Around 100 people attended the “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” event held at Burien Community Church on Thursday night, March 9. As part of the Burien/Normandy Park 10 Actions Group, Theresa Crecelius, leader of the “Fighting Islamaphobia and Racism” group arranged the speakers. Burien Community Church and Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell hosted the event. Sheikh Yahya Suufi of the Somali Mosque in White Center spoke about similarities from the Quran and the Bible, along with the need for diversity and why many Muslims come to America. Ubah Warsame spoke about the need for all of us to know our neighbors, regardless of religion, to help break down stereotypes and fears. Following the brief sharing, all were invited downstairs to share in Somali food and tea. There are plans to continue this series of gatherings in the future.

Photo of Ubah Warsame and volunteer from the audience.
Photo of neighbors sharing together.

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B-Town Blog Staff

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

11 replies on “Around 100 attend 'Meet Your Muslim Neighbor' event Thursday night”

  1. This gathering was wonderful. I look forward to attending more such uplifting events in the future!

    1. The people at this event were kind, compassionate, civic minded people that simply wanted to connect with their neighbors. I do not know what possible motivation anyone could have to react negatively to an event they clearly did not attend. Has anything good ever come from pushing people away and refusing to even get to know them? I truly hope the Btown Blog negative responses to this event do not represent Burien’s values.

  2. I, too, really enjoyed this event. It was a pleasure to meet some of my Muslim neighbors as well as to be able to ask questions and clarify some misperceptions I had.
    Thank you so much for hosting this.

  3. This sounds like a lovely event and I’m sad I missed it: I hope I’m able to attend future events like this one, especially once my infant son is old enough to appreciate them.
    I must say, though, that I’m dismayed that the positive comments here are (predictably) besieged by either a xenophobic troll spoofing IPs or (worse yet) a community of xenophobic trolls deploying dozens of cowardly thumbs-down on every commenter. I expect my post will be no different in this regard (oh, horrors, how I tremble in fear of your scary red thumbs).
    Xenophobic member(s) of our community: if you’re really that hell-bent on displaying your disapproval of this sort of thing, I really wish you’d use your words to express your ugly thoughts rather than hiding behind these silly down-votes. Show us the courage of your convictions.
    And to the editors of the B-Town Blog, perhaps it’s just time to ditch the up/down voting on comments? If people can’t even be bothered to express their thoughts in words, perhaps they don’t have thoughts worth sharing? Given the likelihood (at least I hope this is the case) that one person just wants to pretend like there’s widespread disapproval for multiculturalism in Burien, is there any real utility to the up/down votes?

    1. And to absolutely no surprise, the first thumb is pointed down. Gosh, I wonder how many more will follow?

      1. Only 14 down votes on my first comment and 12 on my second? You disappoint me, trolls. I would have expected over 9,000 down votes by now. Your trolling is as unimpressive as your xenophobia.

        1. There have been posts submitted with questions regarding Muslim beliefs but the blog hasn’t cleared and allowed those posts, perhaps fearing debate.
          Red thumbs is all that’s allowed.

          1. Dear Basically,
            If you genuinely had questions about Muslim beliefs and wanted to get more information, why did you not simply go to the gathering? The people I went with were a mixture of Christians, agnostics, Jewish people and members of the LGBTQ community. This was about meeting each other as people and neighbors not about debating religious beliefs but the Muslim people that came did happily answer our questions.
            The disappointment comes from the overwhelming negativity from people that could not even be bothered to show up before deciding to rate positive comments with a thumbs down. I knew 8 of the people that did go and they are a diverse group of people and they all had a positive experience.

        2. Andrew, count me as #’s 17th, 16th, and 5th thumbs down on your past 3 comments. Not because I’m against getting along with muslims in the community, but because you want to abolish thumbs down voting against your comments, and you demonize people who might see things different from how you do.

          1. Peter,
            I’m genuinely curious: how am I demonizing anyone? I’m pointing out that a bunch of people who had a nice time learning about their neighbors’ culture are getting a massive amount of red thumbs down.
            Now, were this political, that would be one thing. An up or down vote is a “hooray for our side” thing. I get it. It’s simple and easier than using your words. But how can you be opposed to neighbors getting along? What “side” is that? I’m calling out people for expressing an Islamophobic sentiment. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from those red thumbs: that they’re attempting to suggest that Muslims aren’t welcome here. If people are behaving like monsters and I point out that they’re behaving like monsters, I’m not demonizing anyone: their intolerance turned them into monsters, not my observation of it.
            Also, I’m not advocating getting rid of thumb voting on just my comments: I’m for it on _all_ comments: mine, yours and every single person who posts, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. See things as differently as you’d like: but please have the courage of your convictions and the respect for both my and your intelligences and put forth an actual argument. I can argue all day long. It’s good and healthy to engage in spirited debate. But mashing a thumbs down button isn’t debate. Arguably, in this case, it’s an attempt at inimidation.
            The vast number of thumbs down votes on innocuous comments like those above suggest to me that somebody is spoofing IPs to express their intolerance and give the appearance of a crowd. If somebody is spoofing IPs to get multiple votes (this is trivially easy to do), then they’re doing so in this context specifically to give the impression that this sort of activity is not welcome here. At least, I hope it’s one person doing this and not dozens of Islamophobic people. That’s not the Burien I want to raise my son in.
            So, I’d like to know: what do you fear losing if this site just has comments without up/down votes? I feel like we have better discussions if we actually talk to one another than if we just click on thumbs-down icons.

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