At the event, attendees will be invited to learn about the basics of Islam and Ramadan, see how Muslims pray and worship and ask a group of panelists questions about the religion.
This will be the 15th time the event has taken place.
Anwar Khalifa, outreach coordinator for the East Texas Islamic Society, said the event has helped strengthen the relationship between the local Muslim community and their neighbors in East Texas.
“The community doesn’t need to wonder who we are and what we’re about,” he said. “We’re here to be a good neighbor and a good citizen.
“…The benefits for the Muslim community is that we’re not insulated and we want to be a part of the community,” he added.
The program will begin with panelists giving the crowd a brief introduction to Islam and will be followed by a discussion of the beliefs and practices of Muslims. A conversation of the ways Muslims contribute to society and improve the lives of others will be followed by a question and answer session with the crowd.
An estimated 400 people showed up to last year’s event, with members of the audience asking questions about appropriate greetings between Muslims and non-Muslims, the divisions within Islam and more.
Khalifa said this is one of the most important parts of the program and that about an hour will be allotted for the questions.
After the program, guests will be treated to iftar, a fast breaking meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan.
“(My hope) is that people walk away having good feelings or good emotions about Muslims in their community,” Khalifa said.