HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Congressman Mo Brooks' remarks about Islam have leaders and worshippers in Huntsville on edge. He told a radio station, and later reiterated in a statement, that Islam preached (or inspired others to bring about) deaths of homosexuals and others. He has indicated in a statement he will not back down or apologize, although he invites anyone to make an appointment at his offices.
That's just what Aladin Beshir, Community Outreach Director at the Huntsville Islamic Center, plans to do. He told WHNT News 19 he plans to go to Washington, D.C. to meet with Brooks after scheduling an appointment.
Huntsville Muslim leaders joined those of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and LGBTQ communities in a gathering of solidarity. James Robinson of Free2Be read a letter to Congressman Brooks, explaining why they believe he's wrong about what they believe.
"It is not the faith that does things, it's the human beings that do bad things," commented Laj Utreja, a member of the Hindu Community.
Senior Pastor of the Spirit of the Cross Church, Rev. Richard Barham, added, "We've got to be careful not to raise... the hate in this country by broad-sweeping those of the Muslim faith."
Beshir said Congressman Brooks' remarks, "really reminded me one more time why what we do matters. Why interfaith work really matters. Why getting to know one another is more important than ever. Because if it's up to politicians and rhetoric, we'll get divided."
Robinson said what Brooks had to say only draws him, a prominent representative of the LGBTQ community in Huntsville, closer to the Muslim community during this time.
"When another oppressed minority population is misunderstood, it's my responsibility as a leader in a movement to stand up for everyone," he commented.