Representatives from the Oklahoma Muslim community gathered at the state capital last Friday teach lawmakers about their beliefs.
Around 100 people participated in Muslim Day, while another two dozen protested outside the Oklahoma State Capital building. Many protesters brought signs and shouted anti-Muslim sentiments.
Adam Soltani, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said organizers planned the event to help bridge the political gap between Oklahoma’s Muslim community and the state’s lawmakers.
“I know a lot of people have questions,” he said. “A lot of people want to know more about our faith.”
However, at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, a protester interrupted a call to prayer by shouting the Lord’s Prayer.
Christine Weick, the woman who interrupted the call to prayer and was later escorted out of the building by state troopers, said she would have liked to known about the event so she could go inside the State Capital.
“I’m a little bit upset about this because this is something that we were told is open to the public, and we are a part of the public,” Weick told KFOR.
According to Oklahoma Watch, some lawmakers said they are still critical about some of the verses in the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
“If CAIR Oklahoma really condemns terrorism and believes in First Amendment protections for everyone, they need to prove it by condemning the verses in the Quran that call for these violent acts and Mohammed’s hadiths that call for and justify violent acts,” said a media statement from state representative John Bennett.
Soltani said he wanted the day to be centered on developing a peaceful and constructive conversation about the Islamic faith.
“Some of our elected officials choose to say things about our holy scriptures that aren’t true,” he said. “(Muslim Day) is about spreading information, it’s not about converting anyone or changing people’s mind. You can never know enough.”