Creating a peaceful Richmond
9/29/2017, 7:42 a.m.
As a Hijabi Muslim and new resident of Richmond, I quickly learned that the city is quite welcoming. It was during a visit to the grocery store that I really felt welcomed, and then again when I went to Short Pump Mall. Small talk in a checkout line or elevator goes a long way to make people of different backgrounds feel welcomed.
I find it quite refreshing every time I encounter these experiences and hope that Richmond continues to welcome people of all backgrounds.
It is important for the city of Richmond to initiate dialogue and programs that intersect people with different backgrounds. Interested groups should take part in organizing such events. For example, holding workshops and seminars presenting different faiths is a helpful tool for others to learn from practicing members of different faiths. Through this platform people can gain face-to-face interaction and conversation that helps dismantle negative stereotypes.
I also would urge local media outlets to use these events in showcasing a model example of creating peace within communities. Having this insight and personalized testimonials will inspire others to work toward creating peace.
One such example is The True Islam campaign that has brought the program Coffee, Cake and True Islam to several cities across the nation. It allows guests to ask questions they have about Islam while meeting and conversing with Muslims in their communities.
I look forward to inviting the local media to future CCTI events so that we can work together and create peaceful communities.
The writer is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and a professor of sociology at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.