Open House

Aamar has a brilliant idea to invite the town folk to the mosque for an open house. He believes that the muslim community is misunderstood and an open house gives them the opportunity to find out about what Islam really is.  

When we have an open house in our community, we are asked to invite our friends to share it with us, but other than the delicious food there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for them to attend. It is difficult to convince people to attend events that are religious in nature. I guess we have to get better at spinning it for people to see the benefit of attending.

How do you motivate people to attend an open house? What other methods can be used to explain what really goes on in Mosques and in muslim gatherings? 

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7 Comments

Filed under Episode 3

7 responses to “Open House

  1. riaz

    I think it’s up to the individuals organizing the event. If they are driven to get people to the event, then they will do everything they can to get people there. For example, if the individual gets involved by creating something for the open house, like the Minbar, they would want to display what they have done and explain it.

  2. Tom

    You also have to be careful that you have people on staff that can handle people like Joe. “I don’t think he will be converting to Islam any time soon”.

  3. farida

    Why not use the food to entice people ?! I mean it is a great crowd pleaser and it’s at least one thing that other cultures appreciate. How can you say no to some nice goat curry.

  4. Jay H

    I recognize that generalizations can be misleading, so I’m resisting the urge to start with “There are two kinds of Christians.” 🙂 But I do think that many Christians in North America fit into one of two groups.

    On the one hand, you’ve got your very devoted Christians, who not only attend church services every Sunday, but are also highly involved in the life of their church the rest of the week. These are more likely to be politically and socially conservative, especially in the evangelical Protestant areas, and any non-Christian religious event is going to make them uncomfortable. (Although some of them might attend an event at a synagogue, especially with the modern popularity of Dispensational theology.)

    On the other hand you’ve got your more casual Christians, who only go to church a few times a year, or else go every weekend but keep to themselves otherwise. They’re not likely to show up at any religious event, even a Christian one!

    Now, like I said, those two groups don’t describe all Christians by any stretch; all I’m saying is that there are two mindsets to be aware of, the “You’re religious, that’s weird and maybe bad” mindset, and the “You’re not Christian, that’s bad and maybe weird” mindset.

    Personally, I would love to go to a local mosque and spend time learning about Islam. So far most of what I’ve learned has been from Wikipedia, and we all know what an accurate resource that is. 😉 But there are no mosques that I know of in this county (Madison County, Indiana). I think I’m going to have to find a mosque in Indianapolis and find some time to stop by when my wife’s at work — because I’m pretty sure she’d have little interest in going: she tends to be part of group #1.

  5. Greg

    The comment regarding September 11th in the third episode was extremely offensive.

    To compare an electrical fire (caused by a member of the mosque albeit accidentally) where no one was even injuried and the damage to the mosque amounted to a few rugs and other minor property to an act that caused the deaths of 2996 people was beyond the pale.

    Can you imagine having to make the decision between either jumping to your death or being burned alive? Yet by that comment the show tries to trivalize this. That the CBC would allow that comment shows it to be lacking of any decency and conscience.

    It is even more concerning when you realize that the vast majority of the people in the Muslim world and even one third of Westerners believe that September 11th was caused by the Americans and/or the Israelis. Was that the idea that was trying to be promoted? Just like that Muslim was blaming the infidels in the town for the fire that was really caused by another member of the mosque, the Muslims are being blamed for something that was caused by members of the West and therefore the electrical fire was indeed their September 11th.

    I am quite offended that the CBC would go into encouraging that kind of thinking.

  6. SN

    Greg,

    Did you see how quickly the imam of the mosque corrected Baber on that comment? This is exactly the show is trying to show. There are mis-conceptions on both ends and these needs to be addressed. It is the Fred Tupers and Babers who needs to be educated more than anyone else.

  7. Me

    Jay H,

    If ur looking for a better resource than Wikipedia, try http://www.islamicity.com
    It certainly not THE definitive islamic resource, but its a pretty decent way to start. Just keep in mind that people from different schools of thought contribute to the site. So one article may present a more conservative view compared to another.
    You may find the “mosque locator” on the left of the page helpul , if you want to find a mosque close to you.
    In fact, you can put in a request at the site to send you reading material. They send stuff out for free all the time.

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