Iowans will have an opportunity to meet their Muslim neighbors Wednesday during the second annual Iowa Muslim Day at the state Capitol.
State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, D-Des Moines, who is a Muslim imam or prayer leader, said the event is intended to combat Islamophobia. Gov. Terry Branstad has had friendly relations with Muslims for many years and has annually signed an Iowa Muslim Day proclamation. But this is only the second year Muslims have held a public event at the Statehouse.
"To educate people about the Islamic religion we need to be visible. That is our job and our duty to do that," Abdul-Samad said. "It is our job even to talk about terrorism. We have to denounce it when we see it. We have to let people know that this is not something that we promote."