COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the first such event in Ohio, mosques across the Midwestern American state opened their doors to the public on Sunday, December 16, reaching out to their neighbors to know more about their faith, NBC reported.
“Hear about Muslims from Muslims,” said Ammar Ahmad Awan of Masjid Omar Ibn El-Khattab.
“Sometimes you have to cross that comfort zone or comfort barrier and then go across that to learn something new, and that’s exactly what this event is about,” he added.
The open mosque event was bearing fruits.
For Kelli and Evans Jasper, it gave them an opportunity to know more about Islam.
“Both of us have known sort of academically about Islam and the beliefs of Islam but this is more of a chance to make it personal and see what it looks like in people’s lives,” said Kelli.
After touring the mosque, getting answers for their questions, the two stayed during one of the Muslim prayers.
Kelli believes such events will eventually tear down walls of hate.
“Anything you think about a group of people can fall apart as soon as you know an individual.”
The event is not the first in the US.
Mosques in Massachusetts opened their doors on April 8 to welcome their neighbors of all faiths, in an effort to bring people closer and counter anti-Islam misconceptions.
Earlier, people in Harris County in Texas were offered a similar tour in the city mosques. Over the past three years, Houston mosques have also hosted these types of open houses regularly.
In the UK, more than 200 mosques nationwide opened their doors to welcome people of all faiths.
The annual event was initiated in 2015 by The Muslim Council of Britain, i.e. the largest Muslim umbrella organization in the UK with over 500 affiliated British organizations, mosques, charities, and schools.