Muslim Chaplains Now Part Of SC Sheriff's Department

Richland Co. Sheriff's Dept swears in 6 chaplain deputies including 2 Muslim chaplains

Richland County, SC (WLTX) -  For the first time ever, Muslim chaplains are now a part of the Richland County Sheriff Department.

“There is a definitely a concern especially with everything that’s shown on the media about all the recent acts of terror, and all that and definitely as a minority, they will feel a little bit of discomfort,” Richland County Deputy Mohanad Gabr explained. “I mean those members they work everyday, they just want to have a good life.”

Gabr says being Muslim can be tough with ISIS and negative stereotypes surrounding Islam ,he says the Muslim community can sometimes feel excluded.

“Now you see that here in the sheriff’s department just approaching some religions, and tell him hey we want you to be included, we want to serve you, you are important to us, you are a part of the community,” Gabr said. “It’s definitely just a huge, huge impact for sure.”

After almost a decade in law enforcement Gabr says he’s glad that for the first time ever Muslim chaplains are now a part of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department….

“We have a very large Muslim community here and this is just another way of us reaching out to those within our community and building relationships and making sure that we do everything that we can as a sheriff’s department family,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.

“It will definitely make it easier for regular Muslims to go and approach law enforcement agencies or make a complaint or address any issues,” Gabr said. “Just to see like two chaplains part of a law enforcement agency, it’s a really big deal.”

A big deal Gabr says will really help him.

“Without faith, it’s hard to perform a job like this, you have to have a degree of faith, “ Gabr said. “For sure just to have like a chaplain with the same faith here in the department it will definitely help me.”

There is now a total of 21 chaplains. They are all volunteers and are there to help Richland County Sheriff deputies any time they need it.

(© 2016 WLTX)


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