Twin Oaks' owner and Muslim leader work to make amends

Twin Oaks' owner and Muslim leader work to make amends
(Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Protests scheduled for Friday night outside of Twin Oaks Lanes have been postponed pending the meeting date between the owners of the bowling alley and the Imam of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

This is in light of anti-Muslim Facebook posts made by Jeff Kuhnle, who owns the business with his wife Sharon, who have since apologized.

"I mean, we are truly sorry. My venting used wrong words. I'm truly sorry," Kuhnle said.

When the Muslim community caught wind of this, they invited the Kuhnle's to the mosque to educate them about Islam and what it has to offer.

"The reason I say that is because we live in a society that we all want it to be a healthy society," said the Imam or religious leader of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

He said spreading hatred is not the route to get there. Despite the negative things said about his community, the Imam tells me, he's not angry, he just sees it as an opportunity to teach someone about his faith, which he says is principled on peace.

"I have all kinds of respect and love for this person and that's why I said I'm willing to go visit him. If he wants to come here to the center, we welcome him to come. We'll have a cup of tea, we'll chat," said Dr. Eid.

And that's really what the rest of the Muslim community wants too.

"Maybe he had a misperception of us, and now that he's been educated by us and had time to interacting with us, maybe he'll see that we are not the people that he thought we were," said Cathy Hammoud, principal of the Islamic school of greater Toledo.

The Kuhnle's have since called the Imam and got the ball rolling on meeting within the next few days. Their meeting will be taking place at Twin Oaks Lanes bowling alley.

Sharon said the last few days have been a nightmare for her and Jeff and they just want it to be over. She said Jeff has not only received notice that people will be boycotting the business, but has also received death threats.

"People got upset about it. I would have much more preferred that if someone had felt insulted or hurt to just simply call and say, 'Can I come talk to you?'" Sharon said.

But Twin Oaks does have people who bowl there, vouching for them.

"He and his wife, they sponsor more charities. I've met more good people here. They do all kinds of fundraisers. They back the vets. I mean, they're very community oriented," William Gustafson said.

Imam Eid expresses intolerance of any kind as a hindrance to the future of children in the entire Toledo community.

"It will affect our children . And I don't want our children, when I say our children, it means the Toledo children to look at each other with grudge," he said.

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