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Chicago Muslims Leaders Discuss Parameters for Mosque Reopening Plan

In terms of worship practiced by Muslims, it’s very difficult to keep in place social distancing based on the numbers of people who attend, and then in terms of the rituals of prayer,” said Executive Director Abdullah Mitchell…”

CHICAGO, IL, SATURDAY, May 8, 2020 — Chicago Muslim leaders met today at noon for a roundtable Zoom meeting to discuss the impact of Governor Pritzker’s recent executive order for a 5 phased process to re-open businesses and houses of worship in Illinois.  The agenda included the input of religious scholars and area experts in the medical and public health fields.. It has been the meeting most looked forward to all week. 
 Previously, CIOGC reviewed the re-opening guidelines issued by the White House; reviewed the directives from the Illinois Department of Public Health/CDC; discussed the three phases of the White House plan,  and unanimously agreed that when Governor Pritzker announces Phase I, likely at end of Ramadan, physical mosque facilities would remain closed for public gatherings.   The consensus was based on the suggestions of presidents, HR representatives, Imams, and healthcare professionals present, each of whom considered it too difficult to resume masjid activities without violating the directives and exposing our members to the risk of infection. 

In terms of worship practiced by Muslims, it’s very difficult to keep in place social distancing based on the numbers of people who attend, and then in terms of the rituals of prayer,” said Executive Director Abdullah Mitchell…”
 
The unanimous decision that was reached is consistent with the governor’s order of April 30, 2020. Despite the decision, Muslims of Chicago will have to be prepared. 
 
The April meeting led to a formation of an ad-hoc committee consisting of presidents, Imams, masjid administrative personnel, and healthcare persons.  The committee was charged with developing a suggested guidelines for reopening our masajid and schools for phase II and III.  The suggested guidelines will be an operational procedures integrated with CDC guidelines on social distancing and criteria necessary to assure a safe environment for our worshippers prior to reopening of masjid. 

Today, these same leaders and committee met to decide the parameters of the Mosque Reopening Plan.
  
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, an umbrella organization with over 60+ mosques and nonprofit members, has been active on the frontlines since the beginning of COVID19 having formed an impressive Joint Task Force with major Chicago relief organizations, medical and dental societies and mental health clinics.

A 27-year old Muslim nonprofit organization headquartered on 231 S. State Street, Chicago, IL. It is responsible for leading, guiding and unifying Muslims all across the Chicagoland, encouraging civic engagement and strengthening interfaith relationships.

 

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