Over 100 Visitors Visit New Mosque in Genesee County

May 21, 2006

Source: The Flint Journal


On May 21, 2006 The Flint Journal reported, "Officials at Genesee County's newest mosque were right: all anyone needed was an invitation. More than 100 visitors showed up Saturday for a public open house at the Grand Blanc Islamic Center on Baldwin Road between Fenton and Holly roads. 'The turnout was even better than we expected, in quality as well as quantity,' spokesman Jameel Syed said of the mix of educators, state and local officials, students, clergy and others who came to explore the one-story center's Moorish architecture and learn firsthand about the Muslim faith here in America. Some visitors knelt on the carpeted mosque floor while others sat quietly in chairs as keynote speaker Dr. Muhammad S. Shukairy, a neurosurgeon at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, talked about the mosque's role in the American community. The mosque has three community outreach goals, he said: to encourage open and honest interfaith dialogue, to foster community and social services and to maintain regular communication with local governments and police agencies. 'To some degree, the onus is on American Muslims to educate our neighbors. The Grand Blanc Islamic Center must be a lighthouse in the community,' said Shukairy. Reaching out is a two-way street, many visitors said. 'Especially after 9/11, I believe we really need to be open as a community as a whole. As Americans, we need to understand the Islamic community is not an island unto themselves,' said former Chamber of Commerce President Larry Ford."