Lin MacDonald, of Canton, asked the candidates at Friday night's forum at Muslim Community of Western Suburbs (Canton Mosque) how they would build meaningful relations with Muslims and others who think differently than them.
MacDonald said she, who is Muslim but is not always assumed to be so because she is Caucasian and does not wear a headscarf, hears racist comments from Canton residents about Muslims.
"It's ignorance that creates that problem," said Dave Curson (D), running for the special election for U.S. Congress.
He said some examples of that ignorance are the sickening ads made against Syed Taj (D), running for U.S. Congress, that attacked his faith.
Steve Sneideman (D), running for Canton Township trustee, said one way to deal with ignorance is to help the Muslim community advertise their events to get more Canton residents to attend.
"Our recreation program is where we can lose part of that ignorance," said Greg Demopoulos (R), incumbent running for Canton Township trustee.
He said bringing the community together through leisure programs is a good first step.