TYLER - Hundreds from across Tyler gathered Thursday evening to show support for their Muslim neighbors.
The event, "Support Our Muslim Neighbors," came within a week of a South Texas mosque fire and President Donald Trump's immigration ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.
"With all of the rhetoric and everything you hear on the news, this is really refreshing and is just amazing to us," said Anwar Khalifa, spokesperson for the East Texas Islamic Society
Several residents organized the non-political, interfaith gathering at the East Texas Islamic Society. People brought cards and yellow flowers -- a symbol of friendship.
"We wanted to make sure this is about everyone coming together to support the Muslim community," said organizer Jen Katz.
Katz, whose husband is a rabbi, came up with the idea along with several friends.
"It became much bigger than we anticipated," she said.
People of all ages, races and religious backgrounds attended the event. Mosque members served dinner and answered questions -- dispelling misconceptions.
"I think it's amazing how it turned out, where most people I talked to said they haven't been here before," said Katz.
"It just goes to show you how great of a community we live in," said Khalifa.
Katz said she hopes Thursday's event encourages people to continue sharing kind gestures -- not only directed at the Muslim community -- but everyone.
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