Meet A Muslim event gains traction in Kenner amid immigration restrictions

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KENNER, La. (WGNO) - President Donald Trump's temporary ban on admitting refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries has sparked outrage across the United States, even though President Trump insists it's not a Muslim ban.

Instead, President Trump calls it a “protection of the nation from foreign terrorists entering into the United States."

But the news isn't sitting well with some Americans, many protesting in airports this past weekend and on city streets in New Orleans carrying signs. One sign reads: "No ban. I love my Muslim neighbors."

"We know what it means when people support you, when they show you their love. So we thank you very much for that support," says Tahir Cheema with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Hearts remain heavy across the nation after six people were killed and several others injured during a shooting inside a Quebec City mosque. The attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism. And that's just one reason why the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of New Orleans is hosting a weekly Meet A Muslim event.

"We need to educate ourselves. We believe that education is the only way to combat the extremism. So we invite all people of faith, of no faith, to come and join us in this effort," says Cheema.

"You need to do something, you cannot just sit at home on Facebook and watch the world happen and listen to the rumors and the hearsay. You need to make the effort to go out and see for yourself and listen. Listen to other people," says Muslim supporter Jane Tardot.

The ultimate goal is to exchange information, clarify misconceptions and counter fear about Islam through education and dialogue.

It's one small gesture for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, with a potentially huge positive outcome.

"Our message is love for all and hatred for none. That is the true message of true Islam that people need to know," says Cheema.

Muslim community leaders say more and more people show up to their Meet A Muslim event each week, and they see it as a positive sign that the community wants to learn more about Islam.

Muslim leaders are planning to host these weekly meetings for the foreseeable future.

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