CHATTANOOGA – A local mosque in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is inviting community members wishing to attend their “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” event this Saturday, March 3, to foster unity and understanding.
“Our hope is that by conducting educational events such as these is that it will remove some of the misconceptions about Islam and increase better relations between Muslims and the non-Muslim community,” Hammad El-Ameen, a member of Understanding Islam organization, told University Echo.
Organized by Understanding Islam, the event aims to create a space for locals to meet their Muslim neighbors and gain a better understanding of the religion.
El-Ameen said that the organization promotes such events to counter the negative stereotypes and hate that comes with their practice.
They also hope to find common ground between different faiths and backgrounds.
“I had been interested in learning more about the Middle East for a while, and saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the religion,” said senior Rachel Frizzell from Spring Hill, Tenn.
Frizzell attended the event last year where she toured the school inside the mosque, ate various Middle Eastern food and desserts and learned how to wear hijab.
Through the event, Frizzell was able to meet a couple from Alabama who did not have a mosque in their town and traveled to Chattanooga specifically for the event.
“That was a really cool experience because we got to talk about our different travels, beliefs and current political climate,” said Frizzell.
Hosting these events, the organization hopes to enact positive change in conversation and gives attendees the knowledge to take into their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
“I am not of Muslim faith,” said Frizzell, “but I still felt connected to the members of the mosque because we all had something in common — love.”