Political and religious leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the coming of a new worship center in the north end of town.
Imam Faiz Shah and about 200 others gathered with Mayor Mark Nuaimi and members of the City Council to break ground on land at Sierra and Miller avenues where the Building of the Masjid - a 6,000-square-foot mosque for the city's 70 Muslim families - will stand.
The mosque, designed to stand 28 feet high, with a 7-foot dome and a 47-foot minaret out front, will enable families to stay in town for public worship rather than travel to facilities in San Bernardino or Rancho Cucamonga. . .
Shah, a native of Pakistan who moved to the city from Arcadia five years ago, said he instantly saw a need for a mosque when he first came to town with several other young Muslim families.
"We pray five times a day. That's why it's important to have your own mosque," he said. "When I first got here, I had to drive 10 miles to pray. I thought, 'Man, that's tough."'
Nuaimi gave a brief speech before breaking ground.
"When you look at the strength of America, it's our ability to support faith-based organizations," he said. "I think the facility will be a blessing not only to your friends and family, but your neighbors who come here." Construction could begin as early as late June. (MORE)