The Islamic Center of St. Joseph is celebrating a decade in Northwest Missouri, leaping forward positively from a basement to an expanding space, enabling it to serve the community and build bridges.
“It’s amazing how something could start, just a small idea. It turns out to be really good thing. You don’t see it that way when you start it,” Imam Amro Nabil said, News Press Now reported.
Over the past years, the Islamic center has continued to host Muslim daily and weekly prayer.
“We started with a few people. And now … people know about it and they come in and they have proper spot, a proper place to pray,” Sharif Nazar said.
Serving Muslims is not the only role of the mosque, with its leaders opening doors to other faiths, expanding relationships with other faith communities.
“That’s what we work hard for us to do: Establish a base for Muslims to come and worship God and work with our other communities, such as the Christian or Jewish groups, and get to know each other a little bit better,” Nabil said.
“We have had much, much, much dialogue with this community. I’ve had the opportunity to speak and read at just about every church here,” he said.
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Ten years of work have been very rewarding, creating an understanding and respect in the community that tears down misconceptions in the media, TV and movies.
“We’re not going to change each other. We’re in America. So many people out there don’t even believe in God at all. So we believe every person has the right to believe — in peace — what they believe in,” Nabil said.
The Islamic Center consists of a modern, purpose-built 3,000 sq. foot building providing a main musullah (prayer hall) and a private sisters’ musallah, a multipurpose area, office space, and a kitchen.
The Islamic Center of St. Joseph volunteers regularly gives out presentations about Islam and receives visitors at the center.
According to the website, the mosque is open from before sunrise (at Fajr) to two hours after sunset (after Isha). Thus it is open all day to accommodate worshipers attending the five daily prayers.