KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As ISIS continues to launch terrorist attacks, a group of local people from Iraq are taking a stand against the organization. Mothers, fathers, and children marched Saturday hoping to spread a message of peace. The walked ended at the Al-Kahf Community Center at 9th and Jackson.
Most of the people were originally from Iraq. They’ve moved to Missouri, built homes here, and are raising families here. They say what ISIS is doing goes completely against what they stand for as believers of Islam.
Protester Zen Salehi said Islam stands “for peace. Not for killing people. Nowhere in Islam does it say that you kill people to go to Heaven.”
It’s an anger and a hurt that Salehi said makes it difficult to raise a family without family ostracized.
“It makes us look really bad,” Salehi said. “People look at us the wrong way. Especially if we walk around with our family, it makes it really harder, but we’ve got to live with it. What can we do?”
He and others have decided to fight the misconception with knowledge, starting with their own youth, who are also pained when they watch ISIS action unfold in the headlines.
“I feel like I’m crying,” nine-year-old Layth Albohsan said. “I feel like maybe something’s happening that’s wrong and I just want it to turn really right to all of us.”
Eleven-year-old Noor Albohsan marched among the protesters carrying American flags and signs of peace.
“We’re walking here because several other people over there in Iraq are dying because ISIS and terrorists,” Albohsan said.
Layth continued, “I’m really teaching them how to be nice and teaching peace to each other.”
The Shia Muslims also walked to mark Muharram, a sacred month in the Islamic calendar, to remember Imam Hussain, an important figure in Islam who they say died for his faith centuries back.