CO: MUSLIMS REACH OUT TO DEMYSTIFY THEIR FAITH
When you think of the word Muslim you may not immediately think of inflatable kiddie castles and egg rolls sold under blue tents.
But that may have changed if you visited the open house held Saturday and Sunday at Colorado's largest mosque, 2071 S. Parker Road.
The idea was to make Islam part of the neighborhood and make friends with folks like David and Cindy McFadden.
"We want to be more culturally diverse and aware," explained Cindy McFadden, who recently started a new job as supervisor of outreach services for the Arapahoe Library District.
Where better to reach out, she figured, than at the Colorado Muslim Society mosque?
The McFaddens were among a steady stream of neighbors and the curious who came to browse among booths for trinkets and clothes and graze on such classic "state fair" food as pastries and hot dogs.
But in the center ring was Islam, as both hosts and guests knew.
"The first step, in my opinion, is to get people introduced to Islam - that it's not a scary or strange thing, as people think it is," said Ari Noorzai, 17, who was shelling out an eclectic array of munchies.
Neighbors Gordon and Thea Carruth live just down the way and got fliers inviting them over.
When it comes to Islam, he said, "We have ideas on things, but they may not be correct. So we thought it would be good to find out what we don't know."