Open House Offers Chance to Meet Muslim Neighbors

May 31, 2007

Author: Jennifer Surface

Source: The Columbia Flier

On Sept. 12, 2001, the day after Islamic terrorists struck New York and Washington, someone left a bouquet of roses at the gate leading to a farmhouse on Route 108, in Ellicott City.

The anonymous act was heartening, according to the leader of Dar Al-Taqwa, the county's only mosque, which, at the time, had taken up residence in the farmhouse.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks carried out by the radical Islamic group, al-Qaida, not all experiences for Howard County's Muslims were so positive, said Mahmoud Abdulhady, the imam of Dar Al- Taqwa.

"After 9/11 certain things happened here or there, but nothing major," Abdulhady said.

He chalks up the incidents to misconceptions about Islamic beliefs and practices, he said, adding that he hopes to educate the community about Islam.

Upon completion of a new $2.5 million worship center on the seven-acre farmhouse property, leaders of Dar Al- Taqwa have planned an open house at the mosque on June 2, from 2 to 6 p.m.

The event, dubbed "Meet Your Muslim Neighbor," will include tours of the mosque or "masjid," presentations about the history and creed of Islam and the role of Muslim women, and a question-and-answer session.