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Local religious community gathers in support of Muslim community

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – The country of New Zealand is still reeling from the killing of more than fifty Muslims Friday.

While it seems a world away, religious leaders in the Cedar Valley held a special service Sunday to show their support for the Muslim community.

The service was filled with powerful moments as people from all faiths gathered at the Masjid Al-Noor Islamic Center.

“With our light and love, with your friendship, we’re going to fight back this darkness,” said Dema Kazkaz.

“It was an amazing turnout. We had several people speak from Interfaith Council, several religious leaders in the community, really words of tolerance but also criticism of the problem at the roots,” said Alen Kajtezovic. He said the whole community must fight against those who spread the hate of racism. 

“Each of us must ask ourselves, what can I do today to promote kindness and love? And then we must act upon those thoughts,” said Elizabeth Popplewell, of St. Luke’s Episcopalian Church in Cedar Falls. 

Kajtezovic says people should stop apologizing for any violent acts committed by a person claiming to belong to any religion.

“No religion teaches violence. So apologizing is not the right thing to do. Condemnation and standing together, against the people who are at fault is the right thing to do,” said Kajtezovic. 

The event was organized with the Cedar Valley Interfaith Council.

Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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