Mother Mosque of America
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Nearly 60 immigrants from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the 1930s when they decided to raise money for a mosque.

With the help of community fund-raising dinners and donations from other Muslims around the country, they dedicated their modest Islamic house of worship on June 16, 1934. As the community grew, a larger mosque, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids, was built in 1971, and the building was sold. But in 1990, the Islamic Council of Iowa purchased and restored it.

The site is known as the "Mother Mosque of America," because it is the oldest purpose-built mosque still in use. As of 2016, the estimated Muslim population in Iowa ranged between 50,000 to 70,000.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Islamic


Mother Mosque of America- Wikimedia Commons- photo by ArtisticAbode (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Lippy, Charles, and Peter Williams, 2010. Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Web Source(s)
The Mother Mosque of America
The Pluralism Project, Harvard University, "Early American Mosques"
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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