Islamic Center of America

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Islamic Center of America
Islamic Center of America.jpg
Islamic Center of America is located in USA
Islamic Center of America
Location in the USA
Basic information
Location Dearborn, Michigan
Geographic coordinates 42°19′48″N 83°13′47″W / 42.329965°N 83.229761°W / 42.329965; -83.229761Coordinates: 42°19′48″N 83°13′47″W / 42.329965°N 83.229761°W / 42.329965; -83.229761
Affiliation Shia Islam
Year consecrated 1964
Architectural description
Architect(s) David Donnellon
Architectural type Islamic architecture
Construction cost $14 million
Dome height (outer) 150-feet
Minaret(s) 2
Minaret height 10 stories tall

The Islamic Center of America (Arabic: المركز الإسلامي في اميركا[1]) is a Shia mosque located in Dearborn, Michigan. Although the institution dates back to 1964, the new mosque on Ford Road in Dearborn opened in 2005. It is the largest mosque in North America[2][3] and the oldest Shia mosque in the United States.[4] With its large Shia Arab population (consisting mostly of Lebanese), Dearborn is often called the "heart of Shiism" in the United States.[5][6]

The Islamic Center of America is located at 19500 Ford Road in Dearborn. The institution was founded in 1962 by Muhammad Jawad Chirri, who remained its director until his death in 1994.


2007 vandalism[edit]

Images of Vandalization

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.[7]

2011 mosque bombing plot[edit]

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,[8] and had a history of mental illness and firearms offenses.[9]

Pastor Terry Jones rally[edit]

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.[10][11]

2015 resignation of Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini[edit]

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, all of which was disputed by the Board of the Islamic Center. Members of the Board accused Al-Qazwini of diverting community funds and conspiring to take over control of the Mosque. After resigning publicly during a Friday Prayer he stated he would only return if the Board resigned and only the founders allowed to stay on.[12] Al-Qazwini, of Iraqi descent, also accused the board of wanting to limit the mosque membership to Lebanese-Americans.[12] Al-Qazwini was suspended for two months in February by the board because of the continuing conflict and in order to help resolve their differences.[12]

Muslim American Youth Academy[edit]

The mosque operates the Muslim American Youth Academy (MAYA), an Islamic elementary and middle school.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "logo.png." Islamic Center of America. Retrieved on October 27, 2012.
  2. ^ New Dearborn mosque to be the nation's largest. Michigan Daily, January 7, 2004. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Islam's US faithful are happy to embrace the American dream, Daily Telegraph, July 23, 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  4. ^ The Doha Debates: Bio for Imam Sayid Hassan Al-Qazwini retrieved February 12, 2012
  5. ^ Victoria Advocate: "American Shias struggle with their future" July 25, 2009
  6. ^ Daily Telegraph: "Islam's US faithful are happy to embrace the American dream July 23, 2005
  7. ^ New York Times: "Iraq’s Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Split in U.S." February 4, 2007 By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
  8. ^ "Mosque plot suspect rejects first appointed counsel, calls lawyer 'Shi'ite'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mosque plot suspect planted bomb in airport in ‘85". Washington Times. February 2, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ Dearborn Press and Guide: "Terry Jones to be here again on Friday" April 26, 2011
  11. ^ Dahoui-Charara, Mariam (April 21, 2011). "Hundreds Stand Together for Peace at Dearborn's Islamic Center". Patch Media (Dearborn, MI). Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Warikoo, Niraj. "Longtime leader of Dearborn mosque leaves amid split" (Archive). Detroit Free Press. June 6, 2015. Retrieved on November 1, 2015.
  13. ^ "Home." Muslim American Youth Academy. Retrieved on November 1, 2015. Address is "19500 Ford Road, Dearborn, MI 48128, United States"

External links[edit]

  • The Islamic Center of America
  • "In the Way of the Prophet: Ideologies and Institutions in Dearborn, Michigan, America's Muslim Capitol", at (Retrieved February 16, 2009)