Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Muslims and mosques are putting down roots
Times Union ^ | July 5, 2007 | MARC PARRY

Posted on 07/05/2007 2:43:56 PM PDT by NYer

TROY -- The mosque, a converted funeral home, is so small it can't accommodate worshipers for the best-attended prayers of the week. On Fridays, they pray in the basement of a nearby college athletic center instead.

They also borrow space for marriage ceremonies. And interfaith meetings. And holidays.

"It's time the community gets its own place," said Abdulkadir Elmi, a trustee and ex-president of Troy's Masjid al-Hidaya.

That should start to happen at the end of this month, with a groundbreaking expected for a proper mosque with a dome and two minarets on more than 12 acres in Latham.

It's a small story about one mosque, but it also reflects a bigger picture of Muslim growth in the area, where you can still count all the mosques on one hand.

Al-Hidaya leaders estimate that up to 6,000 Muslims now live in the Capital Region. That's perhaps double the population 20 years ago, though the numbers are only rough estimates based on holiday mosque attendance.

Some move here for work, often in engineering and related fields, the mosque leaders said. Others come to work or study at local colleges and end up staying.

As an example, Elmi pointed to the president of Albany's Masjid As-Salam. Shamshad Ahmad, born in India, arrived almost 30 years ago for a postgraduate teaching position at the University at Albany. The physics professor raised four kids here. All went to local colleges. One now has two kids of his own.

"Probably most families have a lot more growth than we've had because we haven't really had relatives come over," said Ahmad's son, Faisal, 28, who prayed at the Troy mosque as a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student.

As a child, Faisal Ahmad first worshipped in the basement of an Albany apartment building occupied by Muslim graduate students from Malaysia. Maybe six or seven people gathered for the Friday prayer service, called Jummah.

Growing up, he said, the Muslim community was so small that people tended to know each other. Now, Ahmad walks in the mall and sees unfamiliar Muslim women wearing head scarves.

"It's reached a point where there's new people coming into the community that we've never really seen before," said Ahmad, who believes the Muslim population is more like 10,000 to 12,000.

People often have to drive significant distances to worship at one of the area's five existing mosques. Once it's built, many will have an easier time reaching the new Al-Hidaya Center on Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham.

The Troy mosque's founders, many of them RPI students, moved into the old funeral home around 1986. The 15th Street building still has the parlor's yellowish tinted front windows.

Once, Friday prayer attendance for the Muslim community of Troy hovered around 100 people, most from the immediate area. Now, as grateful guests in the RPI athletic center, upward of 300 people gather to pray, many from places like Latham and Clifton Park.

Imam Djafer Sebkhaoui cautioned that you shouldn't think of the mosque as a fixed congregation. Someone might work at RPI and pray there during the day, he said, then go home and pray at Islamic Center of the Capital District in Colonie at night.

He also resisted labeling local mosques by the backgrounds of people who worship in them.

"We end up not having mosques that are necessarily distinguished by ethnicity," said Sebkhaoui, an Algerian native who studied psychology at RPI. "You may see that in large cities" -- an Arab mosque, a Pakistani one -- "but I don't think that it's the case in our area."

The new center will offer amenities unimaginable in the existing building, and it will free worshipers from leaning on the generosity of RPI.

Parking, for one. The plan calls for 250 spaces. Women will have multiple worship options: at the rear of the regular hall, or, if they prefer, in the privacy of a balcony upstairs. Their current space is much more limited.

"The mosque in Troy is really difficult for mothers with young children to come," said Faisal Ahmad's older sister, Huma, who surveyed women there to gauge their needs for the new mosque.

The whole project is expensive, so it will be built in three phases.

The first, $3.5 million phase includes the prayer hall and adjacent facilities. Later phases include a gym that could also accommodate large gatherings and a school. The old mosque will remain open.

And after so many years of attending interfaith functions hosted by others, Al-Hidaya members will finally be able to welcome guests to their own.

"We will maybe pay back all these favors that have been done to us," Elmi said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New York
KEYWORDS: enemyhq; enemywithin; infiltration; mosque; muslim; troy

1 posted on 07/05/2007 2:43:57 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer

“The mosque, a converted funeral home”
PERFECT!


2 posted on 07/05/2007 2:44:57 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

freedom of one religion may result in the extinction of others.


3 posted on 07/05/2007 2:46:17 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo (Skip the Moon, go for Mars)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee; Coleus

In London recently, an Imam and Anglican rector met. The Imam pointed to the large number of Churches and said: “By the end of this century, all of these Churches will be Mosques. We are reproducing and you are not”.


4 posted on 07/05/2007 2:47:12 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fitzcarraldo
freedom of one religion may result in the extinction of others

Not may, will

5 posted on 07/05/2007 2:48:10 PM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Exactly. It is remarkably appropriate for the Religion of Death.


6 posted on 07/05/2007 2:49:33 PM PDT by PeterFinn (Build the border fence and build it NOW!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer
The mosque, a converted funeral home

They probably didn't need to convert much to change it from one house of death to another.

7 posted on 07/05/2007 2:50:16 PM PDT by KJC1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

How appropriate, a house of death for the cult of death.


8 posted on 07/05/2007 2:51:33 PM PDT by stm (Fred Thompson in 08! Return our country to the era of Reagan Conservatism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Peace loving members of all religions should be welcomed in every American communities. Acceptance and kindness to moderate muslims who want to live peacefully and productively in our communities will alienate and isolate the whackos who want to do harm.

In my region of the country, the KKK carried and burned crosses as they claimed to be arbitors of the Christianity which is an untrue adulteration of the faith. The Klan was so mainstream that they operated with impunity. As civil rights and disdain for racism became better accepted, the Klan was pushed further and further to the fringe so now they cannot and do not feel comfortable to run amok with violence. When peacable people of any and all faiths stand against what is wrong, the right will always prevail.


9 posted on 07/05/2007 2:53:39 PM PDT by berstbubble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fitzcarraldo

“freedom of one religion may result in the extinction of others.”

Viewing their lack of tolerance, I predict you are RIGHT!


10 posted on 07/05/2007 2:55:38 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer

spread like cancer, at least there is a cure for this though

subtract the distance between them and allah


11 posted on 07/05/2007 2:56:17 PM PDT by sure_fine ( not one to over kill the thought process)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Where are they getting the money for these mosques,

oh right more saudi/ public funds....

Move along


12 posted on 07/05/2007 2:56:38 PM PDT by Otaku6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I am deeply offended by the fact that our enemies, who have sworn to kill us, are allowed to settle in. They should be driven back wherever they came from, and the camel they rode in on.


13 posted on 07/05/2007 2:56:38 PM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer; All
FYI..according to the article here Chappaqua, home to you-know-who, is about to get its very own super-sized mosque, and the neighbors ain't happy..
14 posted on 07/05/2007 2:59:47 PM PDT by ken5050
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

“Where a Muslim foot has trod, that land is forever part of Islam.”

The world-wide Caliphate continues to grow.

Soon they shall become bold. For they have already trod far.


15 posted on 07/05/2007 3:00:06 PM PDT by alloysteel (Choose carefully the hill you would die upon. For if you win, the view is magnificent.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
The mosques are our barracks...
16 posted on 07/05/2007 3:04:08 PM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

mosque = enemy missile silo.


17 posted on 07/05/2007 3:04:44 PM PDT by rageaholic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Some move here for work, often in engineering and related fields, the mosque leaders said. Others come to work or study at local colleges and end up staying.

Interesting how none of them mention coming here for any First Amendment rights.

Oh...that's right...they are the ones trying to destroy the Constitution...while they keep their women "...at the rear of the regular hall".

Is that like the "back of the bus"?

18 posted on 07/05/2007 3:04:44 PM PDT by Dr.Syn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

19 posted on 07/05/2007 3:08:13 PM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
anytime the word Mosque is used Think of a Terrorist training camp and an armory.That’s how they are used in Islamic countries and you can bet your last dime thats how they’ll be used here.
20 posted on 07/05/2007 3:09:40 PM PDT by puppypusher (The world is going to the dogs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: berstbubble
"Acceptance and kindness to moderate muslims who want to live peacefully and productively in our communities will alienate and isolate the whackos who want to do harm."

Actually, no. They will use the demand for "tolerance" and acceptance as a way to cry racism if you don't let them in, then once they've got a foot in the door with the "moderates," the fundamentalists are right behind them.

Make no mistake, Islam does not have any place for competing ideologies or religions. Much like the stated purpose of Communism was "world revolution," the stated purpose of Islam is one planet under Shari'a Law.

21 posted on 07/05/2007 3:10:54 PM PDT by van_erwin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: berstbubble
moderate muslims

There are no "moderate muslims". Islam is intolerant of moderation with respect to itself. "Moderate muslims" are Westernized, secularized people, seen as enemies of the one and only True Faith by the devout muslims.

22 posted on 07/05/2007 3:14:13 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: sure_fine

Love your math! Let it be so.


23 posted on 07/05/2007 3:17:12 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ken5050

The Muslim Society, which has about 35 member families
They need a 25,000 sq.ft. mosque for 35 families?
Paid for by the Saudis, no doubt!


24 posted on 07/05/2007 3:18:28 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Well, if each “family” is one man and his ten wives, with eight or nine kids per wife...


25 posted on 07/05/2007 3:27:47 PM PDT by van_erwin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: VR-21

No muslim will ever be my countryman.


26 posted on 07/05/2007 3:37:29 PM PDT by VR-21
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: NYer

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good mooselimbs to do nothing.


27 posted on 07/05/2007 4:19:50 PM PDT by Captainpaintball
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
"PERFECT!"

Isn't it though.

Kill 'em and prepare 'em for planting without leaving the building...

28 posted on 07/05/2007 4:39:16 PM PDT by Czar ( StillFedUptotheTeeth@Washington)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: R.W.Ratikal

Give me the chance and I would bury a dead pig under the building.


29 posted on 07/05/2007 5:56:53 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Check out this website for the National Veterans Coalition http://www.nvets.org/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: berstbubble

Sort of. The difference it that the KKK - who were Protestant white supremacists who hated Catholics, blacks, Jews and just about everybody else - really had no support in Christian or Jewish scripture. On the other hand, Islamic violence is fully supported in its scriptures, and the violent Muslims are actually the ones who are orthodox.

This is not the case in Christianity, and hence the KKK could not really claim to be Christian. The fact that they were good ole boys related to everybody in town does not qualify them as Christians.


30 posted on 07/05/2007 6:04:43 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Bulldoze the mosques

Deport the muzzles


31 posted on 07/05/2007 8:56:23 PM PDT by - Smokestack Lightning
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

.


32 posted on 07/06/2007 9:53:52 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer; Calpernia; Coleus

Anyone see the old farmhouse and new mosque that comprise the “Islamic Center of Central Jersey?” It is right on Route One in South Brunswick.


33 posted on 07/06/2007 9:55:51 PM PDT by Clemenza (Rudy Giuliani, like Pesto and Seattle, belongs in the scrap heap of '90s Culture)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

the other way around wouldn’t hurt...


34 posted on 07/07/2007 7:08:24 AM PDT by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson