This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1445

New Mosque in Florida targets 55 plussers as potential converts

December 20, 2005

MIM: What better way to do Da'wa then to have a potential convert pool of retirees right next door to the mosque. The Muslims have already embarked on a campaign of ingratiating themselves with the residents, by distributing food after the hurricane, exploiting the disaster to go door to door and introduce themselves. This phony altruism had the desired result and MIM is wondering how many converts will come out of the condominum residents population within the year.

"...A number of Holiday Springs residents showed up, (at the mosque opening),as well, including Gerry and Justin Mehler. Some of their neighbors had protested the building of the mosque at city meetings, they said. But after Hurricane Wilma, members of the congregation went door to door in the condo community, giving people coffee, soup, spaghetti and snacks.

"They've been wonderful," Gerry Mehler said. "It reinforces my belief that people are people. They are a good part of our community."
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Mosque grand opening is realization of a dream

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cmosque19dec19,0,4346403.story
December 19, 2005

MARGATE Hassan Rustam had a dream, to have a mosque in Margate. Rustam was the imam, or religious leader, of a Muslim congregation without a permanent home. He died in 2002, but his dream finally came true this year.

The Masjid Jamaat Al-Mu'mineen opened in September, just in time for Ramadan, the month of fasting. The congregation threw a grand opening celebration Sunday with prayers, speeches from local Muslim leaders and Margate officials, and plenty of food.

About 500 people attended, including residents of the adjacent 55-plus condominium community, Holiday Springs Village. The Muslim men in the crowd could be identified by their kurtas, brightly colored tunics with pants; women wore the hijab, or head scarf.

"It felt like a new life, to pray in a beloved mosque," said Rasheed Ali Mahamad, 42. "We have more unity now."

The mosque, painted in the light and dark greens of Islam, has prayer rooms for men and women, a kitchen, and meeting rooms. Members were excited about the mosque because, according to Islam, followers receive more blessings from God praying at a mosque than at home.

Imam Khalil Hussein said attendance has increased since the mosque was built to about 200 families, most from Margate and Coral Springs.

Worshipers used to meet at a rented office in a nearby strip mall, but the space was too small for the growing congregation. In 1996 the congregation bought the mosque property for $115,000, but it took until 2003 to raise enough money to break ground. Islamic law doesn't allow them to take out loans, so everything had to be in cash, said Safiya Deen, chairwoman of the women's group.

At the celebration, children in the mosque's madrassah, religious school, recited verses from the Quran, and Margate Vice Mayor Frank Talerico presented a service award to the group.

A number of Holiday Springs residents showed up, as well, including Gerry and Justin Mehler. Some of their neighbors had protested the building of the mosque at city meetings, they said. But after Hurricane Wilma, members of the congregation went door to door in the condo community, giving people coffee, soup, spaghetti and snacks.

"They've been wonderful," Gerry Mehler said. "It reinforces my belief that people are people. They are a good part of our community."

Chris Young can be reached at ciyoung@sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7916.

Copyright 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1445