Building Bridges Between Muslims and Christians in Pasco County

March 4, 2006

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On March 4, 2006 the St. Petersburg Times reported, "The folks at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church chatted Thursday night about the Muslim prophet Mohammed, Allah and the five pillars of Islam. A man belted out a melodious Arabic call to prayer. Then Father Dennis Hughes accepted a Koran as a token of a newly cemented friendship. It was all part of a Christian-Muslim forum that drew about 150 people. A panel of eight sharply dressed Muslim men from Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties took a seat at the front. Their mission: to dispel some ugly myths about Islam. 'Our goal is to educate, to build bridges between Christians and Muslims,' said Ahmed Bedier, who leads the Central Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. 'There's a lot of misinformation out now about what Muslims are all about. This is an effort to bring some understanding on the local level.' Soon local Muslims will break ground for Pasco County's first mosque at a site on Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey."