The steps of the Islamic Center of Central Missouri in Columbia are covered with the support of the community. Yellow flowers, signs, candles, and balloons line the steps in a show of support for the local Muslim community.
A march Sunday was held in protest in response President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.
Shakir Hamoodi, Columbia businessman and a member of the Islamic Center, said that he feels blessed to have the support of the community at large, and that in his 31 years living in Columbia, the support has always been there.
“We really enjoy this great compassionate community outside and we are very grateful for what they did and what they do for us,” he said.
He said he is saddened by the violence around Muslim communities because Islam is a peaceful religion.
Hamoodi encourages people in the community to ask if they have questions about the Quran or anything else about Islam in order to create an open dialogue.
“Eventually the reality will prevail, the coexistence, the peaceful coexistence will prevail and this great nation of ours,” he said.
Hamoodi said he hopes to work with the city including Columbia mayor, Brian Treece. Hamoodi saidTreece stopped by the Islamic Center on Monday, offering support, to ensure the safety of the center and the community.
Hamoodi said on a daily basis 20 to 50 people will attend daily prayer services, which occur five times throughout the day. He estimates 600-700 people attend Friday mid-day services, and on Eid, which happens twice a year, there can be up to 1,500 people attending the service.