Local Muslims host INBA and students at Quincy Mosque
By Brayden Nuessen
“What happened in Las Vegas made us more sad than anyone,” Mohamed Elbermawy told a group of journalists from around the state of Illinois.
Elbermawy explained how he felt about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. He explained how sad the local Muslim community was and said that they prayed for the victims.
Elbermawy pointed out that whenever a mass shooting occurs, Muslims are first to be blamed. He wants the media and people to stop pointing fingers at them.
Omaima Ebeid, also on the panel, said that at first before investigators found out who was behind the shooting in Las Vegas, people thought it was a Muslim committing a terrorist attack. Once they found out the suspect had no ties to Muslim faith, President Donald Trump did not say it was a terrorist attack, he called it a “act of pure evil”.
“Whenever a tragedy happens, it makes us more sad than anyone,” Elbermawy also explained, “As Muslims, we believe that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all in this together.”
Dr. Zakiah Ali also spoke to journalists who were in Quincy in October for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) conference.
Quincy University students attended the conference and the Muslimedia session designed to help journalists understand more about the Muslim faith.
“I thought the experience at the Islamic Center was eye opening and inspiring to hear the real stories from the Muslim community and to really make a difference for me as a journalist,” Ashlynn Worley, junior, said.
The Islamic Center of Quincy was founded by Dr. Zakiah Ali in 2001 in a smaller location and moved to the current building on N.12th Street in 2010.
Dr. Ali explained how members have brought the Muslim Community together and praised Quincy for accepting them and their culture.
In the beginning of the three hour visit to the mosque, three of the representatives of the center spoke on the panel.
They each had ten minutes to talk about their Muslim faith, how they are perceived daily, and misconceptions about their religion.
Dr. Ali spoke about how there was not anywhere in Quincy that Muslims could practice their faith when she moved here.
“When our grandson was born and we had to have a Mosque,” Dr. Ali explained.
They now have approximately 20-25 members.
“People are so respectful to me and the community has opened their arms with respect,” Dr. Ali said.
Ebeid spoke about the wrong perception that some people have about the Muslim faith on a daily basis.
“Before 9/11, people were like, do you speak English?” Embeid added, “After 9/11, people were like why do you dress like this?”
She told the panel that no one told her to dress like she does and it was her choice.
“No one forces me to marry someone, people ask all the time, do you know who you were going to marry to at birth?” Ebeid said. “We are all brother and sisters, doesn’t matter where you come from.”
After the panel, the representatives of the local Mosque showed everyone how they pray.
Elbermawy was extremely happy that he got to explain his faith and hopes that Muslims are just as accepted as everyone else. They want to be apart of the community without being afraid of what people will do to them or how they are perceived.
Thank you for a glimpse of a culture that has much to offer to our country. It is good to read a positive article about people who are our neighbors, teachers and friends.