Fighting misconceptions of Islam

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 08:29:56-05

Imam Sohail Chaudhry is a spiritual leader at the Islamic Center in East Lansing. He and members of the mosque have received hundreds of letters.

Letters from members of the community showing: support, kindness, and sympathy. Out of those letters and emails came and idea.

"The center felt that there was a high need considering what is happening with Islam and the Muslims in the current day in age" said Imam Chaudhry.

A need to teach the community about the real Islam.

"We are people of faith. We are people of love, mercy. We're people who want to have good relationships with our neighbors" Imam Chaudhry said.

He says terrorism is the biggest stereotype he is trying to deal with. He is trying to get people to stop connecting terrorism to Islam.

Imam Chaudhrey says it's hard to disconnect people with the belief that all Muslims are terrorists.

So the center started a class, Islam 101, to teach people the real belief of Islam. It was a class Kathy Burgess says she knew she had to attend.

"When I walked in the first thing that I saw was a quote and it just confirms in my mind that the unity among Christianity and Islam. That there is no division" Burgess said.

She is a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in East Lansing. She and a few other members decided to come to the class and learn more.

"We can never know everything but anything that helps with the foundation I think is good" said Burgess.

Imam Chaudhry might not be able to reach everyone but he is confident that change can be made.