Praying with Muslims

jplund

Worshippers finishing the ṣalāt al-maġrib at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. Charleston Wang, photographer. www.wangnews.net. Used with permission. Worshippers finishing the ṣalāt al-maġrib at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. Credit: Charleston Wang, http://www.wangnews.net.

What do you do when a mass of gun toting citizens, self-anointed guardians of some misbegotten fantasy about the way things should be, gathers outside your place of worship with the explicit intent of being as obnoxious and offensive as our constitution allows?  Invite them in.

When this happened at a mosque in Phoenix recently, the president of the congregation, Usama Shami, did just that, inviting people to join them in prayer.  Two, both wearing t-shirts bearing profane insults to Islam, accepted the offer.  They found the experience of observing devout Muslims in prayer transforming.  Removed from the vitriol of the demonstration outside, they were almost surprised to realize that Muslims were people.  One…

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