Local News

Islamic Center of Raleigh holds open house

Posted July 25, 2009 6:12 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2009 8:43 p.m. EDT

— The newly expanded Islamic Center of Raleigh held an open house on Saturday for members of the community in an effort to increase awareness and educate others about Muslims.

Hundreds turned out to the 40,000 square-foot center, located at 808 Atwater St., to see presentations on Islam, take a tour of the mosque and enjoy delicacies from the Muslim culture.

“I think it is great that so many people came out,” visitor Donald Mathews said. “We were afraid not many people would, but we are overcrowded here.”

Among those in attendance were the state Attorney General Roy Cooper, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan.

“It looks beautiful. There are things to learn about and good things to eat, so we are excited we came,” visitor Betsy Buford said.

Saturday’s events were free to the public.

The center houses two prayer halls and a private school that teaches children in kindergarten through 8th grade.

Visitor Erin Dangler brought her two children to see the center on Saturday.

"We worship in a Christian tradition, but we think it is important for them to be exposed and open-minded to other faiths," Dangler said.

“We want to make it clear that the Muslims who live in the Triangle are just like everyone else. We live here, we work here; this is our home,” said Taiyyaba Qureshi, spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Raleigh. “We just wanted kind of extend our hands to friendship.”