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 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 1963 by Muhammad Jawad Chirri, who remained its director until his death in 1994. The current Imam is Iraqi-born Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini.[4]


2007 vandalism[edit]

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]

2013 hajj attack[edit]

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[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.[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 in order to help resolve their differences.[12]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]