Local Mosques Open Doors to the Curious, Explain Islam
By Brad A. Greenberg

Reseda, CA: The doors of the Islamic Center of Reseda are open 16 hours a day, but non-Muslims rarely step inside.
So Sunday, for the fourth straight year, the Islamic center joined two dozen Southland mosques to provide an open house for the region.
A handful of Christians, Jews and spiritualists surveyed the mosque as San Fernando Valley Muslims worshipped and prayed. They approached the prayer room and added their shoes to a pile in the foyer, beneath a sign that read, "Please keep this place clean - purity is half of the faith."
Inside the wood-paneled room with a vaulted ceiling and beneath the hum of an oscillating fan, some 20 men, many wearing prayer robes, sat on the beige carpet with dark lines facing Mecca. They listened as the imam spoke in Arabic from the Qur’an. Five women, wearing hijabs, sat behind a barrier that resembled a dressing area.
Zabie Mansoory, a 20-year-old Muslim from Sylmar, stood in the back with four visitors and answered questions.
How do Muslims pray? Why do Sunnis and Shias kill each other? Why do some Muslims hate the West?
As he fielded such questions, a man wearing a skull cap stood up in the front and boomed in Arabic.
"This is the call to pray," Mansoory explained. "Muslims pray five times a day."
The purpose behind Open Mosque Day was to break down the myths behind Islam and make clear that not all Muslims subscribe to the holy war extremism that often makes the news.
And, just like last year, when the event was held only weeks after the London train bombings, Sunday's event came less than two weeks after the arrest of 23 British citizens who allegedly planned to bomb trans-Atlantic airliners.
In light of rising Islamic terrorism, Muslim-American organizations have stressed that Islam is a religion of peace. This could be seen on a bumper sticker in the Reseda mosque's foyer: "Islam means peace, purity and submission to the will of God."
(Courtesy LA Daily News)

 

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