SHAFAQNA –Sharing Islam with Wisconsin faiths, a Marshfield mosque will open its door to the public next week, in a bid to clear misconceptions surrounding the religion. “We hope this open house will engage our communities in deliberate discussion to better understand the ideology of Islam and fight extremist ideology and dispel the misconceptions about Islam,” Asif Hussain, a member of the Marshfield mosque Masjid Al Noor, told Marshfield News Herald on Friday, April 24. Masjid Al Noor will hold an open day on Saturday, May 2, to introduce Islam to Marshfield non-Muslims.
Sponsored by the Islamic Society for Central Wisconsin, the event aims to breakdown negative stereotypes of Muslims. “There are many misconceptions in the media and a prominent one is that Islam is against freedom of speech,” Hussain said. In a Christian-majority area like Marshfield many are interested to know about Islam, according to Hussain. “We are often asked by individuals and organizations, who are keen to understand Islam in general and Muslim culture, about our belief system,” Hussain said.
Non-Muslim Marshfield couple Kathleen Rulka and Brian Ewert, who are curious about other faiths, will be among attendants of next week’s mosque event. “It did expand my awareness of Islam and I plan to go to the next one too,” Rulka said. “What I will do when going to the next seminar is to approach it with the beginner’s mind to learn more about their culture.
“It’s an opportunity to learn about their culture and build community.” On his part, Ewert said: “Right now the media is focused on those who do the violence and not as interested in those who show the compassion.”
Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.A Pew Research Center study, Public Remains Conflicted Over Islam, has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
An Economist/YouGov poll found that a 73 percent of Americans believe that US Muslims are victims of discrimination amid recent attacks against the community.