Tulsa Islamic Society, LGBT Rights Group Promote Peace

Thursday, June 16th 2016, 11:26 pm
By: News On 6

In light of the tragedy in Orlando, the Islamic Society of Tulsa wanted to promote a message of peace and love during Thursday's annual Ramadan dinner.

They decided to personally invite members of the local LGBT community to join them.

People of all walks of life, all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, ages came together to feast Thursday.

It's something the Islamic Society of Tulsa hosts every year - a celebration to educate the community about Ramadan and Islam.

The group always welcomes the public to the celebration but felt it was especially important to extend a special invitation to Oklahomans for Equality, an LGBT rights group.

"This is the best time to have love overcome hate," said religious director John Ederer-Imam.

Many of the victims killed and hurt in Sunday's shooting in Orlando identified as gay or lesbian.

The Islamic Society of Tulsa said they wanted to be the first to stand with the local gay community.

Ederer-Imam said, "We definitely believe in solidarity, especially in times of hate and things like that. To make it crystal clear, we would love to invite our neighbors of all backgrounds, just to show that true light of Islam."

It's not the first time; in fact, Toby Jenkins, director of Oklahomans for Equality, said the two groups support each other constantly.

"Tonight is going to be a very healing experience and a powerful experience for us, but it's really going to be more evidence of what has already been here in Tulsa - a strong, loving community. And I'm so proud tonight to be a Tulsan," Jenkins said.

After dinner, there was a presentation and a question-answer session about Ramadan.