ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- By many accounts, Sunday’s “Great Muslim Cook-Off and Food Fest” in Forest Park was a big success.
The hope was to reduce any anti-Islamic feelings, by getting people together to talk and enjoy a meal.
Event organizer Hassan Yasin of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in St Louis had a message, “Essentially not only Muslims, but Christians, Judaism, any religion you are, even if you don’t believe in religion, you are still welcome here. In CAIR’s eyes, you are an equal person, no matter who you are and what you believe in.”
Yasin says the turnout far exceeded the amount of RSVPs his group received on Facebook, but he was okay with that, “I’ve seen lots of hugs, pictures taken together. Everyone’s asking for pictures. Everyone’s trying the ethnic food, which is amazing.”
The executive director of CAIR in Missouri, Faizan Syed, says “Meet a Muslim” events are starting to catch-on across the country, “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say they didn’t know anything about the Muslim community. They were very happy they came today. This was an opportunity for us not to lecture to people, not to give an Islam 101 talk, but rather learn about other people through a common interest, which in this case was food.”