Community barbecue forges ties between local congregations


Members of the public attend a community barbecue hosted by the Islamic Center of Blaine on July 30. Photo by Meg Olson.

By Meg Olson

The Islamic Center of Blaine welcomed dozens of neighbors and members of other congregations to a community barbecue.

Islamic center president Bashir Patel said the July 30 event was part of their commitment to forge strong ties in the community and “let people know who we are.”

Established in 2014, the center serves approximately 20 families, with prayer services five times per day, social events and children’s activities.

While they do not have a full time Imam at this time, Patel said one visits the center regularly on Fridays and as needed to lead prayer and provide counseling.

Patel said the event was also meant to help encourage more interfaith ties like the one the center has with the First Congregational Church of Bellingham.

The center proudly displays a banner from that congregation with messages of unity such as “God Loves Us All.”





Guests were treated to a wide variety of foods, from hotdogs to a traditional dish of spiced milk and vermicelli, often eaten after the Ramadan fasts because it is easy on empty stomachs. Photo by Meg Olson.

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