The Al-Huda Islamic Center, the only mosque within 50 miles of Athens, Georgia and home to hundreds of members, held it’s second annual open house for all to come and experience the Muslim culture and what Islam truly means to members of the mosque.
University of Georgia professor and Imam for the mosque, Adel Amer, could not have been more thrilled with the turnout of the open house.
“Last year we had the first open house, but this is no comparison,” said Amer. “We were blown away last year but this year, we’re going to fly. The people, the love, and the solidarity people show to us is breathtaking.”
As the Imam of the Al-Huda mosque, Amer is the one that many go to for guidance and was approached left and right by people from the community, including heads of churches in the area.
Video created by Joe Lavine
This open house also came less than a day after the Muslim Student Association at the University of Georgia and the campus chapter of NAACP organized a March for Immigrants on Friday, February 3 that started in Tate Plaza.
MSA’s Vice President Ali Marmel helped organize the event in just a few short days with the help of members of the two organizations and was shocked at the amount of people who attended the march on such short notice, and who the attendees were.
“We had about 200 people who came, and that was amazing to see,” said Marmel. “And when you look at who came, it wasn’t all Muslims…and that was the best part of it, that so many different people came, and so many people that I never expected to come came to the march.”
Majority of the attendees of the march were not Muslim, but rather included many white and black UGA students and other members of the community.
Marmel was disappointed that more of his members did not show up, but noted that it was great to see the community come together in opposition against the, now suspended, travel ban created by President Donald J. Trump’s executive order.
— CNN (@CNN) February 9, 2017
“At the end of the day, we all understand that this isn’t just about Muslims, we’re together in this,” said Marmel. “Today it’s Muslims, the next day it might be people who are too leftist, and it might be reporters the next day. [The ban] is an attack on the Constitution, and it’s an attack on American values and I think that’s what is rallying people together.”
The open house and the march were just two instances of the Athens community coming together since the inauguration of President Trump and plenty more events will take place as part of the 100+ Days of Action in Athens for others to voice their concerns and take action in this community.