News / USA

Southern California Mosques Open Doors To Fight Islamophobia

Southern California Mosques Open Doors to Fight Islamophobiai
X
October 28, 2013 4:02 PM
Mosques from San Diego to Los Angeles opened their doors to people of all faiths on Sunday. Now in its 12th year, Open Mosque Day is sponsored by the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. The event aims to dispel Muslim stereotypes and Islamophobia that still persist in the U.S. more than a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Southern California Mosques Open Doors To Fight Islamophobia
Elizabeth Lee
Mosques from San Diego to Los Angeles opened their doors to people of all faiths on Sunday.  Now in its 12th year, Open Mosque Day is sponsored by the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.  The event aims to dispel Muslim stereotypes and Islamophobia that still persist in the U.S. more than a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

On a Sunday, when Christians attend church, Muslims invited the public to step inside their place of worship to take a tour and ask questions.  Ahmed Asim Buyuksoy is the Director of Religious Affairs at The Islamic Center of Southern California.  

“The whole purpose of Open Mosque Day is to introduce ourselves and our community, our religion, our culture to other brothers and sisters from different faiths and backgrounds,” said Buyuksoy.

Glorianna Pionati heard about Open Mosque Day through her church and came to visit.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to see people milling around and really welcoming, lovely smiling faces,” said Pionati.

A visitor who only identified himself as Steve was here with a purpose.

“I just want to discuss some of the evils within Islam, which there are numerous,” claims Steve. "The Quran, in fact, gives justification, in fact sanctification, for hatred, violence and murder.”

Amaani Shams is Muslim American.
 
“The ignorance is still around and it’s very unfortunate,” said Shams. "I feel like America overall has grown in its understanding of Islamic practice and humans that identify as Muslims, but we still have those who encourage the easy hatred towards Islamic communities.”

Mahmoud Abdel-Baset says Islamophobia among some Americans is perpetuated by the media.

“They are influenced by what they see in the public media.  And there is lots of misinformation,” said Abdel-Baset. "There are lots of stereotypes.  It puts the pressure on us to present ourselves for what we are, not what people think about us.”

The Islamic Center of Southern California member Saleh Kholaki says American Muslims have moderate Islamic ideology and are different from more extreme Muslims in some other countries. He says there are more similarities than differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

“I’m like anybody else. I’m a different religion, but I have the same interests, same values and the same family values that we share with the community,” said Kholaki.

Muslims such as Kholaki say they hope dialogue and events like Open Mosque Day will create more understanding and dispel misconceptions about what it means to be Muslim in America.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid