By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore, Recordnet.com
MANTECA - In an effort to promote harmony and thank the community for its support, mosque leaders opened the doors to the Islamic Center of Manteca for public visits Sunday more than a week after the building was vandalized with messages of hate.
The center held a two-hour open house and it was attended by dozens.
"We just wanted to welcome our neighbors and friends," said Ma'sood Cajee, one of the organizers of the open house. "A lot of people haven't had the chance to see the building and this is a chance to get to know folks and let people know that there is a community here that is no different than any other.
The newly built Islamic center at 1058 S. Union Road - the first mosque originally built for its purpose in San Joaquin County - has become the target of vandalism, which is being investigated as hate crimes.
"We pretty much do the same things as any other house of worship does, which is to pray, to gather and to try to identify and help with any community needs," Cajee said.
Support for the congregation was apparent throughout the day, as people trickled into the mosque to tour the facility and ask questions.
"I brought a lot of people from my church to visit," said Manteca resident Jan Thalman. (Read more)