FORT MYERS, Fla. — As Jewish leaders from Naples embark on a mission to Israel, local members of the Islamic Center in Fort Myers are uniting in prayer for peace amid the continuing conflict in the region.
During a Friday sermon, the Muslim community met for their weekly prayer at the mosque situated on Broadway Avenue. This week's sermon focused on the concept of doing good with pure intentions and concluded with a prayer for people around the world.
Abdul Ahmadi, a member of the Islamic Center, expressed the community's pain over the conflict between Israel and Palestine saying "the community is hurting overall whenever innocent lives are lost, regardless of their background."
Ahmadi explained his community is praying for all of those affected by the ongoing violence.
"The sanctity of life is of utmost importance. We pray for everyone's peace and security because their needs and ambitions are all the same," Ahmadi explained.
Various groups around Florida have organized events in support of both Palestine and Israel as the conflict enters a second week.
Since the deadly Hamas-led attack on 7 October that killed more than 1,400 people, Israeli forces have launched thousands of air bombardments in the Gaza Strip. At least 3,785 people, mostly civilians, have been killed there in response, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
Amid the ongoing war, Ahmadi explains his message is to promote peace and avoid violence.
"Exercise patience, make dua, prayers, and do not resort to anything that would harm innocent people. In times like these, every person of good conscience should not add fuel to the fire," Ahmadi explains.
Other community members say they have contributed to organizations to provide essential necessities like food and water to civilians affected by the war.