Muslim leaders in the five boroughs and across the country are opening their doors in a national week of dialogue.
Mosques in New York City and Long Island are hosting open houses to welcome people in the community to learn about the tenets and traditions of Islam.
Organizers speaking in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on Monday said communication is the best way to build bridges and combat bigotry and that they aim to eliminate the misconceptions that some Americans have about the religion.
"The hatred, a lot of the anti-Islam or the ethnic and religious bigotry is due to ignorance. People just don't know," said Imam Al-Amin Abdul Latif of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York. "We find when we begin to talk to people and share the Islamic values people are surprised. 'Oh I didn't know that, thank you for that.' You see the attitude changes."
"We want people to know that you have nothing to fear about Islam," said Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Masjid At-Taqwa. "Let me tell you something about what our religion says about our neighbors. The prophet Muhammad said, 'Let him who believes in God on the last day honor his neighbor.'"
The first open house was held yesterday at the Islamic Cultural Center in the Upper East Side and an Interfaith Open House Celebration was held on the Upper West Side.
The event was conceived at a summit of Islamic leaders that met in Queens to respond to the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, surrounding the plan to put the Park51 mosque and Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site.
Open Mosques In The Five Boroughs
Wednesday, October 20
Aljaned Islamic Center
984 Intervale Avenue, Bronx
5 to 7 p.m.
Friday, October 22
Masjid Omar bin Abdul Aziz along with Tauhid Center & Masjid Alhamdulillah
88-29 161st Street, Jamaica, Queens
3 to 5 p.m.
554 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Muslim Center of New York
137-58 Geranium Avenue, Flushing, Queens
Islamic Mission (Masjid Dawood)
143 State Street, Brooklyn
2 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
125-05 Jamaica Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens
4 to 6 p.m.
1266 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
1 to 4 p.m.
36 Hardy Street, Staten Island
Masjid Dar al-Da’wah
35-13 23rd Avenue, Astoria, Queens
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.