DALLAS — A week after heated anti-Muslim protests outside an Islamic meeting in Garland, faith leaders gathered to discuss it at a Dallas church.
Nearly every seat at Northaven United Methodist Church was full. In each sat people of varying religions, committed to what they called 'the separation of church and hate.'
Last Saturday, Garland played host to a conference for those of Muslim faith.
"I don't support their ideology, I don't support what they're doing," said protestor Brenda Lambert.
The shadow of hate was cast over the Islamic group's meeting. Protestors lined the street yelling that Islam should be feared, and warning of Sharia law.
"We were shocked by the depth of the hate speech, the vitriol," said Hadi Jawad.
Sunday, leaders and members of many beliefs talked about how what was shouted and scrawled on to posters was wrong and how much it hurt Muslims who are family, neighbors and friends.
"There are many, many in this country and in North Texas that do not support the hatred and fear mongering that we experienced just a few days ago," said Jawad.
So just like last Saturday, peace was the point of this meeting, too. They aim to do it through more conversations on the faith, on the everyday people who practice it and have made homes and lives in North Texas. And should another protest like this happen again, there are promises that local Muslims will not stand alone.