The first time the Howard County Muslim Council held its food drive, the response was limited.
But last year, "I put up fliers in my neighborhood and people bring the food to my doorstep," said Anwer Hasan, a Clarksville resident and president of the Maryland Muslim Council. And as they handed out information at a local supermarket, people told them, "We'll be waiting for you on Sunday."
"We want that kind of connectivity and relationship," Hasan said, "so that the people feel comfortable with each other and not necessarily fearful of each other."
Muslims statewide are organizing councils on the county level to interact with their local leaders and to improve understanding of Islam within their communities.