Islamic Society of Central Virginia Aims to Educate Community on Islam
The Islamic Society of Central Virginia is working to strengthen its ties with the Charlottesville community in the aftermath of this summer's Ku Klux Klan and Unite the Right rallies.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Islamic Society of Central Virginia is working to strengthen its ties with the Charlottesville community in the aftermath of this summer's Ku Klux Klan and Unite the Right rallies.
The mosque hosted an open house on Saturday, October 14, to try to unite people of different backgrounds and faiths.
Following the violence in Charlottesville this summer, members of the Charlottesville Islamic community felt it was necessary to address misconceptions about Islam and build stronger connections with people outside of their religion.
“It builds bridges...everybody has something to learn from everybody else,” says Mayor Mike Signer.
The Islamic Society of Central Virginia opened its doors to the Charlottesville community Saturday in hopes of better educating people about the religion.
“Our hope is just for everyone to realize that we're here and we're part of the community and for them to get a better understanding of what Islam is, and for them to realize that some of the things that they may not have known about Islam or have misconceptions about,” says Saad Hussain, trustee for the Islamic Society.
The society says Muslims make up a sizable chunk of the Charlottesville community.
“We have hundreds of people who came here from other countries as political refugees that are part of this community seeking freedom in Charlottesville with their families,” says Signer.
They want everyone to know who they are and the roles they play.
“The Muslims, they are part of this community, they make up a big part of the community, they are the doctors here, they are the lawyers here, they are the people that you see at the grocery stores,” says Hussain.
In an effort to accomplish that goal, the members of this mosque invited community members to take part in a tour, prayer, and a question-and-answer session about their faith.
“We see this as a responsibility for them to come and to get to know us, for us to extend our hands to make them feel welcome,” says Hussain.
More than 100 people participated in this event.
Members of the mosque say that community members are always welcome to visit and learn more about the religion.