More than 200 Muslims, many of them children, came to Frankfort earlier this week.
It was the first Muslim Day at the Capitol. While it focused on legislative education and engagement, not everyone welcomed the Muslim visitors and their faith.
The day began with a formal ceremony in the capitol rotunda and then Muslims met with lawmakers. Mariam Addarrat of Lexington was there with her fifth grade son.
She says many Muslims work in the private and public sectors. “All the issues and situations that affect all Kentuckians, they affect the Muslim community just like all citizens. We just wanted to make sure that we have a seat at the table,” said Addarrat.
Well over a hundred children from Islamic schools in Lexington and Louisville came to Frankfort. Durr Ajgzi who’s 14, came to the U.S. seven years ago. Her family fled Iraq and spent time in Syria.
Jgzi was asked what law she would like to see. “I kind of feel like guns shouldn’t be allowed since there are school shootings and stuff. Just to protect us and protect everybody around. I feel it should be just for the military and not for just random people,” Ajgzi said.
One man with a bull horn demeaned the Islamic faith, calling it a false religion, while two other men held signs.
One read “Repent or Perish.” Aysha Aljijakli from Louisville had this reaction to the onslaught of commentary. “Yes they have their freedoms, but Muslims aren’t like that. We’re nice people. We’re just like every other human beings and everyone has different religions.
There’s some bad people in the world yes, but there’s also some good people,” explained Aljijakli.
Organizers of the Muslim Day at the Capitol hope to make it an annual event.