EHT Teen Encouraging Local Police, Residents to Better Understand Islam

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. -

“A lot of people in America are not well-informed or misinformed about Islam, the religion itself and the culture of Islam,” says 17-year-old Explorer Lieutenant Moustafa Maarouf, with the Explorer Post 94. 

So, he created the presentation, “Understand Islam – A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers.” 

Maarouf has been with Explorer Post 94, based in EHT, for the past three years. He and his fellow explorer lieutenant, Maria Herouvis, help volunteer police officers from South Jersey run the Egg Harbor Township Law Enforcement Explorer Post 94 program.

“We basically hand the program over to them and they do a phenomenal job taking care of the other kids here,” says Officer Edward Stearns, an advisor for the post.

Maarouf and Herouvis are two of only 30 explorers nationwide to get accepted to a leadership academy in Washington D.C. But first, Maarouf wanted to take his own experiences and apply it to the training in Egg Harbor Township.

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“He comes from a very unique background and he felt like he needed to share that with everybody,” says Stearns.

“I’m talking about basics in Islam, what Islam really is," says Maarouf. "[N]ot only talking about Islam, but how the interaction should be with law enforcement."

A lot of people in America are not well-informed or misinformed about Islam.

Maarouf made a presentation to his post and the response proved that what he was feeling was right.

“I got people shocked from some of the information I gave them," says Maarouf. "They never knew Islam was about that; the word itself means peace and they didn’t really know that either."

“We both explained to them how it’s important to know because most people, when they think of Muslims, unfortunately, they think of terrorist attacks and all that stuff,” says Herouvis.

Maarouf is hoping to take this presentation to other Explorer Posts throughout South Jersey.

“We’re really proud," says Stearns. "We’re hoping a few other agencies open their doors to him so he can come on in and share what he’s shared with us."

“I just want to spread the message out there to people about the culture and the religion itself so they understand better,” says Maarouf.

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