More than a dozen people rallied on Sunday at the church where a parishioner called Homeland Security on two Muslim Nazareth College students last week.

More than a dozen people rallied on Sunday at the church where a parishioner called Homeland Security on two Muslim Nazareth College students last week.

The students, who were attending Browncroft Community Church for a class assignment, later saw the investigation dropped.

This Sunday, those rallying said that incidents like that should never be tolerated. They want the church to take a firm public stance against all forms of hate- whether racism or Islamophobia.

“That’s the reality that people of color in this country face,” said a Nazareth student, “Your identity can be used as a means of attacking you.”

Khadijia Mehter said that Islamophobia such as what happened to the two students made area Muslims scared to indicate their faith in public:

“So many of my brothers and sisters in the community don’t feel safe coming out, and [I] know that to make themselves known as Muslims, as minorities, in this Islamophobic environment is very scary.”

Despite the incident, Rob Cattalani- the senior pastor at the church- wants people to know that everyone is welcome there.

“We’re very sorry for any misunderstanding,” he said.

For the Nazareth student, that isn’t enough.

“We feel that it’s their responsibility, not only as a theological institution but as the institution where the incident occurred, to take responsibility,” he said.

“[They need] to note just call it a misunderstanding, but to acknowledge that someone was attacked here and say that that was wrong.”

However, the protestors in general said they are not protesting against the church— they are simply condemning acts of racism in society. They want to see a commitment from the community to make sure this won’t happen again.

“Acknowledgement is necessary for healing,” said the Nazareth student, “And as the incident where this happened [was here], we believe this is a very important place where acknowledgement needs to happen.”

Nazareth College has been in talks with the church, and representatives from both sides are reportedly due to meet sometime this coming week to discuss ways to prevent something like this from happening again.