By: Sumayya Saleh

In the aftermath of the arson attack on the Islamic Society of New Tampa, the outpour of support from the community at large was massive. We received messages of support, offers of help, and monetary donations from over 2,000 different individuals.

As a small token of our appreciation, we extended an invitation to our local supporters to join us for a hearty lunch. And so on Sunday, March 12, a group of our allies came to the mosque to break bread.

Members of the community engaged in meaningful conversation with our friends and neighbors as they delighted in an assortment of shawarma, falafel, hummus, and baba ghannouj, while their children played blissfully on the playground. Imam Junaid, mosque spokesperson Mustafa Ameen, City Councilman Luis Viera, and a representative from Action Together Tampa Bay all took turns addressing the crowd. Many of the visitors toured the mosque facility as well.

It was truly a remarkable event. The Islamic Society of New Tampa remains committed to building bridges and establishing relationships with the friends and allies of the Muslim American community in the greater Tampa Bay Area. In so doing, we hope to ensure a safer, more united community for us all.