organization that aims to build a bridge between the Muslim community and others, Spectrum News reported.
Ahmed speaks frequently at the Guiding Light Islamic Center in Louisville.
“The feedback that we have gotten so far is – in the previous open houses – is that people are really benign and they’re positive; they’re sincere,” he said.
“They want to learn about Islam. They don’t want to just follow the social media perhaps or some other not-so-valid sources, so people come here and they open up.”
After the Taliban takeover, Ahmed hopes these events hosted by Louisville Muslim community shatter the fears about Muslims and reflect the true tenets of their faith.
“Just like, suppose, if the KKK is doing something wrong in the name of Christianity or the Bible, we don’t blame Christianity or the Bible or the Christian community, we blame the certain individuals,” he said.
Meanwhile, many Muslims in Louisville are actively trying to help refugees coming from Afghanistan.
“We are gathering support for the people who are coming as refugees and people who are stuck up there; who may need help up there,” Ahmed said. “So financially and logistically and legally, we are coming together.”
He hopes his efforts would help people understand their neighbors better.
“We want people, at the end of the day, to know we are all humans living in this beautiful country and despite the differences,” he said.
“We want to work together as Americans, as humans, and as Muslims. That’s what our faith teaches us.”
Gainpeace is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to educate the general public about Islam and to clarify many misconceptions they may hold.
GainPeace works under the umbrella of Islamic Circle of North America.
With the refugees’ arrival, several Muslim groups have been leading effort to help refugees in their new homes.
The Muslim Alliance of Indiana has collected donations, including about 600 prayer rugs and Tasbeeh, or reflections beads, from both Muslim Hoosiers and various congregations.
People of other faiths also raced to provide needs of refugees.