Friday, May 25, 2007

Mosque plans to tell visitors about Islam

Warren's first mosque, which has faced opposition and been vandalized several times before opening to the public, will host an open house this afternoon.

The Islamic Organization of North America, 28654 Ryan Road, will open its doors from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. to offer visitors information about Islam as well as opportunities to walk through the building after nearly a year of renovations.

Imam Steve Elturk, a native of Lebanon who lives in Troy, has faced opposition to the project from some neighbors. Some residents had feared a loudspeaker attached to the building would blare calls to prayer. To quell those concerns, Elturk signed documents saying he'll never have a loudspeaker.

The mosque also has been vandalized.

Dawud Walid, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he's not so sure the open house will go as well. He said he doesn't believe the mosque is out of the woods from more acts of opposition.

"Now, we'll see the reaction from the community," he said. "We're still cognizant of the religious and racial tensions in Warren."(MORE)

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