An interior window divides the main reading room from a smaller room where Masjid Bilal meets weekly for a prayer service. This Muslim congregation of some 19 families likes the public setting that the East Side’s Carver Branch Library provides. They seek to be visible and connected to the city in as many ways as possible. It’s one way to overcome what they believe to be historic misperceptions of the predominantly African American Muslim congregation. “We want to let them know we’re all right,” Imam Omar Shakir said with a smile. “We’re their friends.” (MORE)



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