Multi-Ethnic Mosque in Cleveland Offers Muslims a Common Home

October 18, 2005

Source: The Plain Dealer

On October 18, 2005 The Plain Dealer reported, "At a fledgling multiethnic mosque in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, members share only their faith. That, and a dream... [A year ago,] the Mohammad Rasoul Allah Islamic Society was... the home of an immigrant congregation of mostly Iraqi and Iranian Shiite Muslims. Before that, the sturdy two-story house at 9400 Detroit Ave. served as the original Islamic Center of Cleveland, which became the Grand Mosque in Parma... Over the last year and a half, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese has resettled in the neighborhood about 60 African refugee families. Forty of those families belong to the Bantu of Somalia. And they are Muslim. The Bantu had just started praying at the mosque when Catholic Charities brought to the neighborhood Turkish-speaking immigrants from Russia. The Turkish families also are Muslims without a mosque... This mosque fits [the needs of people in these immigrant communities]. It's within walking distance for many of the new Muslim families, few of whom own cars. There's room for 50 or so people to pray in the unfurnished living room, and the women find privacy upstairs. But the new families face tall challenges in their quest to gain a house of worship while they navigate a new world. It's a struggle familiar to earlier immigrants... To form a faith community, they are working across languages and cultures they never encountered in the old country."