Decoding Islamic rituals

L.A. Mosque holds informative event on Islamic traditions


Monika Petrosyan

People of all religions came to watch Turk’s presentation

After receiving backlash from the media due to centralized tragic events, the Muslim community and Interfaith organizations have been holding community events on Islamic ritual to break down stereotypes. On April 9, the Islamic Center of Southern California held a seminar on decoding Islamic symbols to help encourage peace and counter the ignorance that faces the Muslim community.

Jihad Turk, the director of religious affairs at the mosque, gave a presentation to about 150 community members of all races and religions that emphasized the peaceful nature of Islamic society. He spoke of the prophet Muhammad and his ancestral connection to Abraham as well as the general beliefs and traditions of Muslim people. After the presentation, guests were invited for desserts and coffee followed by the chance to participate in traditional Muslim prayer.

Although Turk, a resident member of the mosque, was presenter, the event was actually hosted by The Guibord Center, a non-profit organization that allows people participate in spiritual movements based on the world’s most renowned religions. Director of Operations Marium Mohiuddin and Director of Youth Development/Programs Lori Margaret were the two representatives from The Guibord Center who headed the event.

Any event that brings together people of different faiths in an atmosphere of openness, learning, hospitality, and genuine interest in the other creates a space for increased understanding,” Margaret said. Margaret is the newest member of the Guibord staff who now arranges today’s youth to work together in Interfaith programs.

Many young people were at the event to help as volunteers and to participate in the seminar as well. “I always love coming to these events,” said volunteer and Pasadena Community College student Jasmine Wadalawala. “I used to only do it just to volunteer but when I have time during my shifts, I like to listen into what’s going on.” Wadalawala has been apart of the Interfaith programs for four years. “It has really taught me to grow as a person and to learn about Islam more intimately,” Wadalawala said.