TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — A Tulsa Imam said Muslims in Tulsa are really trying to get the message out: extremists don’t represent the Muslim religion.
John Ederer, Imam with the Islamic Society of Tulsa, said Christians have been in a similar situation.
“Just as the KKK is unrepresentative of historical Christianity,” said Ederer. “They were a big thorn in the side of America for some time.”
Ederer said that message seems to be getting drowned out lately.
“So, they’re just buying into all this terrible rhetoric that’s going around right now,” said Ederer.
People at the Islamic Center in east Tulsa said they have a good relationship with the community. But lately, they’ve noticed a change.
“Things are a little bit scary lately, to be honest,” said Sarah Rana with the Oklahoma Center for Community Injustice.
Rana, a Native American and a Muslim, said her family has seen more than its share of injustice.
“We get comments like, ‘you need to go back to your home,’ when we were here before the pilgrims came,” she said.
Rana said she has noticed a change in attitude towards Muslims in America, and she puts much of the blame on social media.
“And whether the articles are stating facts or opinions, they can be pretty harsh sometimes about different groups,” Rana said.
Rana said the key to changing beliefs is education.
“Taking that kind of negative energy and turning it into a teachable moment is really important right now,” Rana said.