Longtime Fremont resident Moina Shaiq, an active member of the Tri-Cities Interfaith Council and Alameda County Human Relations Commission, hosted the second "Meet a Muslim" event at Fremont Cafe.
Shaiq, who has lived in the city for 33 years, said about 25 people participated in the hour-long "intimate" discussion about her faith, Islam. People came with open minds and asked challenging, yet respectful, questions, she said. Some questions revolved around religion while others were political, such as her thoughts on the jihadist group Islamic State and what Muslims are doing to stop them.
"I think it went very well," she said.
More than 100 people took part in the first "Meet a Muslim" gathering a week earlier at the same location, according to Shaiq.
Following the San Bernardino, and Paris terror attacks, Shaiq was inspired to lead an informal chat at a coffee shop with the main purpose to reach out to "ordinary people," particularly those who have never met a Muslim.
To keep the conversation going, Shaiq has scheduled a similar event from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 at Mission Coffee, 151 Washington Blvd., Fremont.
In 2005, Shaiq founded Muslim Support Network and has served as its president ever since. The organization is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Muslim elders, such as the homebound, those who encounter language and cultural barriers, lack transportation or finances and suffer from both physical and mental health issues.
Hosted by the Tri-Cities Interfaith Council, this year's World Interfaith Harmony Week observance is scheduled on Feb. 6 at Fremont's Veterans Memorial Building.