MILWAUKEE – Three Islamic centers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened their doors on September 22 and 23 to give their community a tour inside the worshipping houses and a chance to better understand the faith.
“Our family decided to primarily visit worship and sacred spaces today,” said Ben Brzeski, Wisconsin Muslim Journal reported on Tuesday, September 25.
“We’ve never been to a Mosque. So we thought this would be a great opportunity to have that experience and explore.”
Since 2011, Doors Open Milwaukee has given residents a look inside city buildings that the general public usually does not have access to.
The two-day public celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture, and history offers behind-the-scenes tours of more than 170 buildings throughout downtown and neighborhoods.
This year’s visit destinations included three Islamic centers: the Islamic Resource Center / Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, and the Islamic Society of Milwaukee – University Center.
The Islamic Resource Center provides materials like a lending library, a cultural center, cafe, community computers, bookstore, and lecture hall for meetings and events.
The Islamic Society of Milwaukee is the largest Islamic facility in Wisconsin, with a school and prayer hall.
The ISM – University Center has served as the primary place of worship for the Muslim community on Milwaukee’s east side.
During the visit to the mosques, Brzeski, his wife and two children, said that they felt welcomed with open arms and learned a lot about Islam and Muslims.
“By far this is the place we have spent the most amount of time.”
Noah Sotolongo, who grew up in Florida to a loosely Baptist religious experience, also praised Doors Open event, saying it offered him the first chance to see an Islamic prayer service.
“I’ve never been before, so it was nice to just observe and see what the Islamic community here in Milwaukee is like,” said Sotolongo.
Scherr is another resident who decided to step inside a mosque for the first time during the two-day Doors Open event.
“We drive past here all the time and wanted to see how things were redone inside. It’s always been something that we wondered about,” Scherr said.
“I think it’s wonderful. The young lady who gave our tour told us so many interesting facts about the students, and how many people that come in any given weekend. The numbers were more than I imagined.”