The topic for this year’s open house at the East Texas Islamic Society is a response to what members see as troubling media coverage.
“The definition of ‘Shariah’ is ‘path to life,’” he said. “Shariah is not a set of laws, it’s a way of life.”
Khalifa said several ideas adopted by the United States are found in the Quran, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and innocent until proven guilty.
“We (Muslims) can talk and explain things until we’re blue in the face, but that’s expected,” he said. “When good-minded folks like the Rabbi (Neal Katz) and people who hopefully come to the event speak up for us, that’s what makes a difference.”
Members have put an extra effort into publicity this year, Khalifa said, and are expecting anywhere from 150 to 300 people.
Doors will open at 6 p.m., followed by an introduction to Islam and Q&A session at 6:15 p.m. The Muslim community has fasted during the daylight hours in observance of Ramadan, and will break its fast and pray at 8:10 p.m. Dinner will be served at 8:20 p.m.
A variety of food will be served, homemade and catered, Dmairi said, representing the diversity of countries that make up the mosque membership.
Mosque officials ask that attendees dress comfortably but conservatively and remove shoes before entering carpeted areas. Children are welcome. Call 903-530-6464 or visit www.tylermuslims.com for more information.