By Ryan Schuessler & with Megan Rentschler and Evan Townsend
Since 2008, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri has been without an imam – a central community leader in Islam. Although Columbia’s Muslim community has found ways to stay active, it is without a formally trained spiritual leader.
Imams lead prayers, serve as religious scholars and assist with weddings and lectures, among other things.
Without an imam, “You won’t have someone who you can ask questions to frequently,” mosque Secretary Rafa Nizam said. “The access to knowledge might not be as easy.”
Central Missourians gathered outside the Boone County courthouse Tuesday night to remember the thousands of victims who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Mid-Missouri Peaceworks and the Islamic Center of Central Missouri collaborated to put on the event that called for peace and unity. Ruth Schaefer, coordinator of the event, says the candlelight vigil drew about 100 participants, many of whom are involved in local peace organizations.