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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Muslim Recognition Day declared by Mayor of Des Moines and Gov of Iowa who celebrate with terrorist linked Imam Dremali

Muslim Recognition Day declared by Mayor of Des Moines and Gov of Iowa who celebrate with terrorist linked Imam Dremali

February 20, 2006

"...Iowans are probably nice people and mean well, but they are gullible if they are taken in by Dremali," Rabinowitz said. "People should know his track record" April 18,2005 http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060216/LIFE05/602160386/1039/LIFE&template=printart Published February 16, 2006

A time to share: Muslims share a sunset prayer before a celebration during Iowa Muslim Recognition Day at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines on Wednesday.

Proud Muslims celebrate their way of life


It was a spirited celebration of a way of life by those who have lived it.

But the most honored guests at Wednesday's Muslim Recognition Day were those who knew next to nothing about Islam.

"It's something that makes me proud of Iowans," said Imam Ibrahim Dremali of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, gesturing to the crowd of men, women and children who enjoyed song and dance shortly after sunset prayers were performed at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines. "We're breaking the ice."

The event, which coincided with a proclamation of Muslim Recognition Day in Iowa by Gov. Tom Vilsack, was sponsored by the Islamic Center of Des Moines as well as the Darul Arquim Islamic Center of Ames, the Islamic and Cultural Center Bosniak and the Muslim Community Organization. Muslims from dozens of nations ranging from the United States to Palestine ran informational tables and answered questions. Speakers also delivered trivia ? including the fact that Muslims began settling in Iowa as early as the 1880s, while nationwide one in 10 Muslims is currently a physician.

Muslims in attendance honored Iowa politicians' efforts to understand that truth, giving a standing ovation to Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie's proclamation from the city that also declared Feb. 15 as Muslim Recognition Day in Des Moines.

And in light of recent events, including violent demonstrations across the world in response to the publication of editorial cartoons by a Danish newspaper that negatively depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Dremali explained Muslims' reaction in that it wasn't only offensive to Muhammad, but to any prophet such as Jesus, Moses or Noah.

It's important to hear about Islam from the people who live it, said Mark Gee of Johnston, who brought sons Mark Thomas, 10, and Donald, 7, to the event.

"They have friends at school who are Bosnian, and they had questions about what they believed and why. I wanted the Muslims to answer the questions about their religion," Gee said. "It's important for all kids to understand that conflict is not about Christianity vs. Islam; it's about two nations and the decisions their leaders make."

Gee, who is a protestant Christian, said he had previously taken his sons to mosques, synagogues and other Christian churches to teach them about religious tolerance.

Muslim women, ranging in dress from the traditional hijab to Western outfits and hairstyles, wanted to set the record straight about the misconception of oppression when it comes to gender.

"People perceive the religion itself so differently with so much going on in the world," said Aida Mackic, 22, of Des Moines, who chased her daughter Amia around the ballroom. Mackic began practicing Islam freely after arriving from Bosnia 12 years ago.

"As a Muslim in America, I'm easy to recognize by the scarf on my head, but you wouldn't be able to tell the same about my husband. The women here are not treated badly, and that's the truth about it."

A Bosnian iman saw the celebration as a victory in the campaign to promote the positives of Islam.

"It frustrates us that people see us through individuals, and don't see the perfection of religion from God. There's not many people who represent the religion in that way," said Nermin Spahic, imam for the Cultural Center Bosniak. "But people can get everything right here. Non-Muslims who don't know much about the Islam can know anything they want."

It's something Dremali hopes will continue.

"Do not hesitate to come to us," he said. "Knock on the door of any Muslim, shake hands and ask about their religion. It is the only way to know us."

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