Abdiamar Bare, 21, walks up to the nondescript mosque in Greeley for noon prayers and pauses a moment to talk about his faith.
He is asked by a visitor if he’s seen the DVD “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” No, he says. He’s asked if the principles of Islam allow other religions to coexist with it.
“Every religion is the same. No religion is better than another religion,” Bare says. “I believe in Islam. I like my religion, and I don’t want it to interfere with other religions.”
Bare is one of about 120 Muslim workers recently fired by JBS Swift & Co. for walking off the job after a disagreement on prayer breaks. He enters the mosque, off 8th Avenue near the University of Northern Colorado campus, to join dozens more for prayer.
It’s a low-profile, unmarked building in which Greeley Muslims come to practice their faith, which again finds itself in the crosshairs of scrutiny locally and nationally.
In Greeley, the dispute continues on prayer breaks for Muslim workers at the meatpacking plant. Sentiment has spread among some in the community that the newcomers are pushing too much, exhibiting a desire not to assimilate but rather impose their religion on others.
Nationally, the DVD arrived on 28 million doorsteps as rhetoric on homeland security heats up in the presidential race.
The confluence of recent events — the Muslim workers’ dispute and, on its heels, the “Obsession” DVD — is the talk of the town. Many Greeley residents have noticed the 400 mostly Somali refugees who’ve arrived in the past 18 months to take jobs at JBS Swift. The workers say they are here to escape the oppression of their war-torn homeland, build a new life and peacefully practice their religion. (MORE)