Rodeo-goers in Fort Worth are outraged after the organizers of the event made a more than controversial decision regarding who was going to deliver the event’s opening prayer.
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (FWSSR) is a long running event that people from all over the Lone Star state flock to every year, which has always featured a strong Christian base. However, according to the Star-Telegram, this year the event’s organizers chose to take a different, more diverse approach to who would lead the opening prayers at the event, and it has been met with strong criticism.
The Facebook page of the Stock Show erupted with angry comments after Imam Moujahed Bakhach of the Islamic Association of Tarrant County opened Sunday night’s event with the public prayer. Rodeo-goers were irate that the organizers, who were from a new group this year, chose an Islamic preacher amid the worldwide violence being perpetrated in the name of Islam.
“I just will choose NOT to go somewhere that embraces a religion that wants me, my family and my people DEAD,” a user wrote. Many other comments were similar, below are a few of the hundreds they received, according to the Standard-Times.
“Muslim/Islam has no place in this country let alone fwssr. Not one Muslim has come out against the radical actions that is the Muslim belief. PERIOD. COWBOYS DON’T WANT IT.”
“This really disappoints me in the FWSSR! Sad to see such a Texas & American institution fall in the gutter of political correctness.”
It’s important to note that not everyone was upset over the imam’s appearance, as some users commented in support of the decisions.
“Kudos to FWSSR for leading the way and understanding that America is a country of immigrants. Thanks for showing love and not hatred by showing tolerance for all religions; as Freedom of Religion applies to every American, even if they don’t look like you or believe what you believe.”
The Dallas Morning News reports that the imam didn’t actually deliver an Islamic prayer at the event. The Stock Show posted a status on their Facebook page to clarify any misconceptions about what actually transpired.
“We would like to take this opportunity to separate fact from fiction: There was never a Muslim prayer — or a prayer of any specific religion at the Stock Show,” the post read.
In response to the widespread outrage, Bakhach, who was scheduled again for Tuesday’s events, decided it probably wasn’t a good idea.
“I felt he was in a spot, so I canceled for February 2,” Bakhach said. “I love Fort Worth. It really hurt me to see this reaction.”
Let us know what you think of the show’s decision to bring in an imam.
—Courtesy of Mad World News