OREM — What began as a show of support became a learning opportunity Friday at Al Sahaba Mosque, as worshippers greeted well-wishers with an invitation to join their prayer service and receive free copies of the Quran.

“Go and read my scripture. Don’t listen to Fox News. Don’t listen to CNN,” said Imam Tala’at Al-Shuqairat, president of the mosque. “Read it and try to be fair.”

Too often, misunderstandings about Islam lead to violence, as they did Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, he said. At least 49 Muslims are dead after shooters entered two mosques and opened fire.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Imad Iddrisy, 5, receives flowers after attending a prayer service at Al Sahaba Mosque in Orem on Friday, March 15, 2019. At least 49 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday.

“Pray for those families and for those victims,” Imam Al-Shuqairat said then showed the non-Muslims in the room how to do it the Muslim way.

The silver lining of tragedy is that it breaks down barriers, said Charles Turner, president of University of Utah’s Muslim Students Association. The mosque attacks caused mixed emotions for Utah Muslims: fear and anxiety about future …read more


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