Raleigh church tackles Islamophobia discussion

Posted January 13, 2016

Until recently, we had never heard the word Islamophobia. It’s a word created out of the fear of what some term “radical Islam” and the result of a handful of Muslims worldwide who have killed in the name of Islam.

The fears those attacks have generated across the country and here in the Triangle are real, and on Wednesday night at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, WRAL's David Crabtree facilitated a discussion led by Pullen Senior Pastor Rev. Nancy Petty and Muslim community leaders, with input from Pullen congregants, area Muslims and the public. The forum marked the start of a discussion of ways non-Muslims and Muslims can live in the same area and learn not to fear each other.

Petty remembered a service held at the church on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, when Muslims were invited to attend and pray.

"As soon as the service was over that evening, I immediately began receiving hate mail," she recalled.

Moments like that service led to events like Wednesday's discussion.

""It is time we become united to say no to the politics of fear," said Monsoor Cheema.

Muslims and non-Muslims took to the stage together- getting to know ech other by asking tough questions.

"If Muslims were as they appear on the 6 o'clock news, I would not want to be within 100 yards of one. But, the reality is, we aren't," said Emam Mohammed AbuTaleb.

Emams say Muslims respect the value of every life. They are expected to support their neighbors but, as in other religions, some have distorted that.

"There are radical Muslims, they are the minority, and we would like to weed them out," said Mohammed Elgamal with the Raleigh Islamic Association

In the meantime, many Muslims said they can be targeted in the community.

"People who are even perceived as Muslims are victims of attack," said Cheema.

There are plans for more meetings and larger meetings to educate teh Triangle about their Muslim neighbors.

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church has a long tradition of progressive stands on social issues and has been active in support of civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • John Gardner Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    I have to admit, I was wrong. It must be Christians murdering Muslims. My mistake.

  • Greg Klayton Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The only time anti-Christians will read the Bible is when they need to use it as ammunition against those they loathe so much. BTW, this comes from the OLD Testament. The NEW Testament, the New Covenant, is what Christians believe. Try getting an education "Dale".

  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You are obviously another " christian" who can't take the time to even read the book.... Your "god" clearly states in 2 Chronicles 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. That of course is but one of the passages where your "god" wants people killed, children dashed on rocks, infidels killed. Try reading sometimes and not cherry picking the book. You might learn something.

  • ecp1951 Jan 13, 2016

    pullen memorial baptist church with wral reporting! that's all i need to know! God help us!

  • Brian McCarthy Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Its funny that we have to have discussions about Islamophbia, but we don't have them about the phobia of any other religion, any idea why?

  • Doug Hilliard Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    You are not correct; Pullen was disassociated over the issue of homosexuality only; it had nothing to do with Afro-Americans or Planned Parenthood.

    View quoted thread

  • Megan Alto Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    - Christianity is not based on beheaded and murdering in the name of their god. Islan does...plain and simple,,,,as much as you don't like to admit it since you obviously do not like Christians..

  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Don't "christians" expect every few to convert or die when "jesus" returns to the holy land?

  • Sam Adams Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    A bit off topic, but I do find it interesting Louis Farrakhan completely agrees with Donald Trump (and no I do not like Trump) when it comes to Muslim immigration.

  • Real Libertine Jan 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Jesus still loves you, Dale.