Asheville’s Islamic Center

Entering the Islamic Center on Old Fairview Road, a quiet lingers in that air as the time for pray approaches. On the outside, the center looks like a metallic, green warehouse came size as a one-story house.

“Very nice community, not huge community, but we have nice community here,” said Niki, going by her adopted American name, “All mix too, American, Arab, Pakistan, and Indian.”

A physical divide separates the space in according to gender as members entered through their designated doors outside. This is not done out of a need for segregation, but the desire for privacy for the women, according to Mohamed Taha, a leading member of the Islamic Center.

The center was founded in 1987 in a small chapel downtown, and then moved to its current location in 2005. The Muslim community in Asheville have not experienced any conflict. Their religious rights have been shown the same respected by the other denominations throughout Asheville and Western Carolina.

“We are treated good. We didn’t have any bad experience, you know,” said Taha, “Like two months ago, when this person Trump started his hatred against Muslims, so many churches came here and had a vigil outside. They supported us.”