Local News

Triangle Muslims invite public to learn about Islam

Posted February 26, 2011 11:23 p.m. EST
Updated February 27, 2011 3:16 p.m. EST

— The recent violence in Egypt and Libya resonates here in the Triangle, as Muslim and Middle Eastern populations continue to grow.

The Islamic Association of Raleigh, which serves thousands of area Muslims, sponsored the annual "Meet Your Muslim Neighbor" event Saturday to boost awareness about the Muslim community at home and abroad.

"A lot of people are curious to know about the five daily prayers, how Muslims pray, why they pray," said Imran Aukhil, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Raleigh, where hundreds of Triangle residents gathered to build community between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Like many Americans, Raleigh resident Marsh Hardy has seen media coverage about increasing turmoil in the Mid East, showcased by anti-government demonstrations in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, among others.

Hardy said it's time the Muslim community in the Triangle became more visible.

"I think it's very timely for this mosque to have an open house and show people more about themselves," Hardy said.

Aukhil said he's glad to see non-Muslims taking an interest in learning more about Islam.

"I think this is a good opportunity for the public to learn about what Islam really teaches to the masses," he said. "If you look at what's happening, for example, in Egypt and Tunisia, you have peaceful demonstrations. You have people coming together for the purpose of changing their condition."