My unexpected visit to the local Mosque

Posted: August 6, 2010 by datechguy in local stuff, oddities
Tags: , , , ,

the Mosque on Main Street

I was in town to cover the Planned Parenthood protests, got there early before the people did when I noticed an older fellow heading toward the Mosque. (Which was a bakery years ago). I never had actually been inside and asked the person (who it turns out was 89 year old Grammy winner Jazz legend Yusef Lateef of all people) if I could speak to the Iman, I wanted his take on Planned Parenthood opening across the street. I was told the gentleman would be there in 15 minutes and I was welcome to wait.

I hung around waiting with the gentleman while people continued coming in, men and boys to the front section and women to the rear behind a curtain. The congregation was primarily Indian rather than Arabic in appearance. When the Imam, Bashir Uddin Mehmud arrived it turned out he was about to start his Friday Service, he invited me to stay and I observed the service which lasted about 35 minutes.

Iman Bashir Uddin Mehmud


His sermon was a no nonsense one about the start of Ramadan next Wednesday and the need for spiritual renewal, the rewards of fasting and the need to avoid sin and temptation. The basic thrust of the sermon could have been given in any Catholic Church in preparation for Lent. He also asked the congregation to pray for the members of their community that were killed in the May 28th Mosque Attacks. (Their Branch of Islam the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are rejected by many mainstream Muslim groups). His sermon also touched on a denouncement of violence. Not surprising as his sect has been the target of radical Islam

We spoke for 45 minutes after the service. He has lived in Fitchburg for almost 30 years and has seen the change in the town. His opinions on the direction of the city and the cultural decay of the country could have been said by my mother.

The first thing you see when you walk in


This is the same group BTW that you might remember from the 4th of July parade , where you had Christians, followed by the Jews, followed by this Muslim community back to back.

He seems a very fine fellow and everyone was very sociable considering I was a stranger suddenly thrust upon them. From what I saw this is exactly the type of Islam we need to see more of.

As for Planned Parenthood speaking for himself he said it was a symptom of a larger cultural decay he mentioned before.

Update: Just heard from the Imam who kindly invited me back anytime. Who would have thought I’d be exchanging friendly e-mails with a local Imam two weeks ago?

Comments
  1. Sissy Willis says:

    I would find him more amenable were the men to be seated in the rear behind a curtain. Just sayin’.

  2. smitty says:

    Linked you for tomorrow morning. Thanks, boss!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pundette, Peter Ingemi. Peter Ingemi said: Odd day. I go to the main drag to cover #plannedparenthood protests, end up spending over an hour in the local mosque http://wp.me/pnQZ0-4Fw […]

  4. GS says:

    Good stuff. You almost don’t even have to watch anymore when you see a MSM show bringing on a Muslim that is against violence, because you know it’s going to be an Ahmadiyya Muslim. It really is unfortunate that these fine folks do not speak for Islam as a whole, and in some cases in Pakistan and India, are persecuted just as, or even more, harshly than Christians. I think they represent what Islam SORELY needs, what the Catholic, and Orthodox, and various Protestant (some of the Protestants have gone a little tooo far, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic :P) churches had to go through decades ago: a look inwards at how to keep the faith, the practice and doctrine, untainted and moving into posterity. Part of this is “modernization” and it doesn’t have to mean changing core beliefs, but perhaps, putting “jihad as war” to bed, as the Ahmadiyyas have, could be a nice start for mainstream Islam.

    I give the Ahmadiyyas credit, though. They’re brave, knowing exactly who and what they’re standing up to. Of all Muslims, they are certainly not guilty of condoning terrorism with silence.

  5. Love4all says:

    WOW! The verse from the Koran displayed in the bottom pic gives a unique perspective about the Muslim holy scriptures towards other faiths.

    With three conditions met; i.e believe in God, believe in the day of judgment, and doing good, the promise is “on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve,” irrespective of the fact whether they are Muslim,s, Jews, Christians, or Sabians (other faiths).

    “Surely, those who have believed, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians — whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.”[5:70]

    This verse refutes the idea of ‘hell’ for non-Muslims. Would anyone please tell the ‘Muslims’ what their book says…

  6. Linda says:

    Interesting bit of journalism. I mostly hear about the radical side of Islam, or the folks pretending to be moderate who aren’t, really. These folks really are. Thx for introducing me to them.

  7. […] Guy Visits A MosquePosted on | August 7, 2010 | No Commentsby SmittyLong-time friend of this blog Da Tech Guy was in the neighborhood and discovered what quite a few say about Moslems. Individually, […]

  8. bobbelvedere says:

    All Muslims are commanded to either murder or enslave all non-Muslims [ie: Jihad]. All forms of lying, deception, and violence may be employed against the infidels. Allah wills all of this in The Koran and that book is his final word and therefore cannot be amended. You see the problem.

    The only way a peaceful Muslim soul can achieve the ends you desire is to become an apostate.

  9. Hi Tech Guy,

    Met you at CPAC and you helped me find something I’d lost. Great post.

    He’s about as good as you can get and still be a Muslim. Too bad they think women are last place citizens. I guess we are right there with the dogs. If this sect of Islam would wake up and smell the coffee, I’d be cool with them. They’d never have let ME do the same thing you did, though it’s interesting reading your perspective.

    However, by joining the 20th century (not the 21st mind you), they would find even more wrath brought upon them by their “Muslim brothers” of the meaner sect. Are they willing to stand up and be hassled, as Jesus taught us to do, or are they gonna cave, as the weak do?

    I say they are caving in.

    Thanks.

    Katy Benningfield
    Katy’s Conservative Corner
    North Carolina Politics from a Conservative Perspective

  10. jari says:

    It is a great article. Infact if anyone wants to visit any ahmadiyya mosque anywhere in the world,message is same. Love for all haterd for none. Muslims for peace
    Org, alislam.org.

  11. ITouchTheFuture says:

    I admire the sincerity in datechguy’s views on the diverse components of our multi-cultural society. I would love to have him as a neighbor! For those who are afflicted by the notion that the ‘other’ is dissembling all the time: do wake up! Talk to members of the Ahmadiyya community, in schools, colleges, their homes and workplaces! Look up (on alislam.org and elsewhere) their unassailable logic in backing the notion of peace in Islam.
    May peace-seekers everywhere thrive!

  12. Matthew says:

    Cool piece– insightful!

  13. Aslam says:

    Indeed a good article. I have noticed Ahmadiyya Muslims are the only group that arranges for a yearly symposium on Inter-faith dialogue where most religious leaders address the good features of their respective religion and learn features of others in a very cordial atmosphere.
    I find them very courteous when you visit them. We should support this group when we can.

  14. wahmad says:

    This is for Katy the blogger.

    Katy, grteetings of peace!

    Have you, Katy, ever wondered if there is more to the women standing at the back thing in Mosques or in a separate area other than the thoughts you seem to think it has to do with? I mean, does it occur to you that Muslims go to mosques to worship God and that perhaps it assists in focusing on that objective to have men and women in separate areas especially as the Muslim prayer involves standing, bowing, prostrating and so on.

    Also, the larger issue of modesty and chastity and protecting the institution and meaning of marriage and promoting fidelity and trust and staying honest to the vows of marriage. Islam promotes the concept of the nuclear family and has a whole system that fosters and strengthens this institution.

    I think Katy you would do well to spend some time trying to see how much happiness and how much of a family life there is inside of Islam and try to understand the whole concept of purdah and what it means. And for God’s sake do not go to those extremist clerics to find out..go to http://www.alislam.org and maybe even meet some of those ladies that were in the back.

    In the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community you will be amazed to find that almost every girl grows up to go to university and attain a degree in the USA..just so you know, my wife is a graduate of a University in Pakistan, our elder daughter is a doctor and our younger daughter is studying law at Columbia and was just selected for law review. May God bless you with the courage to actually go and meet those ladies at the mosque that the Da Tech Guy visited. And then perhaps you will come back and give us all a report on what you found.

    Was-salam – and peace!

  15. shibli says:

    Any ahmadiyya mosque I visit I always seen the sign of peace. Ahmadiyya muslim’s are followed the real islam last 120 yrs which helping to bring the peace in the society. If you want to know more about them please visit http://www.alislam.org.

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