After the 9/11 attacks, John Dutcher of Omaha, Nebraska decided that he hated Muslims. The problem? He never actually met any. Then, six Muslim refugee families moved into his apartment building and, for the first time, he was in the position to get to know Muslims for himself. According to Dutcher, meeting his new neighbors completely changed his opinion about Muslims. “The Muslims here were all about family and they just loved everyone,” Dutcher says. Now, Dutcher takes pride in helping the new families whenever he can, saying “These people, they really changed my heart.” John Dutcher’s story highlights how anti-Muslim hate in the U.S. is often fueled by Americans not personally knowing any Muslims and the importance of interfaith encounters.
Read more (Huffington Post)