Interfaith event to counter bias, suspicions directed at Muslims

SHAFAQNA – The backlash against Muslims has taken some ugly turns since the San Bernardino shootings. An interfaith event is being organized at a church in Lynnwood that’s meant to build bridges between Christians and Muslims.

The planning started shortly after the Paris attacks, and the need grew even more apparent following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Ca.

“We put together this event in hopes that we could push back on this cycle of fear that could go out of control on us,” said Pastor Terry Kyllo of Catacomb Churches.

Jafar Siddiqui, a Muslim working on the interfaith event with Pastor Kyllo, said discrimination has become rampant against his community, and “the threats never stop.”

When people hear the attackers in Paris and San Bernardino were Muslim, Siddiqui said many blame the entire religion for the sins of extremists and their misguided interpretations.

“We believe that violence is not the answer,” Siddiqui said, explaining the tenets of his faith. “Violence will only get you deeper into the problem that we are in.”

Kyllo helped organize an interfaith prayer vigil following the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shootings that claimed five lives. He hopes this next effort can help in our current crisis.

“The Christian community, and especially the Lutheran and Episcopal community, have a responsibility to stand with Muslims at a time when increasingly they are being scapegoated.”

The interfaith event is called “Love in a Time of Fear.” It is set for 7 p.m. Monday, December 14 at Trinity Lutheran Church. The address is 6215 196th St SW in Lynnwood.

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