MELBOURNE – A rabbi, a pastor and a representative of an Islamic civil rights organization came together Saturday afternoon on the Florida Tech campus for a town hall meeting on hate crimes.

The forum, organized by the Orlando office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was a response to an October incident in which an unidentified person opened fire at a Melbourne mosque, as people gathered there for the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Delacie Phillips, the Melbourne man who narrowly escaped injury during that incident, talked Saturday about Islam as a religion of peace, and the power of forgiveness.

“There is a lot of work to do,” Phillips said. “There is a lot of intolerance out there.”

Representatives of the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Melbourne Police Department shared their thoughts at the meeting attended by more than 100 people, including members of the Islamic Society of Brevard.


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