Hundreds show up for Muslim Day at the Capitol in Frankfort

National representatives from the Council on American Islamic Relations also were in attendance.
Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 6:58 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Hundreds of Muslims from around the state were in Frankfort on Wednesday for Muslim Day at the Capitol.

This is the first time such an event like has taken place at the Capitol.

The goal of Muslim Day was to encourage people to get to know their lawmakers, tour the Capitol and voice their opinions on topics important to them.

“A lot of folks don’t know how the political system works so it’s an educational day,” said Athar Khan, a Muslim from Louisville.

Many visiting came prepared to talk about bills that impact their community.

“Anti-bullying bill,” said Dr. Jamil Farooqui, a Muslim from Lexington. “We are very strongly in favor of that. We met the sponsors.”

For many in the crowd like Hamza Foy, it was their first time visiting the Capitol, and they were impressed.

“The size, grandeur of the building, both outside and inside,” Foy said.

Foy converted to Islam when he was 14 years old, graduated from UofL and now works at Louisville MetroSafe.

“I really believe it’s enriched my life, allowed me to learn about different cultures how to navigate people of different values,” Foy said. “The ethical values how to treat yourself, your neighbors, how to treat loved ones, that really drew me in initially.”

Foy sat down with lawmakers, too, on Wednesday, to talk about topics he’s interested in.

“A bill to restore voting rights to felons that have already served their sentence,” Foy said.

A small group near the Capitol held signs opposed to Islamic beliefs and Muslims having their day in Frankfort. They also made their presence known as Muslim students who were visiting the Capitol were leaving and getting on a school bus.

“As far as protesters go, that’s going to happen,” Khan said. “We wish the best and wish peace upon them as well. There is no reason for hate. They may hate us, but we don’t hate them.”

National representatives from the Council on American Islamic Relations also were in attendance for Muslim Day. Organizers said they plan to make it a yearly event.

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