Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling several hundred dollars in dump fees.
It’s been a crazy week, but major progress has been made turning a house that was trashed by its previous “libertarian” tenants into NH’s first full-time mosque. The Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) is Will Coley‘s vision that is becoming a reality, thanks to an interfaith group of people who have over the last week been removing junk, cleaning up a unspeakably disgusting mess, repairing damage to the home, painting, removing trees, and more. Whether Muslim, Christian, Panentheist, or even agnostic or atheist, it’s been awesome to see that the MALIC Center is already creating an interfaith community despite not having officially opened its doors.
When Will, who will be the future mosque’s Imam and caretaker, approached the Shire Free Church about property availability in Keene for a mosque, I’d have been excited about just that opportunity to help him with that idea, but his vision was much bigger than that. In addition to its full-time mosque function, as an interfaith community center, the MALIC Center will also be usable by other smaller area religions looking for a house of worship, like the Quakers. Plus, Will plans to operate a homeless warming center in the colder months.
As the Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace church, the MALIC Center vision dovetails perfectly with the mission of the Church. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to assist with this by both donating the property in question on behalf of the Church and helping clean it up. Thankfully we don’t have to do it all alone, as it’s a big job. We’ve had multiple libertarian community members from across the state come to help us including a mayoral candidate in Keene, Bob Call who joined us early on to help haul out the initial junk and trash, and Libertarian candidate for governor in NH for 2018, Jilletta Jarvis who today was helping scrub the floors.
The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!
In order to assist further, the Shire Free Church is going to match donations from now until the $11,000 goal is reached! The fundraiser as of now has $5,256 raised by 93 contributors. Only six days remain. If you donate $10, the Church will double it to $20. If you donate $50, the Church will double that to $100, and so on. Please take a moment and give here at Launchgood. (Bitcoin and Litecoin donation QR codes are on the Launchgood page too!)
In a recent article, I broke the news that Will Coley and his family would be moving to Keene to start NH’s first full-time mosque. Now, that move is underway. Here’s a video Will streamed to his facebook profile yesterday. Will updates his facebook constantly, so if you want to follow along with their move, you can follow his profile here.
Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Shirefest 2017
“America’s Favorite Redneck Muslim”, Will Coley has made a major announcement! The host of Muslim radio show, “Call to Freedom“, and his family are moving from their longtime home of Tennessee to beautiful Keene, New Hampshire and they’ll be opening a full-time mosque in property donated by the Shire Free Church! Fundraising has begun over at Muslim fundraising site Launchgood with an $11,000 target, the Coleys have already raised over $2,000 with just over two weeks to go.
He’s calling it the Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center, (aka the MALIC Center) and on his fundraiser page says it will be the first house of worship of its kind in all of New Hampshire! Though it looks like Concord’s Muslim community is also making similar plans, Keene’s seems on target to open its doors sooner than Concord. As one of the founding ministers of the Shire Free Church, I’m elated to be able to dedicate our property to this historic and worthy religious purpose. If it were just a full-time mosque, that would dovetail perfectly with our interfaith church’s mission to foster peace, but Will has promised that the space will also be usable at times by other area religions of peace, such as the Quakers.
In addition to the goal of creating a Muslim community in Southwestern New Hampshire, Will is also planning to conduct outreach to the community and helping dispel the pervasive myths that many Americans mistakenly hold about Islam. When I was in jail for civil disobedience I took the time to read the entire Quran and studied with a Muslim who was in my cell block. I’ve been grateful for Will’s many appearances on my talk radio program, Free Talk Live. We’ve had him on for multiple segments of “Ask a Muslim”, where he fields all kinds of questions from listeners who know little about Islam. I’m excited to have him on more often live in-studio.
Will Coley Conducting his Ramadan Dawah at Porcfest
Many who have attended the Porcupine Freedom Festival will recognize Will as the generous man who each year has come up from Tennessee to serve food to the festival-goers during Ramadan as his “dawah” (Muslim outreach). In addition to his generosity, he’s a talented speaker and is currently completing his Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic studies training in the Maliki school.
It’s truly an honor to assist in this new addition to the Keene community that will hopefully attract more Muslims to the area and bring a new level of understanding about Islam to the community at large.