By Elena Ferrarin
Source Daily Herald
An event designed to increase knowledge of Islam and the Muslim community has been in the works for months in Elgin but is particularly timely in the wake of the Boston bombings, organizers said.
“Who Is My Islamic Neighbor?” takes place May 19 at Elgin Community College. It will include speakers Gerald Hankerson, outreach coordinator for the Chicago Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Mariam Nasser, a teacher at Elgin Academy.
There will also be small-group discussions facilitated by members of the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, said Rev. Denise Tracy, president of the Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders, one of the sponsors of the event.
“In the current climate, and even more so after the events of the last couple of weeks, we thought that understanding and education (about Islam) would improve the community feel that we would like to encourage in Elgin,” Tracy said.
The event also is sponsored by ECC and the Elgin Human Relations Commission.
Danise Habun, human relations commission member, said she had the idea of organizing the Elgin event after attending a similar one in Hanover Park last year. The goal is also to break down stereotypes about Muslims, Habun said.
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