A Visit to A Mosque In America Essay

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A Visit to A Mosque In America

Driving along the highway, all eyes are drawn as a magnet to the unique building with its golden dome and unusual architecture. The Islamic Center is located at the base of a residential street in a small neighborhood. The center houses an Islamic school, a community center, an international school and the Mosque, which is the place of worship for Muslims.

There are many misconceptions regarding Islam and Muslims. In reality most Muslims are non-Arabs and most live outside the Middle East. There are five million Muslims in the United States. There are an estimated 10,000-15,000 Muslims in the area.
Passing through the wrought iron gate, my eyes rivet to the cluster of flags to the right, one to
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The International School offers grades K-8 and has a teacher/student ratio of 1:15 along with a Montessori pre-school and is available to Muslims and non-Muslims. The most beautiful building among these is the Mosque. The Mosque was built in early 1990's and is American built, almost entirely by local architects and local artists. There is a fountain in front of the Mosque and a second fountain inside the vestibule. These fountains have come from as far away as Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia and are merely for decoration though in older times fountains were used for washing before prayer.

Upon entering the Mosque, I enter into a vestibule with a decorative fountain in the middle and a hallway to each side lined with a shelf for shoes. Shoes are not worn in a Mosque because it is a place of worship to Allah, the Arabic word for God, where cleanliness is all-important. Shoes will have dirt on them. One cannot go before God in such a state.
After my shoes are removed I proceed through the vestibule. On each side of the fountain are restrooms, one for men, one for women. Inside the restrooms is where differences begin. Each houses a wash basin which reminds me of when I was a young girl in elementary school and the old round sinks we used to wash our hands. This is the same. It is here that Muslims perform wudu. Wudu is the cleansing done before

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