In the run-up to the Democratic National Convention, several hundred Muslims attended "Jumah," or Friday prayer, in a park in Charlotte, N.C., as part of an effort to mobilize Muslims and get them engaged in political discourse. But the event sparked some of the same negative reaction that the organizers were hoping to combat.

Organizers said they hoped to use the prayers, a town hall meeting planned for Saturday and cultural festival to open events to non-Muslims and bring attention to problems that they believe disproportionately affect Muslims but are ignored by both political parties.

They cite what they consider invasive practices under the Patriot Act, discrimination against mosque construction through the use of zoning laws, "anti-shariah" bills being passed by state and local governments and more generally a climate of Islamophobia.

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