El Paso's Muslim Population Involved in the City's Community

March 5, 2004

Source: El Paso Times


On March 5, 2004 the El Paso Times reported, "While the numbers aren't large -- about 3,000 -- Muslims are very much involved in the El Paso-Las Cruces area. They are part of the community in every way, including being PTA members and teaching gymnastics...While most Muslims go on with their daily lives, things have changed since Sept. 11, said Yaser Issa, an imam at the Islamic Center of El Paso...It was Muslims' keeping to themselves that led other people to believe that Muslims were up to something and caused other people to fear Muslims, Issa said...Though some Muslim communities across America felt a backlash after Sept. 11, that wasn't the case in El Paso. 'I thought Muslims would have problems in smaller cities than in bigger ones, but that isn't what happened,' Hernandez said...Part of educating the public is talking to people and being available to answer their questions, Issa said. Last week, Shere and Issa participated in lectures at the University of Texas at El Paso as part of Islamic Awareness Week organized by the United Muslim Student Association at the university. Issa hopes more people will learn about Islam when the Islamic Center of El Paso moves into its nearly $1 million mosque being built on the West Side. Ninety-nine percent of the money for the building has come from El Paso's Muslims, Issa said. They are expected to move to the new mosque in the summer."