Interfaith event promotes understanding in Fayetteville
Posted December 18, 2015 5:16 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2015 5:46 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — A regular event at a Fayetteville mosque took on a twist Friday when the Muslims of Masjid Omar Ibn Sayyid invited their Christian neighbors to stand with them against religious conflict.
The mosque on Murchison Road has partnered for years with Second Harvest Food Bank to help distribute food once a month.
“This is the week before Christmas, so this tends to be a big one when people really want to have food for the holidays,” said Muslim leader Adam Beyah.
The mosque members took the opportunity to invite area residents to "Come Stand With Us." The event included afternoon prayers, a sermon and a rally.
Gary Johnson was among the curious who heard about the event and decided to check it out.
"Why listen to all the media and all the propaganda and all the lies?" Johnson asked. "Just go out there for a while and mingle and listen and keep your mind open.”
About 300 people gathered outside the rally. There were signs calling for peace, and Beyah told the assembly that Muslims are joining with their fellow Americans in the fight against terror.
“When I see (terrorists), I'm like many Americans. I want to go get them for the acts they've done, the senseless murders," he said.
Authorities estimate about 2,000 Muslims live in the Fayetteville area.
Several local Christian church leaders were also on hand Friday to lend their support.
"They are our neighbors," said Rev. Cureton Johnson, pastor of The First Baptist Church in Fayetteville. "We don’t have to see things eye-to-eye, but we are all brothers and sisters, and we have to work together."