To dispel some of the myths surrounding Islam, the Moslem community is reaching out to offer a primer to people of all faiths.
Beginning Saturday, March 31, the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center will begin "Islam 101 -- An introduction to Islamic Faith and Culture."
"In the absence of light you will find darkness. As Islam became a topic of discussion in recent years, there has been much information floating around about Islam, some of which is true, and unfortunately, most of it is invalid, creating many unfounded fears and myths about Islam and Muslims," said SRVIC Outreach Director Imad Abboushi. "As American Muslims, it is our duty to serve our community and educate our neighbors about our religion and culture. This class is the start of such effort."
Abboushi said classes are open to all and will begin at 11 a.m. and run through 1 p.m.
"We welcome students, educators, church members, and the Bay Area at-large community to learn what Islam is all about and what Muslims believe in. This is an opportunity to get insight into the lives of American Muslims and to get your questions answered in a casual and cordial setting," he said.
During the visit, attendee will have an opportunity to attend a basic presentation about Islam, engage in an open dialogue and get questions answered, and receive a tour SRVIC facility -- and a complimentary of the Quran, the Muslim Holy book. No RSVP is required.
The SRVIC is located at 2232 Camino Ramon in San Ramon. It's been part of the community since 1992, when about 20 Muslim families who'd moved into the area decided they needed an Islamic Center to organize their religious, cultural, educational and community activities.
As the number of Muslim families grew in the area, SRVIC acquired its first building in 1998. Over the last four years, the Muslim population grew at a tremendous rate.
Last year, the SRVIC acquired the building adjoining its facility; as part of its expansion plan to accommodate the growing needs of Muslim community, which has grown rapidly over the last four years.