On Monday March 27, 2017 , the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Livonia held a beautiful event for their church community. It was a panel discussion titled “Islam in Our Community”. 

The panel included Mainstay’s Deputy Director, Jalal Moughania, community activist Denise Abdullah, and Pastor Kenneth Fouty II from Samaritas. The goal, and outcome, was a true conversation about Islam and Muslims in the face of a social and political climate that has met Islam and Muslims with hate and bigotry. 

Attendees frankly asked their questions and the panelists provided candid answers. Much was learned and appreciated in the two-hour event. “What can we do to help our Muslim neighbors in getting people to understand what you’re really all about?” 

To that Jalal responded with a question, “Who here likes BBQ?” Nearly everyone in the packed room smiled and raised their hand. “Let’s have a BBQ. Let’s eat with each other. Let’s talk to each other. Let’s be neighbors that care and look out for one another. Our Lady Fatima teaches us that our neighbor’s pain is our pain and their joy is our joy.”