Muslims_Welcome_Residents_in_Janesville_1st_MosqueJanesville, 15 Dzulqa’dah 1436/30 August 2015 (MINA) – Breaking barriers in the community, Muslims have opened the doors of the first mosque in Janesville, in southern Wisconsin, introducing true Islam to visitors.

“People are worried that Muslims are some type of a threat,” mosque’s owner, Salih Erschen, told Gazettextra on Saturday, August 29, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“…If they don’t know about the faith and the practice and the ideas and what uslims are focused on in life, then that causes a bit a fear, … so I always encourage Muslims to open their doors and invite people in and talk about what our faith is and share. That’s been my approach … is to try and be more and more open about it.”

Erschen hosted the public gathering to help educate the community about Islam.

The open-door policy worked well after several residents experienced Islamic culture firsthand as Erschen shared a short message about social injustice and Allah’s role in the world.

Erschen’s son-in-law Ibraham Jitmoud read from the Qur’an in Arabic and ended the evening by leading Muslims in prayer.

Visitors included Christians from nearby churches who were curious about the mosque.

“We have an interest in Islam, but not an interest in becoming Muslim,” Rev. David King of Christ Presbyterian Church on Wright Road said, speaking for himself and his wife, Priscilla King.

“We’re Christian, and we want to hear what he (Erschen) has to say. It’s curiosity.”

First Congregational United Church of Christ member Jim Hay has also visited the mosque.

“We are an open and affirming church, where all people are welcome regardless of your sexual orientation, and we want to build upon that for the future,” Hay said.

“I think it’s great because we are a diverse culture, diverse area, and we can’t ignore, we can’t leave out, we can’t pick and choose who we want, who we don’t want.,” Hay said, referring to the opening of the city’s first mosque.

“And even if we might disagree, we need to find what it (Islam) is all about and at least respect it.” (T/P011/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)


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