Islamic Mosque Opens In Former Church

The Islam Center of Smithfield opened Saturday in Smithfield.

A sign reads “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in front of the new Islamic Center of Smithfield. The mosque is located in the former Pentecostals of Smithfield church located at 3020 South Brightleaf Boulevard where a special ceremony was held Saturday. JoCoReport.com Photo

The Islam Center is located in the former Pentecostals of Smithfield Church Building located at 3020 South Brightleaf Boulevard.  The former church recently closed.

In a special ceremony Saturday morning, crosses that were removed from the former Pentecostal house of worship were handed over to Pastor Jim Melnyk from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  It is the only mosque in Johnston County.  A former mosque in Selma closed several years ago.

According to the Islam Center of Smithfield website, the number of members has increased fourfold in the past 2 years.

“The idea of having a permanent location for the Masjid arose and became necessary to meet the community growth and needs as this Masjid the only Masjid in Johnston county… We are kindly asking you to help us spreading the word of ”La ilaha illa Allah” in Johnston County,” the website reads.

According to the Johnston County Tax Office, the 1.96 acre site was purchased on April 6, 2017 by Waiel and Mohamad Mohamad of Smithfield for $230,000.  The property also includes the former church parsonage located next door.

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  • Edie Warren

    So glad we are not in JoCo anymore!! This is scary on so many levels.

    • Ashen-Shugar

      Where are you at that you do not have a mosque near you? There are several across the state.

    • radiobrain

      If you knew Waiel and Mohamad Mohamad like I do, you wouldn’t say that.

  • cydewaze

    Scary huh? …because they’re imaginary friend isn’t your imaginary friend? or scary because you and them share the same imaginary friend? they have the same right as you or anyone else do to talk to whatever invisible man they choose. considering them as “scary” is the exact same way of thinking that would consider all Christians as Klan members.

    • Ashen-Shugar

      When I read this I remembered the video of the preacher in a mall yelling at people in line to see Santa Claus with their children. Seemed odd to me, someone yelling at people basically pitting one imaginary entity against another imaginary entity.

      • Sammy Holt

        Its amazing that an imaginary entity that only exists in the hearts and minds of people that aren’t as enlightened as those that know the “real” truth have been murdered, raped, stoned, burned, tortured, kidnapped, enslaved, beheaded, dismembered, threatened, stolen from and never lost their imaginary devotion. I’m sure devotion is imaginary also. I hope those that are “smart” enough to know that imaginary entities don’t exist are right for their sake. If they are wrong, then its going to be a long awful time of pondering in an unpleasant imaginary place.

        • Ashen-Shugar

          That would be contingent upon what kind of imaginary entity it supposedly is wouldn’t it? I would think that people would be judged based on their own merits, wouldn’t you? Oh wait, that’s right. Someone found a book that said if you do this you can get this, and formed religions around it. I think it is sad that very few people understand that book or follow it. And no, you don’t follow it. I have never met anyone who does. They follow parts of it, but not all. Do you go around stoning gay people? (Leviticus 20:27) How about Amalekites, slain any of those lately? Any of their children? (Samuel 15:3) That book says to, so why not? Is it only murder if it is against people you disagree with, or disagree with how they live their lives? Don’t even get me started on Deuteronomy.

          And people call following that “enlightened”. Religion is the worst thing this world ever came up with.

          • Sammy Holt

            1st of all, thank you for a civilized discussion. I appreciate it. Truly

            “people would be judged based on their own merits” Judged by who? If the entity doesn’t exist there isn’t a judge. So their own merits don’t matter because their is no author of right and wrong only perception left up to the person committing their actions.
            I don’t follow the “book” word for word as you have pointed out. So lets dive just a little deeper. The first 5 books are basically the law given to Israel to guide them in how they lived and conducted themselves. This law was ONLY to show them right and wrong. They still had freedom to obey as best they could or disregard as there are many stories that suggest both happened. The 34 books after that are stories of peoples lives, chronological history and warnings from preachers that tried to steer Israel back towards the law. Then silence for over 500 years. 4 more books tell of the greatest gift given to humans. Then the last 22 books tell how to live according to the law but also includes grace into the equation. Still throughout the entire 1 book of books the message is the same. You/We are not fit to save ourselves from our actions and deeds. But there is a way if chosen to take that can have these actions and deeds wiped away as if they had never been done. Then eternal reward is handed according to this way… If the way is accepted then eternal reward is freely given, if rejected then the reward is damnation.
            No one wants to here they must chose a way that is different from what they want. But there in lies their choice. Believe or not doesn’t make something not real. Again, I appreciate your response and how you have handled yourself.

          • Ashen-Shugar

            The main point I was trying to make is that what kind of entity would condemn a human if they lived a life that was considered good? Supposing a person never went to church, never really considered if there was an entity or not, but still lived a good life based on their own moral compass and not something read in a book. According to some religions he would be an infidel, a non-believer, and should be killed. Suppose that person lived with no human contact, that mere fact alone condemns them. But then here comes a book that offers you eternal life and joy. If you never knew of it, condemnation according to it.

            If there is an entity I do not think it would be able to understand the moral implications faced by mere humans. Something that could create all we know of and that which we do not could not possibly conceive of individual thoughts or souls. Most likely we would be completely beneath notice, like the ants we walk over every day. There would be no guidelines for an entity like that for people.
            You get one life, why would something tell you to sacrifice the whole of it in order to get something that cannot be proven?

            Devotion and faith are not imaginary, I would never agree they are. You could not have relationship without it. The difference is small, but it is there. I can touch and feel what I believe in, not just accept it on faith.

            I do like good conversations, so thank you.

    • Edie Warren

      Yes scary because allah is the one who inspired the attacks on 9/11, he inspired the guy to shoot up Ft Hood, while my nephew was stationed there. And the beheadings of many of our citizens. All of these and many other atrocities against us was for no reason at all, other than that we are US citizens.

      • cydewaze

        *Christians…not US citizens. Still tho, thats the same way of thinking that would blame God for the Ku Klux Klan attacking blacks.

        • Edie Warren

          God created black people too….He would not tell His people to kill them. As far as I can tell from everything I have read on the subject, allah did not create anything, he just wants death and destruction to reign against us (the infidels). And we are really supposed to welcome these followers into our communities?? Sounds suspiciously like a Trojan Horse to me.

  • Dude, Really

    I think it’s a ploy to goad some good ol’ boys into making this a national story and paint us “infidels” as intolerant idiots. Putting a mosque across the street from a pork products plant, dude really?

  • Dude, Really

    American Muslims probably have a hard time being accepted by the Muslims where the religion was started. Don’t know for a fact, just sayin’.

  • Ashen-Shugar

    So you are saying that because someone believes it, that makes it true, and that will enable a feeling of enlightenment because now you are one of the chosen? You have found your “Brand”? Their willingness to sacrifice for that faith proves it?

    Why would I follow a book that tells me to murder people based on their sexuality, how they plant crops, when they choose to work, or what they wear?

    You can’t just cherry pick the parts you want to follow and say “This is the way” and act like the other parts aren’t there. People can say they follow it, but they do not. And always get upset when I point that out.

    How many people have been killed in accordance with a book? A book that says if you do you will be granted an eternity of happiness. Call it the bible, call it the quran. Both tell people to kill in the name of a deity.

    I think a prehistoric version of L Ron Hubbard figured out a scam that would get people to want him to take their money, and get rid of people he didn’t like, all for the sake of their everlasting soul. That is why it tells you to go out and find like minded people and gather. More money, more power.

  • Ashen-Shugar

    Ill will, absolutely not. One of the greatest enjoyments is being able to discuss differences without malice. How would a search for truth or logic go anywhere without a differing point of view to either shore up or sway one from their chosen path? We may not agree on topics or how to interpret the things we see, but that does not mean we have to be adversarial about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the next time. Till then take care.

  • Rev Harry C Wigmore III

    The problem with a Muslim church just down the street: two reasons, first I did not think according to their teachings that they would ever dream of putting up a Mosque across the street from a Pork company. When people put pork on the doorsteps of a Mosque they go nuts and want to kill someone by beheading. But then again there are different branches of Muslims. Shiites and the Sunnis. One branch will cut your head off because you do not believe like they do. It is really a shame that they are so caught up in these cults of false religions. There is only ONE TRUE GOD and HIS name is ABBA FATHER!!!!! Second reason, is I do not blame the Muslims for this next reason and it is this: the Pastors that sold this building to Muslims need to be reprimanded, reproved, and taken out back to the wood shed so to speak; because they do NOT believe in the Word of God. Episcopal Pastor, Methodist Pastor, and 3 Probably Southern Baptists and if they are not Southern Baptists, please forgive me, but if they are: all of you DO NOT BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD!!!!!!!! 1 John 4: 1-3; 2 John 7-11. If you believed ABBA FATHER’S Word of God, KINGDOM OF GOD TEACHINGS; you would not have even given a thought to selling a building to Muslims!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what does this mean, they are all part of the ONE WORLD CHURCH and their father is the ANTICHRIST and sATAN!!!!!!
    You 5 churches need to REPENT FOR YOUR ACTIONS. You call yourselves Christians, but
    ABBA FATHER’S TRUTH IS NOT IN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Edie Warren

    So glad we are not in JoCo anymore!! This is scary on so many levels.

    • Ashen-Shugar

      Where are you at that you do not have a mosque near you? There are several across the state.

    • radiobrain

      If you knew Waiel and Mohamad Mohamad like I do, you wouldn’t say that.

  • cydewaze

    Scary huh? …because they’re imaginary friend isn’t your imaginary friend? or scary because you and them share the same imaginary friend? they have the same right as you or anyone else do to talk to whatever invisible man they choose. considering them as “scary” is the exact same way of thinking that would consider all Christians as Klan members.

    • Ashen-Shugar

      When I read this I remembered the video of the preacher in a mall yelling at people in line to see Santa Claus with their children. Seemed odd to me, someone yelling at people basically pitting one imaginary entity against another imaginary entity.

      • Sammy Holt

        Its amazing that an imaginary entity that only exists in the hearts and minds of people that aren’t as enlightened as those that know the “real” truth have been murdered, raped, stoned, burned, tortured, kidnapped, enslaved, beheaded, dismembered, threatened, stolen from and never lost their imaginary devotion. I’m sure devotion is imaginary also. I hope those that are “smart” enough to know that imaginary entities don’t exist are right for their sake. If they are wrong, then its going to be a long awful time of pondering in an unpleasant imaginary place.

        • Ashen-Shugar

          That would be contingent upon what kind of imaginary entity it supposedly is wouldn’t it? I would think that people would be judged based on their own merits, wouldn’t you? Oh wait, that’s right. Someone found a book that said if you do this you can get this, and formed religions around it. I think it is sad that very few people understand that book or follow it. And no, you don’t follow it. I have never met anyone who does. They follow parts of it, but not all. Do you go around stoning gay people? (Leviticus 20:27) How about Amalekites, slain any of those lately? Any of their children? (Samuel 15:3) That book says to, so why not? Is it only murder if it is against people you disagree with, or disagree with how they live their lives? Don’t even get me started on Deuteronomy.

          And people call following that “enlightened”. Religion is the worst thing this world ever came up with.

          • Sammy Holt

            1st of all, thank you for a civilized discussion. I appreciate it. Truly

            “people would be judged based on their own merits” Judged by who? If the entity doesn’t exist there isn’t a judge. So their own merits don’t matter because their is no author of right and wrong only perception left up to the person committing their actions.
            I don’t follow the “book” word for word as you have pointed out. So lets dive just a little deeper. The first 5 books are basically the law given to Israel to guide them in how they lived and conducted themselves. This law was ONLY to show them right and wrong. They still had freedom to obey as best they could or disregard as there are many stories that suggest both happened. The 34 books after that are stories of peoples lives, chronological history and warnings from preachers that tried to steer Israel back towards the law. Then silence for over 500 years. 4 more books tell of the greatest gift given to humans. Then the last 22 books tell how to live according to the law but also includes grace into the equation. Still throughout the entire 1 book of books the message is the same. You/We are not fit to save ourselves from our actions and deeds. But there is a way if chosen to take that can have these actions and deeds wiped away as if they had never been done. Then eternal reward is handed according to this way… If the way is accepted then eternal reward is freely given, if rejected then the reward is damnation.
            No one wants to here they must chose a way that is different from what they want. But there in lies their choice. Believe or not doesn’t make something not real. Again, I appreciate your response and how you have handled yourself.

          • Ashen-Shugar

            The main point I was trying to make is that what kind of entity would condemn a human if they lived a life that was considered good? Supposing a person never went to church, never really considered if there was an entity or not, but still lived a good life based on their own moral compass and not something read in a book. According to some religions he would be an infidel, a non-believer, and should be killed. Suppose that person lived with no human contact, that mere fact alone condemns them. But then here comes a book that offers you eternal life and joy. If you never knew of it, condemnation according to it.

            If there is an entity I do not think it would be able to understand the moral implications faced by mere humans. Something that could create all we know of and that which we do not could not possibly conceive of individual thoughts or souls. Most likely we would be completely beneath notice, like the ants we walk over every day. There would be no guidelines for an entity like that for people.
            You get one life, why would something tell you to sacrifice the whole of it in order to get something that cannot be proven?

            Devotion and faith are not imaginary, I would never agree they are. You could not have relationship without it. The difference is small, but it is there. I can touch and feel what I believe in, not just accept it on faith.

            I do like good conversations, so thank you.

    • Edie Warren

      Yes scary because allah is the one who inspired the attacks on 9/11, he inspired the guy to shoot up Ft Hood, while my nephew was stationed there. And the beheadings of many of our citizens. All of these and many other atrocities against us was for no reason at all, other than that we are US citizens.

      • cydewaze

        *Christians…not US citizens. Still tho, thats the same way of thinking that would blame God for the Ku Klux Klan attacking blacks.

        • Edie Warren

          God created black people too….He would not tell His people to kill them. As far as I can tell from everything I have read on the subject, allah did not create anything, he just wants death and destruction to reign against us (the infidels). And we are really supposed to welcome these followers into our communities?? Sounds suspiciously like a Trojan Horse to me.

  • Dude, Really

    I think it’s a ploy to goad some good ol’ boys into making this a national story and paint us “infidels” as intolerant idiots. Putting a mosque across the street from a pork products plant, dude really?

  • Dude, Really

    American Muslims probably have a hard time being accepted by the Muslims where the religion was started. Don’t know for a fact, just sayin’.

  • Ashen-Shugar

    So you are saying that because someone believes it, that makes it true, and that will enable a feeling of enlightenment because now you are one of the chosen? You have found your “Brand”? Their willingness to sacrifice for that faith proves it?

    Why would I follow a book that tells me to murder people based on their sexuality, how they plant crops, when they choose to work, or what they wear?

    You can’t just cherry pick the parts you want to follow and say “This is the way” and act like the other parts aren’t there. People can say they follow it, but they do not. And always get upset when I point that out.

    How many people have been killed in accordance with a book? A book that says if you do you will be granted an eternity of happiness. Call it the bible, call it the quran. Both tell people to kill in the name of a deity.

    I think a prehistoric version of L Ron Hubbard figured out a scam that would get people to want him to take their money, and get rid of people he didn’t like, all for the sake of their everlasting soul. That is why it tells you to go out and find like minded people and gather. More money, more power.

  • Ashen-Shugar

    Ill will, absolutely not. One of the greatest enjoyments is being able to discuss differences without malice. How would a search for truth or logic go anywhere without a differing point of view to either shore up or sway one from their chosen path? We may not agree on topics or how to interpret the things we see, but that does not mean we have to be adversarial about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the next time. Till then take care.

  • Rev Harry C Wigmore III

    The problem with a Muslim church just down the street: two reasons, first I did not think according to their teachings that they would ever dream of putting up a Mosque across the street from a Pork company. When people put pork on the doorsteps of a Mosque they go nuts and want to kill someone by beheading. But then again there are different branches of Muslims. Shiites and the Sunnis. One branch will cut your head off because you do not believe like they do. It is really a shame that they are so caught up in these cults of false religions. There is only ONE TRUE GOD and HIS name is ABBA FATHER!!!!! Second reason, is I do not blame the Muslims for this next reason and it is this: the Pastors that sold this building to Muslims need to be reprimanded, reproved, and taken out back to the wood shed so to speak; because they do NOT believe in the Word of God. Episcopal Pastor, Methodist Pastor, and 3 Probably Southern Baptists and if they are not Southern Baptists, please forgive me, but if they are: all of you DO NOT BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD!!!!!!!! 1 John 4: 1-3; 2 John 7-11. If you believed ABBA FATHER’S Word of God, KINGDOM OF GOD TEACHINGS; you would not have even given a thought to selling a building to Muslims!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what does this mean, they are all part of the ONE WORLD CHURCH and their father is the ANTICHRIST and sATAN!!!!!!
    You 5 churches need to REPENT FOR YOUR ACTIONS. You call yourselves Christians, but
    ABBA FATHER’S TRUTH IS NOT IN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!