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Did you know that there are over 2500 mosques in United States? Did you know that anyone including those who are not Muslim, can tour their local mosque anytime! 877-Why-Islam presents a visit to an American mosque.

Throughout Islamic history, the mosque was the center of the community and towns formed around this pivotal building. In the West mosques are integral parts of Islamic centers that also contain teaching and community facilities.

Mosques come in all shapes and sizes; they differ from region to region based on the density of the Muslim population in a certain area. There are never any images of life or statues in mosques.

877-Why-Islam presents a visit to an American mosque. In an ongoing effort to dispel misconceptions about Islam, 23 mosques will open their doors Sunday to the non-Muslim community

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in the name of Allah the most beneficent the most merciful assalamu alaikom peace be on to you this is a great opportunity for people of all faiths and traditions to come inside the mosque know and learn what a mosque is all about what type of worship muslims do what are their activities muslims engaging in a mosque setting the beautiful architecture of mosques how people pray how they are preached and so on and so forth this is a great opportunity for people in america to know firsthand from Muslims about Muslims about Islam and as well about what mosques are all about so we're here at the Islamic Institute of Orange County on open mosque day and we've had a lot of people coming in since the morning and now we're in the afternoon different groups people from different backgrounds different churches coming in and asking different questions about Islam enjoying some food checking out the the presentations getting a tour of the mosque has been pretty interesting up until now I'm here with a group from Chapman University to UM we are in an interfaith project learning about Islam and how they compare and contrast with other religions um I did have a preconceived notion about Islam I'm in an intro to Islam class by dr. Siddiqui I've learned a lot about Islam what I didn't know before although I've observed it often from the outside I lived in fortune refugee camps for nine years in Thailand and up near the border with Cambodia they were there was a Muslim community and used to hear the calls to prayer all the time but didn't really know much about it it was mainly Buddhist country the goal has always been is that you always want to convey the message of Islam and who the Muslims are so when people come in we have booths set up specifically that that help a person understand from the different concepts to the visuals to the calligraphy the art and all of that and of course the food as well always seen it from the outside and it's very interesting to see it from the inside and talk to the people who've all been wonderful all the people I've talked to so it's been nice I guess I didn't really understand a lot of why they do what they do and just coming here learning about it like it's a very friendly environment they're very welcoming and open to answering questions and I guess I wasn't raised with that knowledge so just being involved in this has really opened my eyes to what Muslims are what Islam is so growing up Christian I I went to a specifically went to I grew up in a Baptist Church went to a Catholic High School the only thing I knew was of the Christian faith and I always thought like you know Muslim Jewish I thought it was all different like oh my god they believe something totally different and I just understand it's just a different way of worshiping you know it's all one being it's just the different individual beliefs that allows you to get closer to God or get closer to that one being so a lot of the questions were answered for me a lot of visitors actually just want to come and meet a Muslim and there hasn't been one specific question that has stood out to me today but a lot of it is just people coming like I just wanted me to Muslim I just want to get to know a Muslim and I think that shows the importance of Dawa and the importance of being out there and out reaching to people in the importance of that human connection that makes all the difference this is our first visit to a mosque it was absolutely fascinating we had the opportunity to do a tour and learned a lot about Islam and what the mosque is about what the faith is about what the culture is about and there are many misconceptions that were cleared up for us yes it was a very enriching religious and cultural experience I felt very at home very comfortable and it was it's such a peaceful environment and it does reflect on the people and the religion and the culture it was a fascinating experience and I I am encouraged to learn more about it is there anything misconception that you did had and maybe this change your mind if any um the fact that men and women prayed separately I thought it was to it is to keep distraction-free but it's for both of them for men and women and it's to keep women modest so they're not bowing in front of men and there isn't any wrong motions happening it's completely just focusing yourself on God so that was kind of something that was solved absolutely I'm actually taking my own little Quran Quran so but yeah would be more than happy to actually answer questions for my friends especially friends back in st. Louis in the middle middle east where they have no idea you know what this is and what it's about so to be enlightening to me to enlighten them and it'll force me to do more research on my end so that I could bring people the encourage people to study other faiths and other religions and just to understand it you know not to convert but to just understand so Muslims gather here daily to offer their prayers and to enjoy a good game from private reflections to commune your lectures from interfaith dialogue to scout activities from social events to social work mosques are a paragon of the all-encompassing spirit of Islam your neighbors invite you to explore the peaceful message of Islam by calling 877 why Islam or visiting why Islam org

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