"Islam is not a religion that you focus on yourself in the corner and practice what you are doing it's much broader than that," Imam Khalilullah told 7 Eyewitness News.
Sunday night, the Noor Mosque in Amherst opened their doors as a way of building bridges and helping others understand the religion they follow.
"Because of the rhetoric that's going on with regards to Islam and the way how people are receiving Islam. I mean if I don't stand up for my religion then who will?"
The prayer leader was joined by several other speakers, addressing a packed room on what Islam stands for and what Muslims around the country face each and everyday.
Leaders also made it a point to talk about how and why they are working to tackle the issue of Islamic extremists and emphasize that the actions of a few don't reflect the lifestyle of all.
Those in attendance, many dressed in scarves as a sign of respect, asked questions about the religion and everyday life. Later sitting side by side with men and women of various faiths everyone broke bread with strangers turned friends.