SUWANEE, Ga. - The Muslim American community in Suwanee are taking the time to say thank you to two police officers.
Dr. Mumtaz Bashir leads the youth program at Musullah Mosque. Dr. Bashir said Sunday morning a parent called her concerned for his child's safety following the shootings in San Bernardino. She called Suwanee Police.
"When I got into Sunday school at 11 o'clock, within a few minutes the officers were there," said Dr. Bashir.
Cpl. Kevin Skinner and Officer Chance Belcher responded. Dr. Bashir said the officers stood guard the entire time, watching over the children and making sure nothing was out of the ordinary.
Dr. Bashir was so touched by the officers dedication and efforts she posted a lengthy message on The Suwanee Police Department's Facebook page, expressing her gratitude.
"In this day and age it is hard to get that and it was really exciting to see that this job isn't so thankless all the time and that we actually made a difference in this woman's life and all those kids lives," said Officer Belcher.
Dr. Bashir was especially touched by Cpl. Skinner's words. "I voiced to her you cannot let a few bad apples spoil the bunch," said Cpl. Skinner who can relate as a police officer. Dr. Bashir was able to relate as well as a Muslim-American.
"It just really touched my heart especially in this day and age where there is so much hate and violence," said Dr. Bashir. "He empathized with me and I empathized with him."
"It is not about going out and taking people to jail and arresting people," said Cpl. Skinner. "There is another side of the badge, you want to protect and serve people."
Dr. Bashir hopes this post creates more open dialog between Muslims and non Muslims.
"There are so many of us who are good and as this post shows there are so many great non Muslims in this community as well and if we stand together we have a chance to fight all of this hate out there," said Dr. Bashir.
Dr. Mumtaz Bashir's Post:
I had the most positive experience with the professionals at the Suwanee Police Department yesterday!
I made a phone call to the police department on Sunday after a concerned parent brought up the fact that there have been a lot of violent threats against ALL American Muslims since the horrific shootings in San Bernardino, California. Dispatcher Michelle answered the phone and I explained my concerns. She immediately told me she would notify Capt Mooney, and would make sure she had officers present when our kids arrived for school, played outside, and even when they left to go home. I met both Corporal Skinner and Officer Belther a few hours later. I explained to them that there are over 7 million moderate American Muslims living peacefully in the United States as your neighbors, doctors, teachers, engineers, accountants etc and that we meant no harm to anyone. They were both very kind and assured me that the Suwanee Police Dept knew who we were, the kind of good people we are and that if we needed anything, that they would be there to help us. Officer Skinner even went so far as to say that he understood that a few bad apples can ruin a bunch and that it had even happened to the police (we have all seen the videos online.) I was taken aback by his empathy. His genuine kindness to a stranger warmed my heart. Both officers were true to their words, they watched out for us while the kids played outside and even, when I left at the end of the day, I saw one of them keeping watch in a distance.
God bless & protect the fine men and women who serve in the Suwanee Police department & the caring people who surround us all!