D.C.-Area Mosque To Hold Open House

Local group to help build relationships with Muslim Americans

Tuesday, May 3, 2011  |  Updated 12:26 PM EDT
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The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is shown November 9, 2009 in Falls Church, Va.

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“We must also reaffirm that the United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.”

Those words were said by President Barack Obama after news that U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden.

Now, one of the D.C. area's largest mosques is holding an open house this weekend with hopes it will promote trust between Muslim Americans and the community at large.

The open house Saturday at Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., had been scheduled before Osama bin Laden's death. But the mosque's outreach director, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, said bin Laden's death presents a unique opportunity to build relationships.

Abdul-Malik said Monday that American Muslims want to see how the public will respond to them in the wake of bin Laden's death.

Dar al-Hijrah has at times received unwelcome attention: Its former imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, left the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks and is now considered one of the world's most prominent terrorist recruiters.

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