SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — “The mosque is complete,” said Dr. Mohammad Rashad, the imam of the mosque on Amy Street. “And in July, we plan, before Ramadan starts — one week before that — we’re going to do the inauguration. And after that, we’re planning to have an open house for all the people who have supported us. We’ll invite all the neighbors and the city and its people.
The roughly 40 Muslims, who have been meeting in a Longview apartment for about 30 years, announced plans in January to build a meeting place on a 6.6-acre lot just off the northern Longview city limit.
On Monday, community spokesman Saleem Shabazz said construction of the roughly 3,000-square-foot center is all but completed.
In the Islamic faith, Ramadan is a 30-day period of inner reflection, devotion to God and self-control that, on the Islamic lunar calendar, occurs about 11 days earlier on the Gregorian calendar each year.
“The only thing left to do is the parking lot, and the carpeting on the inside of the building, and we’ve got to get the dome in place,” Shabazz said. “Ramadan is starting in July this year, and we’re hoping to have the mosque open by then.”
When plans for the mosque and community center were announced earlier this year, some residents of the thin, dead-end road expressed concerns about increased traffic.
Some neighbors also were concerned the center could draw anti-Islamic disturbances to the quiet street. Signs bearing the name, Jesus, sprang up in some Amy Street yards, borrowed from a First Baptist Church of Longview citywide outreach.
“Muslims are not insulted by the name of Jesus,” Shabazz said, adding, “Things just kind of subsided.”
“I think that’s a big deal, myself,” he said. “Because, every once in a while you’ll have a congregation do that, but to have the big (denominational) body do that is great.” — www.shafaqna.com