People of all faiths were welcomed with warm smiles and
open arms last Sunday as the Islamic Center of Stillwater participated
in a statewide Open Mosque Day. In addition to being able to show off their new facility at 616 N.
Washington St., the program was set up so speakers could educate guests
about Islam and the Muslim faith in a comfortable setting. Guests also had the opportunity to sample food and drink from around the world. “Open Mosque Day offers many first glimpse into Islam,” by David Bitton, CNHI News Oklahoma, April 15, 2018:
After Natarianto Indrawan sang Adhan – the Muslim call to
prayer – Habeeb Idress explained to the audience that Muslims pray five
times a day. “Prayer is a private dialogue between you and Allah,” Idress said. The audience watched as rows of standing men knelt down, bowed and touched their foreheads to the ground over and over again.
At these Open Mosque events, the free food — offering a sample of
exotic foods from Moroccan tajines and couscous to Pakistani curries and
Indonesian rijstaffel — is not only about food, but is a central
instrument for breaking down any potential resistance of visitors,
putting them in the right festive mood to accept the presentation of
Islam that they will be offered, grateful to their attentive hosts who,
in piling high their guests’ plates with exotic offerings, know exactly
what they are doing, in reducing their guests’ mental defenses against
taqiyya. The modus operandi is to envelop the visitors in an atmosphere
of warmth, sincerity, friendship, comfort; the food and drink “from
around the world” never fails to help.
So the evening begins with non-Muslim visitors hearing the Call to
Prayer which, the imam reminds his visitors, “President Obama said was
one of the the sweetest sounds in the world.” These guests feel
privileged, being allowed to view Muslims at prayer. In fact, there is
nothing particularly special about such viewing. All over Europe you can
see Muslims praying in city streets and plazas; they are indifferent to
the presence of Infidels, even seeming to flaunt their power as they
take control of a public space. Now, in the mosque, the visitors watch
as serried ranks of men prostrate themselves, facing Mecca-wards (the
imam explains: “you see, no matter where in the world Muslims may be,
they will always turn toward Mecca in prayer”).
For many of the
visitors, this may be an impressive display of communal faith. Others
may find that as the worshippers touch their foreheads to the ground in
near-unison, then straighten up, and then again prostrate themselves,
repeating this many times, that they are reminded not of Christian or
Jewish prayers but, disturbingly, of an act of collective political
fealty, something out of goose-stepping Pyongyang, or reminiscent of a Nuremberg rally, where arms are raised simultaneously in salute.