It took 25 years, but Jacksonville’s largest mosque finally looks like a mosque.
Two golden domes were hoisted onto the roof and minaret at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida earlier this month, transforming the once non-descript facility on St. Johns Bluff Road into a clearly Muslim house of worship.
The center is the biggest — in size and attendance — of four mosques in the area and the only one to be adorned with the domes associated with traditional Islam.
“When you see a minaret and a dome, there’s no question it’s a mosque,” said Ashraf Shaikh, vice chairman of the center’s board of trustees. A minaret is a tower from which prayer times were historically announced.
The 15,000-square-foot cen-ter, whose participants are made up largely of immigrants, has been under various stages of construction since its groundbreaking in 1984, Shaikh said.