Chris Caras Islamic Education Director CAIR MissouriCARBONDALE - Saturday night the Carbondale Islamic Center hosted a Dinner and Dialogue event where community members could learn more about the Muslim faith. 

Speakers like Mona Shehada at the event mentioned the immigration ban as a reason to push for unity in the community. 

"A dinner that is made on the honor of Carbondale friends who are supporting us and welcoming us into the community and having us as members of the American fabric," she said. 

City leaders were also at the dinner.

Council woman Carolin Harvey stressed to the crowd the importance of voter registration.

Organizers say the crowd far exceeded expectations.

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022117 CH cemetery 06 03Mufti Asif Umar with the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis said in a statement that the organization condemned the acts. The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Imam Council of Metropolitan St. Louis said they will encourage Muslim congregations to donate money to help repair the cemetery.

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The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic-Relations released a statement, which reads in part:

The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) and the Imam Council on Metropolitan St. Louis (ICMSTL)  - a body that represents 18 Islamic Centers in the Metropolitan area - today condemned the vandalism targeting a historic Jewish cemetery in University City.

The Imam Council will be encouraging Muslim congregations to donate money to help repair damages in the Jewish cemetery.
SEE: DONATE: Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery
Vandals Wreck Headstones at Historic Jewish Cemetery in St. Louis

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,","lnid":"announced a $5,000 reward"}}">announced a $5,000 reward Monday evening for tips that could lead to arrests and convictions in the bomb threats.

“It is the duty of American Muslims to offer support to the Jewish community and any minority group targeted in the recent spike in hate crimes nationwide,” CAIR executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement.

CAIR frequently decries attacks against marginalized groups, but doesn’t usually post rewards for those targeting non-Muslim communities.

“Due to the widespread nature of this series of threats, we believed it was our responsibility to take some concrete action,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s director of communications, told The Huffington Post.

The order has since been put on hold after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on the travel ban.

Chris Caras, the outreach coordinator for the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke to the visitors after a worship service.

Caras, who converted to Islam when he was 17 and is now 36, said mosques across the country are holding open houses to be “more transparent.”

“Muslims are afraid and confused,” Caras said. He described Islamophobia as irrational and equated it with anti-Semitism.

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