When Jason Leger arrived at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix on Friday night, one of about 250 people protesting the mosque, he was wearing a t-shirt that read “FUCK ISLAM.”
But as the rally was winding down, Leger, curious about the faith he was protesting, turned his shirt inside out and went inside the mosque.
Leger had a change of heart.
“It was something I’ve never seen before. I took my shoes off. I kneeled. I saw a bunch of peaceful people. We all got along,” Leger told the Washington Post. “They made me feel welcome, you know.”
A handful of the protesters who came to the center Friday had the same experience — one that experts say is a key example of the best way to defuse Islamophobia.
“They hadn’t been inside a mosque, they hadn’t talked to Muslims before,” Usama Shami, the president of the Phoenix mosque, told Fusion…
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