LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The city of Lynnwood recently adopted a resolution stating it would always be a safe, welcoming and equitable community for all.
On Friday, the chief of police spoke at a local mosque to explains what that means for members of the Muslim community.
It was a demonstration in Lynnwood that brought out a variety of voices.
“Even during the Vietnam War, I never did it, but I decided it`s time,” said Edmonds resident Terry Anderson.
Anderson and members of Trinity Fellowship Church were there holding signs, to send a message of love and support.
“It doesn`t matter what color you are or what religion you are. We`ve got to treat each other like neighbors,” said Anderson.
He said they were showing they stand with the Evergreen Islamic Institute. Inside, Friday’s sermon was about not giving in to stereotypes and misconceptions.
“American Muslims are the best Muslims in the world as a minority because they declare their loyalty to this country,” said Imam, Ismail Ahmad.
Members of the mosque also heard from the Lynnwood police chief. He reiterated the department's commitment to equal enforcement and equal service, regardless of religion or race, comparing misconceptions about police to misconceptions about Muslims.
“The message really is that they are similar, we are very similar in a lot of ways,” said Lynnwood Police Chief Tom Davis.
Mosque members said it’s important to start this type of dialogue with community leaders.
“Gives us more courage to go out, knowing that the community is behind us,” said Lynnwood resident and mosque member, Hassan Sayed.
The chief encouraged everyone to say hello to police officers they see on patrol and announced a new Cops and Clergy program starting next week, to get religious leaders and police face to face.
“Different religions have been meeting on their own already and there`s an All for Peace group that meets. And so all the work that we think that we`re leading or doing is already being done,” said Davis.
The meeting ended with smiles, pictures, handshakes and maybe a few new friendships.
“The more people they can trust the more fun they can have so everybody matters in some way,” said 10-year-old demonstrator, David Kinner.
The Lynnwood police chief also announced that members of the police force will be allowed to wear religious headwear while on duty. That includes turbans and hijabs.