Understanding Islam Conference Backlash





Casper, Wyoming - A conference titled, "Understanding Islam", will be held Saturday at Wyoming Medical Center. Sparking outrage among some in the oil city. But the organizers say the event is all about understanding.


“We don't feel that this is the proper use of the Wyoming Medical Center,” said Pastor Dan Carlin with the World Christian Fellowship.


Pastor Dan Carlin, along with some in the Casper community are outraged about a conference held in the oil city.


“We just wish it be cancelled. Move it to another spot, to a more proper forum or facility,” said Pastor Carlin.


A conference titled "Understanding Islam" will be held at the Wyoming Medical Center. The conference, put together by the Wyoming Association Of Churches will host two guest speakers to discuss the religion.


“To help educate the community about what the muslim faith is about. Its unfamiliar to a lot of people. Even though we're a Christian organization, we think it’s important that we understand what people of other faiths believe,” said Chesie Lee, the Executive Director of Wyoming Association Of Churches.


The Wyoming Medical Center, accused of unfairly granting permission to the group to gather in their conference room.


“We don't think they're welcome to use the Wyoming Medical Center to legitimize what they’re doing,” said Pastor Carlin.


But the Wyoming Medical Center says they offer the space to a variety of non profit organizations.


“We are in no way hosting, have had no input into the program,” said Kristy Bleizeffer, the Wyoming Medical Center Spokeswoman. “We are simply unlocking the door and allowing them to use our conference room.”


Pastor Carlin cited an email from the hospital saying this conference is a training exercise for hospital staff. Hospital officials say that is a miscommunication.


“This is not a training for nurses, this is not a training for any of our people. We are not involved,” said Bleizeffer.


Organizers hope that this event will help foster a positive conversation about the religion.


“I think it's important that we talk about it and that people do get their questions answered about people who see things differently than they do. That's why we have dialogue so we can build better understanding,” said Lee.