Shomori Wade says extremists have given Muslims a bad name.

“They have hijacked our religion,” said Wade, 27, of Flint. “It’s not a bad religion like a lot of people make it out to be. There is a lot of good that comes from Islam.”

Wade, who converted to Islam while incarcerated at the Elkton, Ohio, Federal Correctional Institution, attends Friday afternoon prayers at the Muslim House, 804 King Ave., with his family. He is helping repair a house next to the mosque for a halfway house for parolees, and he cleans the mosque every Thursday before prayers.

Q. When did you become a Muslim?

A. In October 2002 just before Ramadan. Before that I was somewhat Christian, but I didn’t attend church regularly. I decided on my own that this was the path of the Prophet Mohammed that I wanted to travel.

Q. How did your conversion come about?

A. While I was in the correctional facility, I would see a guy sitting at a table reading. He never moved from the table. I got up enough courage to ask him what he was doing. He told me he was studying and memorizing the Holy Quran.

Q. So that got you interested?

A. Yes, and when I heard the call to prayer, that gave me a numbness. They had a call to prayer five times a day while I was in prison.

Q. What do you like about Islam?

A. Islam is so beautiful. What I like about Islam is it’s unified and brings everybody together. That was the most beautiful thing I ever saw in my whole life, bringing everybody together.


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