This weekend, 10 different mosques around the city of Chicago and its suburbs opened their doors to invite residents to visit their local mosques for a chance to participate in tours, ask questions about Islam, and break bread with their Muslim neighbors.
Programs varied from mosque to mosque, with each tailoring their own experience to fit the needs of their local community. Some mosques, like the Islamic Center of Naperville, hosted a large event with turnouts exceeding 1,000 attendees, complete with multiple booths on everything from extremism to science, henna tattoos and calligraphy, face painting and balloon twisting for children, and an in-house film screening about Islam. Others, such as Masjid al Farooq or Al Aqsa Community Center, hosted smaller more intimate gatherings focused on group discussions and personal interactions between Muslims and non-Muslim locals over light refreshments.
Open Mosque Day attracted many local media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, to cover the event and report a positive message of an interfaith learning experience and community outreach. Many of these mosques will continue to host open houses throughout the year, and of course everyone is always welcome at the mosque.
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News coverage of Open Mosque Day:
Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove opens doors to community
Naperville mosque builds bridges with open house
Downtown Islamic Center (DIC) was covered by ABC Channel 7
Photo credit: David Kraus / Chicago Tribune