TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Awful situations were the reason for an open-door event at the Islamic Center of Tucson on Thursday, Sept. 19.
But Salam Tucson showed how those negative incidents can be overshadowed by the positive, supporting community the Old Pueblo truly is.
Food and face-to-face conversation made up most of the event Thursday night. Attendees were encouraged to get to know one another, share their backgrounds and experiences in Tucson.
Laura Haney, who just moved to town a few weeks ago, learned about Salam Tucson from a prior event at the library focused on combating Islamophobia. As a Christian, she admitted to not knowing as much Islam.
“It’s educational for me and my faith, but also, just...better to know the world and, like, get to know my neighbors," she said. "Being new here, I want to get to know my neighbors pretty well.”
Sitting next to Haney was Haredo Mohamed. Living in Tucson for more than a decade, she knows the city pretty well.
Mohamed recently transferred from Pima Community College to the University of Arizona. Wearing her hijab, she said it was important for her to attend Thursday's discussion to show she's not oppressed.
“Not all Muslims are the same and you can’t judge people by how they look," she said. "You’ll have to, like, get to know them, talk to them first and see how their personality is.”
There are plenty of personalities at the ICT. Prayer occurs several times each day, but the doors are always open for anyone interested in learning more about the faith and the people who follow it.