The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Fremont’s story five years later 15 June , 2011

FREMONT — Five years after filmmakers from Harvard came to Fremont to document the city’s rapid transformation into one of the nation’s most diverse places, city residents are invited watch the movie and talk about the city’s growing diversity.

The Tri-City Interfaith Council is presenting a free screening of the 57-minute film Thursday, followed by a panel discussion.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of and celebrate the religious diversity of our community,” the Rev. Jeff Spencer said. “And we want to ask where we are as a religiously diverse community and what work still needs to be done in terms of acceptance.”

During the filming of the documentary in 2006, Fremont was shaken by the killing of Alia Ansari, a Muslim woman wearing a head covering, who was shot while walking along a city street with her young daughter.

Although police determined that the daytime shooting wasn’t a hate crime, Spencer said it had the effect of a hate crime because many Muslim women were afraid to go out in public afterward.

Spencer said Fremont has continued to become increasingly tolerant in recent years, but still can become more inclusive.

“There is a lot of perceived Islamophobia, and there is probably a lot of actual Islamophobia that exists in this community,” he said.

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