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Why Did Maher Do Macon? Looking Back on Maher’s Macon Performance, and Why He Really Came

By Dave Oedel

On February 10, 2015, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, executed three fine, promising Muslim Americans, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, and Yusor’s husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, in a Chapel Hill, North Carolina apartment complex. It was partly over a parking dispute, but probably also because of Hicks’ anti-Muslim, anti-religion rage.

Three days before the North Carolina massacre, Bill Maher made a surprising appearance 400 miles away in Macon, Georgia, before about 1,500 people at Macon’s City Auditorium. Attending Maher’s Macon show were people from all over the southeast, including some from the Chapel Hill area, because Maher scheduled only two southeastern performances this year. One, on February 8, 2015, in a fancy, big Orlando theater, was predictable. More eye-opening was Maher’s choice of a tired Macon venue on February 7. … Continue Reading

Muslim Macon — What Is Islam for Our Muslim Neighbors? Newly Revised Post

By Dave Oedel

Macon is regularly reported to be a community with more Christian churches per capita than almost any other community in the United States. But no one talks about Muslim diversity in Macon. Macon has some of that too.

A little evidence of Muslim Macon can be seen easily. Much can’t.

Some things outsiders can see are the formally dressed African American men and boys distributing copies of the Nation of Islam’s newspaper, “The Final Call,” on Second Street at Ell, and on Napier Avenue at Log Cabin, in Macon-Bibb. Another thing in public evidence: the head-coverings, or hijab, worn by some but not all Muslim women when out in public in Middle Georgia.

Also in public view are the four publicly notable mosque buildings in Middle Georgia, if you know where to look for them. Travelers along four local thoroughfares routinely pass them — the Islamic Center on Vineville Avenue at Lamar in Macon, the Muhammad Mosque on Third Street at Wood in Macon, the Masjid Warith-ud deen Mohammed Mosque at 4525 Bloomfield Road in Macon, and the Islamic Center at 2501 Elberta Road in Centerville, Warner Robins.

The Muhammad Mosque on Third Street and Wood in Macon

The Muhammad Mosque on Third Street and Wood in Macon

The Masjid Mosque on Macon's Bloomfield Road

The Masjid Mosque on Macon’s Bloomfield Road

The Islamic Center in Macon on Vineville at Lamar

The Islamic Center in Macon on Vineville at Lamar

These four mosques and their congregations mark local differences among Macon’s Muslims, in some ways suggestive of the differences that distinguish Muslims outside the United States, but also reflecting American racial, ethnic, economic and political differences.

The Muhammad Mosque is allied with the Nation of Islam under Minister Louis Farrakhan of Chicago. The Nation of Islam is an American-grown version of Islam following the lead of its founder, Elijah Muhammad, tracing also from key affiliations with Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Elijah Muhammad’s first wife, Clara, who was born in Macon and is known … Continue Reading

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