The Charleston area isn’t known for its large Muslim population, but the Islamic community here is growing, and reaching out to neighbors of all faiths.

If you go

WHAT: Central Mosque of Charleston’s open house

WHEN: 3-5 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: 1082 King St., downtown Charleston

COST: Free

MORE INFO:, email or call 720-8614

The Central Mosque of Charleston is inviting the public to an open house at the mosque Saturday to learn about the Islamic faith and to meet local Muslims.

The open house will be 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the mosque, 1082 King St. in Charleston. A growing center of worship, it has more than 500 members.

They will greet guests and provide information about the faith to foster communication between the area’s growing Muslim community and people of other faiths.

“The Central Mosque of Charleston welcomes visitors in the spirit of friendship and mutual respect. We encourage conversation between people of all faiths to contribute toward understanding and harmony in the community,” mosque President Irfan Khan said.

In recent weeks, students from the College of Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern University have visited the mosque to learn and ask questions. Members also have taken part in several interfaith dialogues with local churches.

“We’ve received positive feedback, and many people showed interest to coming back to the mosque to learn more and to bring their friends and families,” member Aya Khalil said. “Events like these build bridges between different members of the community and help dispel stereotypes.”

The open house will include a tour, refreshments and time for questions and discussion. It also will feature two 20-minute presentations: The first, at 3:40 p.m., will provide an overview of Islam. The second, at 4:10 p.m., will address women in Islam and be followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel.

Visitors are asked to observe mosque etiquette such as removing footwear upon entering the building, wearing modest clothing and avoiding handshakes with the opposite gender.

For more, go to, email or call 720-8614.

Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563, follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes.