Islamic Center Works for Understanding

5 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Friday, June 01 2012 Jun 1, 2012 Friday, June 01, 2012 2:02:00 PM CDT June 01, 2012 in News
By: Jennifer Long
loading

COLUMBIA - Zaid Mahir moved to the United States from Iraq seven years ago to pursue his Ph.D. in English at the University of Missouri. He is a practicing Muslim and said there are many things people in mid-Missouri just don't understand about Islam. Though he said these misunderstandings are nothing new, he also said the Midwest is behind the curve in coming to understanding more about the religion. 

"Misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in the United States in general and mid-Missouri in particular have revolved historically around women, marriage, sexuality and, of course recently, Islam's threat to non-Muslims," Mahir said. 

Mahir said these misunderstandings have been longstanding, but the terrorist attacks against the United States in September of 2001 have muddied the water and, in Mahir's mind, made things worse. It has been ten years since then and Mahir believes things have improved. But he also believes there is still a need for education about the religion for those in the Midwest. 

"You still feel that the change is not yet complete in the Midwest," Mahir said. "You feel probably you need some time before people change their minds and start questioning their own beliefs, things they have taken for granted about others. Muslims in particular."

Mahir said it all comes down to education. The Islamic Center of Central Missouri in downtown Columbia has been doing just that for years. According to Dr. Rashed Nizam, an active member of the center and a local ophthalmologist, the center does significant outreach in the community, including making food every Sunday for the St. Francis homeless shelter and donating goods to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Nazim said this is just part of being a Muslim.

"We care about the community because one of our important tasks is to care for our neighbors," Nazim said. 

Nazim said the Muslim community in Missouri and worldwide is a peace-loving community and it wants those around to have a better understanding of the faith. 

"People need to know," Nazim said. "And it is our responsibility to reach out and to tell people. So I would say that people should try and learn. They can call here, they can come and visit us or find their own colleague to ask about Islam."

Both men said education is the key to solving the misunderstandings people still have about Islam. Mahir said things have been improving and he can see it around him. 

"In the face of those people who hold onto those misconceptions and perpetuate them there is a significant number of Americans who refuse this and who reach out and support Muslims and their cause." 

More News

Grid
List
Eric Hosmer is leaving the Royals. Hosmer signed an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres for for around... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 12:04:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - More than 100 students gathered to compete in the 2018 Columbia Elementary & Middle School Scholastic Chess Tournament... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Father Tolton Catholic High School Blazers and the Battle High School Spartan Sparklers came to share their... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Department is taking precautionary measures after a school shooting at a Florida high school. The... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:36:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – Elementary students displayed their creativity on Saturday. Hy-Vee hosted a Junior Chefs Energy Bite competition. ... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police were unsure Saturday who drove a vehicle they believe hit and killed a man on I-70.... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid complaints about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine is... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say the substance used in an attack on three high school... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:43:53 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou basketball player Michael Porter Jr. may be on the bench this season but that hasn’t kept him... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies arrested a man Friday morning after he allegedly led them on a pursuit that ended in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:55:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Following the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the superintendent of Jefferson City Public... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:46:50 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - New Haven Elementary could be home to a brand new playground. The school is competing in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:44:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FULTON - An investigation into allegations against a former staff member at the Division of Youth Services Fulton Treatment Center... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:38:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - There's a new member of the Boone County Fire Protection District team, and he's hitting the ground running... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
5am 29°
6am 30°
7am 32°
8am 35°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30a
Wild About Animals
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
One for the Money
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy