RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Islamic Association of Raleigh hosted law enforcement officers from across the state on Thursday for an Iftar, an after-sunset meal that breaks Ramadan fasting.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast for a month.
Attendees included members of the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary Police Departments. Members of the FBI, SBI, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security also attended.
Officials said the purpose of the event, which the IAR hosts each year, is to strengthen the bond between law enforcement and the Muslim community.
"We respect the laws of this country, this city, and this state," Mohamed Elgamal, chairman of the IAR, said at the dinner. "We are not coming here to change the laws."
Elgamal reiterated that the Islamic Center, which offers free meals to the public every morning, welcomes all people for fellowship and open conversation regardless of faith.
Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue echoed those sentiments. He said his visits to the mosque over the years have shown him how inviting the community is.
"Anybody and everybody is welcome to come and learn about what happens here, to have a meal, to ask questions, to observe prayers," Blue said. "And I encourage people to take advantage of that opportunity. It is impactful, it is moving, it's not mysterious."