Cape Girardeau pastor hopes to turn fear of Islam into learning - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau pastor hopes to turn fear of Islam into learning experience

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)

One Cape Girardeau pastor is turning fear of the Islamic faith into a learning experience.

Pastor Kim Nelson of the First Presbyterian Church met with leaders of the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center on Monday.

Nelson said its important to have an open dialogue with those of Islamic faith and hopes others do the same.

"We can't isolate ourselves away from all the things that are happening,” Nelson said. “So how do we build a society of freedom, or understanding, of compassion? By going out and making the effort to get to know one another.

The meeting was informal and Nelson extended well wishes to the Cape Girardeau Muslim community.

Nelson said now more than ever it's important to be open to learning about each others faiths.

"Talking to those of the Islamic community you get the feeling they are saddened, as much, if not more than we are and share our grief,” Nelson said. “In our smaller community in a microcosm of the world, what a wonderful way it would be to say, 'let's get to know each other better.’"

Cape Girardeau Islamic Center leader Ahmad Sheikh said the Cape Girardeau community has shown overwhelming support.  He also said the center has seen very few issues in the past.

The two leaders hope their meeting is the first of many to better understand one another's faith.

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