So empowered that a Muslim organization would give them these tools and, uh, to go and to be and feel safe. We started doing, uh, soccer tournaments where we would invite what we would called guest players, guest players are individual of, um, who are not Muslim.
Not to kind of brainwash them where people might think, but it was to give them an understanding of what Islam is, uh, to see how we actually interact. We bleed just like you do. We le Netflix and chill. We wanted to create this understanding to say, “Hey, we’re, we’re the same people.” And it really, really kicked off from there. Some of the programs that we continued to do was something that’s called spirit of Islam.
And we would invite all of our interfaith leaders, our priests, uh, from the synagogues WV payday loans, from the, among theirs, from the guars, all of these ethnic groups would come and they would come to understand Islam for what it is.
And we would invite all of our interfaith leaders, our priests, uh, from the synagogues, from the, among theirs, from the guars, all of these ethnic groups would come and they would come to understand Islam for what it is, and this was coming from being a global leader, having those attainable goals. You, when going back to what I was telling you of understanding how tolerance and diversity needs to occur, and that training is what I got from IVLP, that’s what I got on how to initiate and how to bring those, those traits out in to individuals.
But now when we create change that the community started to see, these guys actually know what they’re talking about and it’s, we have it tough, but the women have it tougher.
We do everything
And they’re not given a platform. Once you give an individual a platform to excel, they’re them being excelling is what’s gonna show that, hey, you know what? This person can do it. And now we started to change that. We started to bring women into the organization, uh, until I think about eight, nine years ago, women weren’t allowed to vote for, as we have a total different wing of, uh, of, for the women.
So the women were independent, they did everything on their own. They had their own president, they had everything, but the executive officers were men. So we changed that. We had women being able to vote. Now, what we’re doing is now we’re actually having women to come into the council, to sit shoulder to shoulder with – between men and women, keeping in part of that religious context, but understanding we all are leaders and all of the issues pertain to all of us.
So the reason why we would invite non Muslim is for propagation
Because like I said, once you give them a platform to excel and it’s not, uh, I shouldn’t say them, I should say anybody give, uh, give anybody a platform to expel, uh, excel. You are based on your performance. So when they see the sisters excelling to say, “Hey,you know what, we, we didn’t know what we had.” So now our organization is excelling. There’s still, like I said, a lot of work in progress, but that was the main component for change.
The community’s mosque is located on what’s known as the “Highway to Heaven” – a one mile road that has 20 places of worship, including a church, a Buddhist monastery, a Hindu temple, a Vedic cultural center, and a Sikh gudwara. But it took a mundane infrastructure change to bring these communities together, and Imtiaz believes there is still work to be done to create tolerance and to fight Islamophobia.