DEARBORN, Mich. -- Thirteen years of fund-raising and five years of bricks-and-mortar work have doubled the size of the oldest mosque in Michigan. The $1.8 million expansion of the American Moslem Society will be celebrated Friday. Gov. Jennifer Granholm. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido and other officials and dignitaries are expected to attend, joining Detroit-area Muslims who trace their roots to Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and other countries. "Everyone is accepted, here," Mahdi Ali, president of the society, told The Detroit News for a Wednesday story. "Please tell people that even if you are not Muslim, please come here on any day. And if you are just curious about Islam, come and sit in the new library and read our books in Arabic and English and Spanish for Muslims and non-Muslims and watch some of our videos.
"You can come and read whatever you want to read, whatever interests you." Besides the mosque, the complex includes the library and media room, new conference rooms, 16 classrooms that teach 600 students and a new activities room that can hold 300 people. Some of the first Muslim families to immigrate to metropolitan Detroit established the mosque in 1924 in Highland Park, where many of them worked on the Ford Model T assembly lines. Henry Ford later moved his car-making operations to the River Rouge plant in Dearborn and the mosque was re-established there in 1937. (MORE)