Texas Demonstrators Plan to Gather at Mosques Through Ramadan - NBC Connecticut

Texas Demonstrators Plan to Gather at Mosques Through Ramadan



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    Muslim leaders asked for protection after a demonstration outside Masjid An-Noor mosque in Bridgeport .

    When a dozen members of Texas-based Operation Save America demonstrated at a mosque in Bridgeport last week, it instilled fear in the local Muslim community.

    Members of the mosque said the group was intimidating Muslims and asked for protection.

    Representatives of the Texas group said they did nothing hateful and they plan to be back in Bridgeport, and at other Connecticut mosques, through the month.

    The protest that caused concern happened outside the Masjid An-Noor mosque in Bridgeport on Friday.

    With days to go before Ramadan began, Muslim leaders asked for protection from harassment during a time when many of worshippers come together for prayer at local mosques. .

    “(The demonstration) was hateful, bigoted rhetoric, like Islam is a lie--murderers, sticking signs in front of kids who were leaving the mosque,” Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Connecticut office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said earlier this week.

    Operation Save America representatives say they were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, but did nothing hateful.

    “It was complete order. We weren't harassing anybody, no children. Nobody said an unkind word to anybody the whole time we were there,” John Payne, a local evangelist with Operation Save America, said.

    Dhaouadi said earlier this week that there is an alternative to Operation Save America’s protest, and that is just speaking with worshippers.

    “Coming all the way from Texas just to yell at us and walk away is not going to solve anything. I think, if he came and knocked on the door, he would find Muslims in that area very welcoming and they'd be more than happy to sit down and talk with him,” Dhaouadi said.