By Nick Ciccone, August 23, 2017
Masjid Hamza, in Valley Stream, along with hundreds of mosques across the country, opened its doors to the community on Sunday in an effort to break social barriers and have an honest discussion about Islam.
Masjid Hamza, VS 8/20/17 Both young and old gather together to pray five times daily. Community members from all walks of life were invited in to the mosque on Sunday to observe and have their questions answered. Here, Muhammad Kiani of Valley Stream comes with his sons, Ahmed (age 6) and Hamza (9) to pray.
The event was sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America and its outreach subsidiaries — GainPeace and Why Islam — and featured a tour of the mosque, an Islam question-and-answer period moderated by GainPeace Director Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, and a free lunch.
Clergy from neighboring religious congregations in Malverne, West Hempstead, Woodmere and elsewhere attended the open house.
Masjid Hamza, VS 8/20/17 A local mosque hosted an open house for the community on Sunday that invited visitors to learn more about Islam and its practices. From left, Valley Stream residents Margaret and Erin Sullivan, and all the way from Yonkers, Kevin Ryan. During the prayers, visitors were invited to sit quietly in the back.
Ahmed, who previously served as president of ICNA Chicago, said that this weekend’s event was the first of its kind, for which mosques nationwide are coordinating with outreach groups to meet with neighbors.
Masjid Hamza, VS 8/20/17 A local mosque hosted an open house for the community on Sunday that invited visitors to learn more about Islam and its practices. From left, Rabbi Susan Elkodsi and Susan Schwam from the Malverne Jewish Center with Shahnaz Mallik of Woodmere.
Masjid Hamza, VS 8/20/17 In order to promote cultural understanding in Nassau County, Masjid Hamza opened their doors to their neighbors. Visitors were invited to observe members at the second prayer of the day. Valley Stream resident, Telha Khan, age 11, waits for prayers to begin.
“The reason I give an opportunity for people to ask these tough questions is because the fear of the unknown leads people to have hate and bias and discrimination against people of other cultures and other religions,” he told the Herald last week. “And unfortunately, the fear of the unknown leads toward violence.”
GainPeace has a toll-free hotline, (800) 662-ISLAM, which anyone can call to ask questions about Islam from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Article Courtesy: LI Herald