DENVER (CBS4)– Amid a time which local Muslims have described as “concerning,” many gathered at Denver mosques to show solidarity for those of the faith.
While hundreds gathered for prayer at Masjid Abu Bakr, the Colorado Islamic Center, many of other faiths showed support.
“It has been incredibly emotional for a lot of Muslims,” said Iman Jodeh, spokeswoman for the Colorado Islamic Center.
“Along with the fear, there is understanding,” said John Kingsbury, a life-long Christian who stood in solidarity near the mosque.
The center opened their doors to the public, where they encouraged those of other faiths to experience their place of worship. By doing so, the center hoped any misconceptions of their faith would be dismantled.
“We are a very peaceful people. We are a very open society,” Jodeh said.
Kingsbury said he hoped Denver Muslims would know recent hostility following travel restrictions by the Trump Administration, and the attack of a mosque in Canada, were not condoned by some.
“Among Christians, Muslims and Jews, the majority are for peace and understanding,” Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury was one of several who tied patriotic ribbons to the Islamic Center’s fence, held signs in support, and spoke to those going to the mosque.
“With all the hate and misunderstanding that is being vocalized out there, there is also love and hope,” Kingsbury said.
Those at the mosque thanked the visitors, including staff from CBS4, for attending their prayer services. Several were overheard expressing their gratitude for shedding positive light on their community.
“Especially in the wake of Quebec [shootings], or in the political climate that we are in with the Muslim ban, this is really allowing people to show their support again for Muslims,” Jodeh said.
One volunteer, a recent Muslim convert, said the key to unity as neighbors was solidarity.
“We’ve already been great. We have always been great,” said Desiree Wines, a Muslim. “We may have forgotten. So, we are going to redefine it.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.