Manchester attack leave some in Lexington Muslim community uneasy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Monday night terror attack in Manchester has some people in Lexington’s Muslim community uneasy just days before the month of Ramadan. They say every time ISIS attacks, they worry it makes their religion look bad.

ABC 36 spoke to some members of the community about that as they prepare for Ramadan. A group called Youth of Lexington spent time Tuesday getting kids excited for a month of fasting. It is a happy time to reinforce faith, but the advisers in the room worry the Manchester Arena attack will just put a further, undeserved blight on theirs.

“It’s kind of sad that at this point whenever I hear about these attacks my first response is just please let it not be a Muslim,” Zainab Kahloon, Youth of Lexington co-founder, said.

Kahloon says often after attacks like this Muslims feel the need to explain terrorists’ actions don’t represent their faith. It is a big pressure, especially for kids.

“You are representing 1.6 billion Muslims across the world onto a 13, 14 year old child who’s also going through school, also going through the same pressures everyone else is going through,” Kahloon said.

Kahloon says she has counselled students who have been bullied for their faith. She says she tries to understand how they feel and let them talk.

“Then from there be like, ‘Okay, you know, like I’ve been through this and this and this as well. Here’s what helped with me. Here’s what didn’t work with me.'”

Youth of Lexington adviser Nima Shalash says she wishes ISIS terrorists would just stop.

“Stop making our religion look bad because that has nothing to do with our religion,” Shalash said.

Shalash says she counsels these kids to be the best Muslims they can be, to smile and be kind so the world does not unfairly generalize one group. After all, she says, this community just wants the same as others, to live their lives and to keep their kids safe. She says to understand Islam is not terrorism, get to know your Muslim neighbors.

“That’s all it takes just to know Islam is much more beautiful than that,” Shalash said.

Ramadan starts on Friday and ends in June. The advisers ABC 36 spoke to say it is a time to renew faith and get closer to God, something they say terrorists could stand to do.

Categories: Local News, News

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