COLUMBUS (WCMH) – On the heels of President Trump’s new travel ban on several Muslim majority countries, Columbus City Council is continuing to push for religious tolerance.
On Monday night, faith leaders came together to facilitate that conversation at a local Islamic center. It continues a conversation started after council members unanimously passed a resolution condemning Islamophobia back in October.
Community leaders are still addressing issues of discrimination and harassment, hoping to bring people of all backgrounds together.
“Islamophobia today is much worse than it was the aftermath of September 11th,” said exec. dir. of the Abubakar Asiddiq Islamic Center Horsed Nooh. “Hope heals and hate hurts.”
Nooh said the Muslim community is concerned, but that hate isn’t just affecting Muslims.
“To condemn and talk about the recent anti-Semitism or hate against any minority, any religious group,” said Nooh.
Interfaith leaders from multiple Islamic centers, the Catholic Diocese of Columbus and the Jewish Federation came together to discuss religion tolerance with people from the community.
“The concern is there are hate crimes going on out there, that people particularly this past year feel more threatened, that they can’t go out wearing their religious clothing or they can’t go out and express their religious views,” said Councilman Michael Stinziano.
He said it’s important to show Columbus values diversity.
“No matter what your religion, your faith is, as a city we embrace it and we really want to see everyone feel welcome to the City of Columbus,” said Stinziano.
Mushtaq Dualeh said despite unsettling orders coming from Washington D.C., people in the Muslim community still have hope.
“I do have a fear that we may be going backwards with a lot of the policies that are being put out by the new administration,” she said. “Get active, get vocal. Talk to people and really have meaningful conversations.”
Representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Realtions (CAIR), Ohio Health, Muslim Family Services and Jewish Voice for Peace were also in attendance at the event.