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Local Muslim community says it’s no different than other residents

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The manager of Noor Halal Food & More in Johnson City says his store has succeeded not because it is Islamic or American, but proudly both.

“American people love Halal food more than the Muslims. Some of them don’t know the meaning of Halal, but they love it,” said Abdullah Hussein, whose store has been open for a little over 5 years.

Hussein sells a combination of American snack foods such as Lays and Little Debbie cakes, as well as foods that are staples of the Mediterranean and Islamic diet such as couscous and falafel.

The imam, or the Islamic equivalent of a pastor, at the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier says this blending of the familiar and the foreign helps people better understand their neighbors.

“Go and attend a sermon, speak to a Muslim and you’ll understand how Muslims are average Americans,” said Imam Anas Shaikh. “We’re doctors and professors and engineers and we work in this part of the country just like an average American.”

Shaikh says if anyone is curious about Islam and would like to know more, he welcomes them to stop by his mosque at anytime. In addition, he also gives presentations at local churches and schools.

Josh Rosenblatt

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