Muslim community center of greater San Diego holds annual open mosque day

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SHAFAQNA – Amid hope of bringing people together, the Muslim community in Greater San Diego held its annual open mosque day on Sunday, October 29, welcoming people of all faiths to learn more about their Muslim neighbors.

“We’re your neighbors, we’re your doctors and lawyers, accountants… we’re just regular Americans,” Vice Chair of the Muslim Community Center of Greater San Diego (MCC) board Owais Siddiqui told CBS.

“A lot of people have questions about Muslims and their neighbors and they may feel, perhaps, intimidated or just unsure about how to get those questions answered.”

During the event, the community center offered visitors special tours inside the mosque and several presentations about Islam.

“The moment you eliminate ignorance or the lack of information, the vast majority of the time, you’ll find a lot more commonality,” said one speaker at the event.

Moreover, there were booths displaying different aspects of Islamic history including the first American printing of a Qur’an printed in 1806 in Massachusetts.

“We believe in the same God as the Christian God, as the Jewish God,” Siddiqui said.

“A lot of times Muslims use the term ‘Allah,’ but that’s just the Arabic word for God.”

The event was organized as the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR is about to release a new report about bullying of Muslim students in schools.

According to CAIR, of 1,000 Muslim students ages 11-18 who were surveyed, 53 percent reported some form of bullying.

“We’re very peaceful,” 13-year-old Umair Mahmood, who, fortunately, did not face bullying, said.

“Islam itself has many meanings, but one of the main meanings is peace.”

The full CAIR report on bullying of Muslim students is scheduled to be released Monday with a news conference will be held in Kearny Mesa at 10 am.

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