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Muslim organization distributes safety tips, urges community outreach

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Rahmaa Institute, a Michigan-based, Muslim-oriented family counseling non-profit group, is distributing safety advice to Muslim organizations in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.

The Institute's founder, Khalid Iqbal, said the best way for Muslims to combat fear and backlash is to reach out to their non-Muslim neighbors so they get to know each other.

Iqbal made specific suggestions like sharing food and gifts with neighbors, participating in children's sports activities, and working on community issues like homelessness, hunger, and roads.

"We need to take more part in local civic activities," said Iqbal. "And also have common sense, be safe."

Iqbal said although most people in Michigan do not mistreat Muslims, there are instances of harassment, hostility, and dangerous road rage. He said this kind of backlash is especially directed against Muslim women who are identifiable because of their attire.  

Iqbal said the recent terrorist attacks do not represent Muslim values.

Muslim leaders in the Metro Detroit area have condemned the attacks.