Islamic Society of Annapolis to Develop Learning Center, High School

March 5, 2006

Source: The Capital

On March 5, 2006 The Capital reported, "In the four-and-a-half years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, members of the Islamic Society of Annapolis have dreamed of being able to teach non-Muslims about their faith. But based in a cramped building along Forest Drive, the group of about 200 didn't have the facility to bring their message about Islam as a faith of peace and justice to the greater community. They may have that facility soon, as construction has begun on 20 acres in Gambrills off Route 3 and St. Stephens Church Road for the society's new Mecca Learning Center, which will include a mosque, school, library, athletic fields and a community center... Although a dozen mosques - two of them with schools - are spread around the state, this will likely be the first with an Islamic high school, which should help it draw a student body from around the region, according to Shama Farooq, civil rights director for the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Maryland and Virginia... Although the school's religious teachings are meant to promote Islam, Imam Arafa said he will hire teachers from all faith backgrounds. He said he simply hopes to hire the best... The school also will be open to people of all religions, he said. Through the library, athletic fields, day care and public space, the congregation hopes to make its campus welcoming to the community."