CLEMMONS, N.C. – People from different races, religions and cities visited The Annoor Islamic Center in Clemmons on Friday to learn more about Islam.
It was one of three mosque sites in Forsyth County to hold an educational forum for members in the community.
This comes after the FBI started an investigation into reported threats directed towards the local Muslim community. Those reported threats happening about a week ago, in Kernersville, during a small meeting at a local restaurant.
The FBI released this statement:
“The FBI is aware of news media stories about a recent meeting in North Carolina where comments were reportedly made against the Muslim community. We are working with our local law enforcement partners to determine if a federal violation involving threats of violence that is not speech protected under the First Amendment has occurred. The safety and security of our citizens is a priority for the FBI and we have been in contact with local community leaders to assure them we take potential threats of violence very seriously."
Dina Shehata is a member of The Annoor Islamic Center. She invited people from the community to the event, which included attending a worship ceremony inside their mosque and a public forum where people could ask any question they had about Islam.
“This is going to bring community members together—not just Muslims, right? Christians, Jews, people of other faiths, people of no faiths. I think it’s amazing to bring us all together, really under one roof, and have a discussion that’s needed,” Shehata said. “I think Islam as a religion is very misunderstood here in the U.S., especially after 9-11. The portrayal kind of shifted to Islam being equated to terrorism. And that’s been like that for years and years now.”
Shehata says because Islam is a topic of discussion on an international level—specifically associated with Syrian refugees and President Donald Trump’s immigration ban—that people should be more informed about the faith.