Members of a mosque near the University of Central Oklahoma opened
their doors to the community-at-large Sunday, hoping to meet their
neighbors, educate non-Muslims about Islam and dispel myths about their
Visitors to the Islamic Society of Edmond’s
mosque, 525 N University, listened to a presentation called “Islam 101”
presented by the society’s Imam Qasim Mazhar.
were invited to ask questions during a question-and-answer session,
then were given an opportunity to tour the mosque and talk with Muslims
who worship there.
asked questions such as how does ethnicity play a role in the way
Muslims act and when was the Quran, the Islamic holy book, written.
One guest asked for information about Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims.
guest asked the Edmond Muslims how non-Muslims should view the
significant ways that the version of Islam purported by the terrorist
group ISIS differs from that of Muslims like those who attend the Edmond
leaders at Sunday’s open house answered the last question by saying
they strongly condemn ISIS, whose followers have used Islam for their
They said they consider ISIS members to be terrorists just like other terrorists who are not Muslim.
3:30 p.m., about 27 people had signed in as visitors at the mosque’s
entrance and the come-and-go event, which began at 1 p.m., was set to
conclude at 5 p.m.
Mazhar said he was pleased with the turnout for the “Building Bridges of Understanding”
Open House, particularly since he and other leaders realized belatedly
that attendance might be low because Sunday was Mother’s Day.
Dr. Bilal Piracha, a physician at Integris Baptist Hospital who attends the mosque, also was pleased with the turnout.
has been a big success because there is a positive response from the
community. The people came to bridge the gaps and that’s exactly what we
wanted. We want to get the people here to tell them who we are.”
“I came because I wanted to understand more about the religion,” Pat Froehle said, adding that she and her husband are Catholic.
Froehle said he was surprised that Islam seemed closely associated
with Christianity because of the way Abraham, Moses and Jesus are
mentioned throughout the Quran.
Harry and Carol Woods, of Edmond, also visited the mosque.
couple said they attend First United Methodist Church of Edmond, which
is near the Islamic house of worship and they wanted to lend their
support to the Muslim community.
felt like there’s a lot of misunderstanding and I felt it was
important to support the Muslim community because I felt like they have
been having a rough time lately,” Carol Woods said.
and Jenny Goldschlager, of Midwest City, said they decided to attend
the open house because they had never been to a mosque, plus their son
attends nearby UCO.
Jenny Goldschlager said she is Christian and her husband is Jewish.
open house came a day before the Islamic Society of Edmond and the
North American Islamic Trust Inc. planned to appear before the Edmond
City Council for the second time, asking for a permit to build a new
Islamic Society members said it was a coincidence that the open house
and the city council meeting were just a day apart.
who is president of the Islamic Circle of North America-Oklahoma City,
said members of the Edmond mosque plan to host more open house events,
perhaps even quarterly, to build upon the momentum from Sunday’s
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human