Superior Mayor Attends Muslim Community Dinner After Controversial Comment

Heidi Enninga
Updated: 01/02/2016 11:01 PM
Created: 01/02/2016 10:58 PM

Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen was the guest of honor Saturday for a community meal with Twin Ports Muslims. 

It was another step toward mending relationships, after the mayor made a controversial comment online calling President Obama a Muslim who is destroying democracy.

About 100 Muslims from the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports welcomed Mayor Hagen, several city councilors and other guests to their mosque for a potluck meal. 

The mayor had come under fire for his Facebook comment which surfaced nearly two weeks ago, however Ibrahim Al-Qudah, the president of the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports, said the meal was a way to ease tensions and clear up misunderstandings. 

"We've been seeing our community torn apart, so we thought just being part of our mission is we're going to step forward and say, this is just nonsense. The way we deal with this is to just sit down, sit together," Al-Qudah said. 

In his written statement on Friday, Hagen apologized for his  his "poor choice of words" and insensitivity toward the Muslim community.

Al-Qudah and his wife conversed with Hagen and his wife during the dinner. Other members of the community talked with members of the Superior City Council. 

"We have people here from different backgrounds and different walks of life, and I think it's a great thing just to sit down with different people and say you know what, we're not that different after all really," Al-Qudah said. "We hope that this will go to bed, after this meal."

The mayor declined to be interviewed at the event. 

Kym Young, the community activist who organized a protest in response to the mayor's comments, was also a guest at the dinner, She's calling on the mayor to address the city.

Young said while it was a positive gesture and first step, the mayor's attendance at the dinner was not the full solution.