DALLAS — The images of destruction and chaos are overwhelming. Iraq is under attack and ISIS militants are quickly closing in on the capital city of Baghdad.
ISIS just released a picture boasting its occupation of Tal Afar Airbase; a terrifying takeover just west of Baghdad. Earlier this week, 500-U.S. soldiers were deployed to the war-torn country, including 180-military advisors President Obama approved. Their mission: to ensure Iraqi troops can protect their capital.
Closer to home, in Dallas, a sight unseen in Iraq: the local Shiite and Sunni community gathered on Saturday, united for a common cause – peace.
“We wanted to make sure that we communicated to the world, and to our own interfaith, that [the war] is not based on any religious understanding, but it is driven by local factors,” Asif Effendi said. Effendi is the founder of Islamic Learning Center in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Saturday marks the beginning of the Islamic holy month – Ramadan. For these two Islamic sects, it’s the perfect time to promote harmony and encourage an end to the violence; even from half-a-world away.
“If someone kills someone else from a different sect – it’s a Muslim killing another Muslim,” participant Naureen Syed said. “it’s very frustrating to deal with. The upcoming generation, we really want to be part of a movement where sects aren’t as important, as just being Muslim.”