“At face value this comment demonstrates a prejudice against citizens living in Independence who are from the Middle East or who may appear that way to Councilman Dougherty,” said CPS President Ahsan Latif. “I have reached out to Councilman Dougherty in hopes that he can clarify his statement and to ask him to enter into dialogue with the Muslim community. We believe this is an opportunity for us to learn from one another and stand together against casual xenophobia.”
The City of Independence has a diverse population of people from many different backgrounds and its elected officials are representatives for all of them. In the aftermath of Councilman Dougherty’s comment there have been calls for him to resign by the Council for American Islamic Relations Kansas Chapter. “It is our hope that Councilman Dougherty is open to dialogue and meeting with people from the Middle-East and Muslims so we can give him a more complete idea of who we are,” said Latif. “If the Councilman doubles down or stands by his comment, however, we would support those calls that he step down.”
The Crescent Peace Society hosts Meet a Muslim events, where people from different religions sit down and get to know one another through questions and dialogue. Hundreds of people in the Kansas City area have attended over the past few years. Our next such event is co-hosted by Ten Thousand Villages Overland Park and the InterUrban Art House and will take place on July 28, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. at 7947 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, KS. More information is available here.
The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas City area interfaith organization seeking to enhance the understanding of Muslim cultures through educational and cultural activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences among people of diverse cultures. Its mission is to build bridges among faith communities, encourage dialogue, and promote justice and mutual understanding.