Muslim community holds 'Stop the crISIS' event in Tempe

The Muslim Community held a "Stop the crISIS" event in Tempe, to try and prevent extremism.

It's a nationwide event that was planned months ago.

Learning how to overcome differences, that is the message Latif Ahmed hopes to convey.

"Bring people together, break bread together, have public and open dialogues, and make sure that you leave on friendly terms," said Latif Ahmed.

The event has been planned for months and comes just one day after hundreds protested outside the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix.

The protest was outside of a mosque that Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi attended. Both were shot and killed during their attack at the Prophet Muhammed Cartoon Drawing Contest in Texas.

Josh Prather was at the protest on Friday, as well as the event Saturday.

"Trying to promote peace and a multi-faith dialogue," said Josh Prather.

Prather says church members with Redemption Church tried to stand as a barrier in between protesters.

"We just held signs that said love your neighbor, and quoted scripture about Jesus telling us to love our neighbor and promote peace, and not hate," said Prather.

The protest on Friday also included a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.

"We do not condone what has been done in France, or in Garland, those drawing Muhammed Cartoons. Those events do hurt us, but there is a way to express how we got hurt and how to conquer them," said Ahmed.

Rather than violence, Ahmed said programs like "Stop the crISIS" are held to help people come together and respect one another, no matter the religious differences. 

"You may have differences, and that is acceptable, but it doesn't mean that you become each other's enemies, Islam teaches us to co-exist peacefully, and that is the message itself," he said.

About 50 people attended the event. 

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner reached out to officers, thanking them for their hard work at the protest Friday night.

He said the planning, teamwork, communication, and execution of the peaceful event demonstrated true professionalism and quality police work.
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