Religious Diversity in Northern Virginia

November 16, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On November 16, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "it has taken six years for the fast-growing Muslim congregation to have a place of worship that members could call their own. The 59,000-square-foot mosque, scheduled to open in phases beginning next month, is a rarity on the Northern Virginia landscape -- its arches, domed roof and three-story minaret rising above a predominantly white, upper-middle-class neighborhood. The congregation endured a six-year process that included contentious public hearings, phone threats, vandalism and a fire on the property. The presence of the mosque... on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, is a testament to the deepening diversification of the Washington suburbs, communities that 10 or 15 years ago had relatively few Muslims living on their quiet cul-de-sacs. As recently as 1998, the Muslim society was drawing fewer than 200 people to rented locations in the Dulles area. Now it counts 1,400 -- mostly immigrants -- at its primary Friday afternoon prayer service."