Islamic Center of America
|Islamic Center of America|
|Architectural type||Islamic architecture|
|Construction cost||$14 million|
|Dome height (outer)||150-feet|
|Minaret height||10 stories tall|
The Islamic Center of America (Arabic: المركز الإسلامي في اميركا) is a Shia mosque located in Dearborn, Michigan. Although the institution dates back to 1964, the new mosque opened in 2005. It is the largest mosque in North America and the oldest Shia mosque in the United States. With its large Shia Arab population (consisting mostly of Lebanese), Dearborn is often called the "heart of Shiism" in the United States.
The Islamic Center of America is located at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn. The institution was founded in 1963 by Muhammad Jawad Chirri, who remained its director until his death in 1994. The current Imam is Iraqi-born Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini.
The mosque was vandalized in January 2007 with anti-Shia graffiti. Many in the community believed that the vandalism was the result of recurrent sectarian tensions with the American Sunni Muslim community over the Iraq war and its Shia-Sunni conflict.
2011 mosque bombing plot
On January 24, 2011, an Imperial Beach, California man named Roger Stockham was arrested and charged with terrorism after attempting to blow up the Islamic Center of America. Stockham was reported to be a convert to Islam who was targeting the Shi'ite community, and had a history of mental illness and firearms offenses.
Pastor Terry Jones rally
On April 21, 2011, the day before the scheduled appearance of Pastor Terry Jones, hundreds of people from different faiths gathered in a show of solidarity. Jews, Christians and other faith groups stood side by side with inter-locked arms in opposition to Jones' planned protest.
2013 hajj attack
During the 2013 hajj, a group of Muslims who frequent and organized at the Islamic center of America travelled as a group to Mecca. While there, they were attacked by a group of up to 200 Lebanese-Australian Sunnis. Female Shias were threatened with rape if they did not leave the camp-site at Mina within "15 minutes". The largely Australian Sunni group denied the report on Facebook saying the Shia group started it by "insulting the Sahaba".
2015 resignation of Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini
In June 2015, Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, who led services at the mosque for 18 years, resigned stating that the board of the Islamic Center had failed to reform itself by not implementing term limits, promoting nepotism, lacked female members, and failed to discipline those who acted improperly. Al-Qazwini, of Iraqi descent, also accused the board of wanting to limit the mosque membership to Lebanese-Americans. Al-Qazwini was suspended for two months in February by the board in order to help resolve their differences.
- "logo.png." Islamic Center of America. Retrieved on October 27, 2012.
- New Dearborn mosque to be the nation's largest. Michigan Daily, January 7, 2004. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- Islam's US faithful are happy to embrace the American dream, Daily Telegraph, July 23, 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- The Doha Debates: Bio for Imam Sayid Hassan Al-Qazwini retrieved February 12, 2012
- Victoria Advocate: "American Shias struggle with their future" July 25, 2009
- Daily Telegraph: "Islam's US faithful are happy to embrace the American dream July 23, 2005
- New York Times: "Iraq’s Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Split in U.S." February 4, 2007 By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
- "Mosque plot suspect rejects first appointed counsel, calls lawyer 'Shi'ite'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "Mosque plot suspect planted bomb in airport in ‘85". Washington Times. February 2, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Dearborn Press and Guide: "Terry Jones to be here again on Friday" April 26, 2011
- Dahoui-Charara, Mariam (April 21, 2011). "Hundreds Stand Together for Peace at Dearborn's Islamic Center". Patch Media (Dearborn, MI). Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Detroit free Press: "Longtime leader of Dearborn mosque leaves amid split - One of America's most prominent mosques remains divided over its longtime leader Imam Al-Qazwini, who has resigned, accusing the mosque board of being undemocratic, unIslamic, and unAmerican" By Niraj Warikoo June 6, 2015
- The Islamic Center of America
- Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini
- "In the Way of the Prophet: Ideologies and Institutions in Dearborn, Michigan, America's Muslim Capitol", at AmericanCity.org (Retrieved February 16, 2009)