The Islamic Society of Wichita opened its doors to a group of Christians Tuesday night. The tour comes after the society canceled a fundraising event Friday because of a threat made by anti-Muslim protesters.
Dozens of people showed up for the tour of the Islamic Society of Wichita and a lot of them said they felt uncomfortable at first. But their pastor says it was a good way to bring understanding between the two religions.
Unity Church Pastor Tim Lytle said he saw the tour of the Islamic Society of Wichita as an opportunity to build more understanding and to open dialogue between members of the Muslim and Christian faiths.
On their tour, church members learned about the society’s history, their purpose in the Wichita community and specific details about the Muslim religion; all important to understand the people who practice Islam, Lytle said.
“I know what it’s like to be judged or criticized without people understanding where I’m coming from,” he said. “And this kind of opportunity is so important because we can actually talk to these wonderful people and see where they are coming from.”
For some church members, Tuesday’s tour of the Islamic Society of Wichita was an uncomfortable visit. Lytle said that’s because people don’t understand what the Muslim religion stands for.
“If we can get rid of fear–fear is based on ignorance–the more we understand, the better we can work together and eliminate that fear,” Lytle said.