Largest US mosque opens in Michigan
By: Mohamed Ali
DEARBORN, Michigan: A grand-opening ceremony of the new
Islamic Center of America was held in Dearborn, Michigan,
Thursday attended by hundreds of devotees and US
The center has a gold-domed mosque flanked by two minarets
helping to make the 70,000 square-foot facility one of the
largest Islamic centers in North America. The main prayer
hall accommodates 1,000 people, including 700 men in one
area and 300 women in the balcony.
Hundreds of worshipers gathered on Friday for the first
prayer session at the gilded new mosque that is yet
another facility to serve the large Muslim population
around Detroit. The mosque is the largest in the United
Over 40 years of dedicated services, the Islamic Center of
America is one of North America’s oldest institutions.
Established in 1963, the Islamic Center has been serving
the needs of Muslims in the greater Detroit area as well
as throughout the United States.
The mosque will serve as a spiritual home for metro
Detroit's Arab-American population, according to officials
of the Islamic Center of America. The mosque -- located at
Ford and Evergreen roads -- features a spacious room for
prayer, a banquet room and administrative offices.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm was expected to appear as a guest
speaker for the grand-opening celebration. Officials of
the Islamic Center of America said prior to the
celebration that the governor will be joined by local,
national and international dignitaries to help celebrate
the official opening of the largest mosque in the United
The mosque and a banquet hall were part of a $14 million
expansion project to a Muslim school that, taken together,
is now the Islamic Center of America. When a 700-seat
auditorium and a two-story library and school are also
completed, it will likely become the largest Islamic
center in North America, officials said.
"The center is a symbol of the sharp growth and
advancement of our Muslim community," Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini,
the spiritual leader of the Center, told. Al-Qazwini was
born in the holy city of Karbala that houses the holy
shrines of Imam Hussein (AS) and his brother Hazrat Abbas
Builders imported doors from Turkey, wood from the
Philippines, granite from India and Brazil, and
chandeliers from Egypt, said Alan Abbas, who built the
"It has been a labor of love," said Abbas, an immigrant
The mosque is only a few miles from the new Arab American
National Museum, the first museum in the United States
dedicated exclusively to Arab Americans. It also opened
its doors this month.
Al-Qazwini said a major goal of the new mosque will be to
reach out to non-Muslims to educate people about Islam.
"There are many misconceptions existing in the mind of
non-Muslims in this country about Islam, unfortunately."
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