SoCal law enforcement, local Muslims join together to share hopes for future

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Local Muslims and representatives from Southern California's top law enforcement agencies joined together Thursday night to share their hopes for the future.

The main message? Islam is a religion of peace.

The Inglewood Islamic Center invited some of the area's top officials to celebrate Ramadan and discuss ways to combat terrorism.

"We're all together in this journey. That is how we can understand each other and not to hate but to stand together and united," said Ahmed Bholat, chairman of the mosque.

The Department of Homeland Security appeared, as did the assistant director in charge of the FBI's L.A. field office, Deirdre Fike.

"I think it's really helpful for people to understand that these are proud Americans, and we are so happy to be able to work with them," said Fike.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Border Patrol, Hawthorne police, airport police and the LAPD's commanding officer for counterterrorism, Horace Frank, were also in attendance.

"We really think it's important that we have these relationships built during those good times because the times for us to establish that communication is not when things are going bad," said Horace Frank.

Worshippers at the Islamic center said the dialogue is helpful.

"It sends a message to our community. Where our community always has some misconceptions that the federal government is looking at them, coming after them - we have built these strong partnerships," said Annan Khan of the Council of Pakistan American Affairs.

Law enforcement officials said the partnership is already working in making everyone safer.
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