Islamic Center of Lawton Holds Press Conference on Religion Free - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Islamic Center of Lawton Holds Press Conference on Religion Free of Harassment

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Today, church leaders and community members gathered at the Islamic Center of Lawton for a press conference on the right to practice religion, free of harassment.

The event comes after a possible hate crime on December 7th when a pig carcass was dumped in front of the center. 

The Quran, the holy book of Islam, prohibits Muslims from eating pork, and pigs have often been used to taunt or offend Muslims.
In an act of appreciation, light refreshments and traditional food were given out to participants to start the engagement. 

Alicia Coberley was just one of several members of the community and surrounding area that came out to show their support for the Islamic Center of Lawton. 

"I am amazed at how many people there are. I am amazed at how diverse the people the religions that are being shown here today and it's just amazing to me, said Coberley.
Director of the center, Hassan Ahmed said his hope was for everyone to feel a change in spirit following the incident.  

"It is beyond words to describe this happiness we feel. We were welcomed, we are part of the community and we are overwhelmed with love and respect. and that's how I am feeling right now," said Ahmed. 

Church leaders and educators from Cameron Campus Ministry, American Muslim Association of Lawton, First Christian Church and more spoke about their ideas for change.

Dr. Abbas Johari, a supporter of the American Muslim Association of Lawton says, "We are all together to say that we don't condone this behavior and it needs to stop. It needs to stop immediately. Because we don't want to get further. We Christian and Muslim and Jews are brothers and sisters." 

"Especially Christians we are told to love thy neighbor. Doesn't matter if your neighbor is pink, purple, Muslim or Jewish. Love your neighbor. And I think this has been shown rather well," said Coberley. 

Ahmed says his goal is to continue to spark an ongoing discussion among church leaders, the community and the Islamic center of Lawton.

"We don't even remember the incident anymore. We already forgive the person who has done this and we would like him to even come and visit and learn from us."

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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