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After spending more than 15 years worshiping in an old building people were out growing the congregation of the Islamic Society of Central Virginia broke ground for a new community center Wednesday afternoon.

“Whenever we have Friday prayers everybody is always squished we often have to kind of come out into the sidewalks to get people to fit,” said Irteza Binte-Farid, Attends Islamic Center.

“I think it’s a reflection of the increase in diversity in the community. For a while Muslims haven’t had an adequate space in which to worship,” said Susan Donovan, International Rescue Committee.

After much fundraising they’re giving up their current location and breaking ground for a brand new community center.

“We are part of the community we want to expand our role and be as involved as we can in bringing social justice, In bringing opportunities for those less fortunate, and brining opportunities for our students and the young at home,” said Khan Hassan Board Member.

Without this new building, officials say they won’t be able to expand their community programs or congregation.

Mayor Dave Norris says the new center will be the first of its kind in the area and will be an asset to the community.

“This is a city of very rich religious diversity and tolerance. They’ve had a small facility and the fact that they’re now growing into a larger home bodes well for the health of our religious community here in Charlottesville,” said Dave Norris, Mayor, City of Charlottesville. (MORE)


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