SANDY, UT–How often are your Friday night plans educational and community-building? For some Salt Lake Valley residents, date night has become a way to learn about their Muslim neighbors.
For weeks, new visitors have been packing in for Friday night prayers at the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy.
The mosque has been holding “Meet the Muslims” events for a long time, but holding them weekly is a new trend. Mosque members will field questions about their faith every Friday night of February, and some Sundays, to accommodate the outpouring of community support and hundreds of Facebook RSVPs to previous “Meet the Muslims” events.
The mosque’s Sunday School teacher, Tariq Subhani, credits President Trump’s election with the surge in interest about Islam. Subhani says that “before his election we had to invite the other people to come to [their] mosque,” but that now people are “knocking [on their] doors.” Subhani added that he thinks Trump “create[d] that curiosity in the people… to come to us.”
Subhani feels glad that people in the Salt Lake Valley have chosen to focus on the commonalities between Islam and other faiths, saying that a lack of understanding can be a “dangerous thing” and that we all have a lot to learn from each other.
Although mosque members, including Subhani, have seen that things have been tough for Muslims since President Trump announced his travel ban two weeks ago, he thinks it’s not too bad for them in Sandy.
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