A Lesson in Political Participation for N.C. Islamic Center

July 8, 2003

Source: The News Observer


On July 8, 2003 The News Observer reported that "on the surface, it was a fight over parking. Ever since Raleigh's [NC] Islamic Center began growing, its neighbors in the Method community near N.C. State University have complained about the logjams on Friday afternoon, when Muslims converge for the most important weekly service, known as Jum'a prayer... For Muslims, the neighborhood opposition was a lesson in American civics. For the first time since the center opened 18 years ago, Muslims learned how to fight city hall -- and win. They also discovered that American democracy is a messy thing, that fights are inevitable and that it's impossible to please everyone... The center is now the largest mosque in North Carolina, with 1,000 worshippers on Fridays and close to 5,000 on holidays... Members say they realize there is no turning back from political participation. In part, that is because Muslims are putting down roots across the Triangle, and for the first time, calling it home."