Local Muslims share their faith

City library gets an Islamic Makeover

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 09:24 25/08/2014
Islam wide
DAVID UNWIN / Fairfax NZ

FACE TO FACE: Aisha Millan, 5, gets her face painted by Rosawanis Rosli.

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The section of the Palmerston North City Library devoted to Islam grew significantly larger on Saturday.

The Massey University Muslim Students Society and the Manawatu Muslim Association hosted an event there to share their religion with the city.

Rashad Syed said the annual Islam Open Day was an opportunity to showcase the positive side of Islam. Last year it was held in The Square.

The religion was often misunderstood, he said, particularly by the media.

"Muslims come from diverse groups, different cultures, all bound under one faith," Syed said.

In the 2013 census 960 people in the city identified themselves as Muslim, up from 651 in the 2006 census.

This made Islam the second-largest non-Christian religion in Palmerston North behind Hinduism.

Saturday's event offered activities and education for young and old including lectures, face-painting, henna tattoos and a chance to experience wearing a hijab.

Syed said there were displays from different cultures such as Arab, Malay and Pakistani, books for sale and the opportunity for visitors to have their name written in Arabic calligraphy.

He said Arabic was one of the most beautiful forms of writing in the world.

Posters in the library provided a history of Islam and information about Muslim beliefs, language, architecture and science.

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- Manawatu Standard

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