By Adil James, TMO
Farmington–June 10–For the first time in six years the Tawheed Center in Farmington welcomed local non-Muslim residents in a large coordinated open house and free health clinic this past Saturday. About 200 non-Muslims visited to tour the mosque, enjoy Muslim food and culture (henna and calligraphy), and listen to presentations about Islam by mosque volunteers and professional Muslim speakers including Dawud Walid of CAIR-Michigan.
The open house was also a chance to show the immense work that has gone into the mosque since the last open house in 2005.
The setup consisted of an opportunity for the visitors to watch perhaps 100 Muslims pray dhohr prayer in the mosque, a tour through the semi-divided banquet hall, where on one side about 20 volunteers stood with posters describing Islam, young volunteers who described various issues about Islam and welcomed questions; and on the other side of the banquet hall a question and answer presentation session tried to address the visitorsâ€™ concerns about Islam.
The volunteers were mostly high school students–one of them, Mehak Haq, said that she was emphasizing that there is no compulsion in religion–that Muslims are guided to allow non-Muslims to worship freely. She said that â€œIt is a good opportunity–very insightful questions… the people seemed respectful, very respectful.â€
Volunteer Ayyub Khan said that what surprised him about the event was the diversity of the visitors. Indeed, the visitors to the mosque showed an admirable range of ethnicities which is very gratifying in sometimes segregated Detroit. The visitors seemed to represent all the major demographic groups in America by race and age, the only possibly underrepresented group being adolescents and children.
Tawheed Trustee Asim Khan spoke very happily about the many visitors, estimating the number of visitors who had come so far, and also expressing his happiness with the volunteers: â€œSee how many young people are involved? We are trying to get them ready to run things later on.â€