COLUMBIA Considering it as the cornerstone of their community, Muslims in the central US state of Missouri are hosting a number of events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their successful Islamic center.
"The open house is where we open up our mosque to the Columbia community to educate them about the basics and fundamentals of Islam," Adam Zino, the outreach officer for the center, told Columbia Missourian.
Marking three decades of success, Missouri Muslim community has launched a number of events to offer a better image of Islam to the wider community.
Several events will include an open house which will invite neighbors, including non-Muslims, to correct misconceptions about Islam.
Running from September 12 to 21, the mosque celebrations include talks about women in Islam and Islam 101, which will offer audience an overview of the religion's basic tenets and beliefs.
"We'll be having several talks throughout the day, henna tattoos, write your name in Arabic, and foods from regions where the Islam religion is predominant," Zino added.
Events scheduled for the 30th anniversary celebration include screening of Out of Cordoba film; a documentary about present-day relations between Muslims, Jews and Christians and the ongoing struggle for rights in the Middle East.
Built in 1983 to serve a growing Muslim population, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri (ICCM) is deemed the first ever Islamic Center in the state of Missouri.
It presents an environment to a very diverse and dynamic Muslim community composed of indigenous Muslims, international students and immigrants.
The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.
A survey, published last August, found that American Muslims are the most moderate around the world.
It also shows that US Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net