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Unity rally held in Kent a week after suspected hate crime shooting

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Community leaders and residents packed a church in South King County for a Unity Rally Saturday, March 11, 2017.

KENT, Wash. — People of all faiths packed a Lutheran Church in Kent as a sign of unity Saturday.

This is in response to the recent shooting of a Sikh man by a masked man. The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

Organizers of this gathering say it’s not about politics or even religion, instead, it’s a chance for the community to show their solidarity.

“When we heard about the rally, we decided we have a duty to come and show our face,” said Alan Brittenhan of Renton.

“We see it as a threat to our entire community. For someone to shout hate and fire upon an unarmed individual to me is an attack on all the fabric of Kent,” said Richard Johnson, with the Kent Black Action Committee. “We’re going to stand up and say not here in Kent. Not now. Not ever.”

Kent’s police chief and two city council members participated in the event, as well as city leaders and school board members from nearby Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, and Tukwila.

Meet a Muslim

In Redmond, the Muslim Association of Puget sound held an event inviting Washingtonians of all faiths to come and meet their Muslim neighbors.

It was just one of several recent outreach programs by the association designed to push back against hatred and Islamophobia.

They say the best way to help overcome violence and fear, is by meeting and getting to know each other.