Press Shia – With division and racial tension making headlines, some Houstonians are fighting back by working to unite with people of all walks of life.

Press Shia Agency – With division and racial tension making headlines, some Houstonians are fighting back by working to unite with people of all walks of life.

 

Ligi Varghese helped organize a "Love Thy Neighbor" event at a mosque in Sugar Land Friday afternoon.

 

"Hatred has just become emboldened. They don't have to hide anymore," she said.

 

Volunteers handed out flowers to let Muslim neighbors know, they belong and are important to the community.

 

Muntaz Zaman, a member of the Maryam Islamic Center, said he appreciates the show of support.

 

"This shows that we're all together. We are not separate," Zaman said.

 

Varghese said she planned the event after becoming fed up with stories of hostility against Muslims.

 

"It's scary. People are telling their daughters not to walk out the door with their hijab on. That's not the country we want to live in," Varghese said.

 

Varghese is a Christian and she hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and support people outside of their ethnic or religious circles.

 

"I want to be like Christ. Being like Christ means that I have to reach out to people," she said.

 

The message of unity was echoed by members of the mosque.

 

"No matter what religion or belief you have, you are all Americans," Zaman said.

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