Last Tuesday was Muslim Day at the Iowa Capitol where people of the faith share food and conversation with the public as well as some Iowa legislators.
“This is just to let our neighbors know who we are. That we are part of American society and that we are citizens and professionals and workers. We are just like everyone else,” said Mohamad Khan, president of the Muslim Community Organization of Des Moines.
Gov. Terry Branstad is known to have a longstanding tie with the state’s Muslim community, and honored the third annual event by signing a proclamation declaring the date as “Muslim Recognition Day” in Iowa. “The motto of the great state of Iowa, ‘Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain,’ inspires Americans of Muslim faith, in our community, to articulate the responsibilities of patriotism, and encourages participation in the duties of citizenship.”
There are seven mosques located in the Des Moines area and Cedar Rapids is home to the Mother Mosque of North America, the oldest purpose-built mosque in the United States, built in 1934.