NY: MUSLIMS AND MOSQUES ARE PUTTING DOWN ROOTS
The mosque, a converted funeral home, is so small it can't accommodate worshipers for the best-attended prayers of the week. On Fridays, they pray in the basement of a nearby college athletic center instead.
They also borrow space for marriage ceremonies. And interfaith meetings. And holidays.
"It's time the community gets its own place," said Abdulkadir Elmi, a trustee and ex-president of Troy's Masjid al-Hidaya.
That should start to happen at the end of this month, with a groundbreaking expected for a proper mosque with a dome and two minarets on more than 12 acres in Latham.
It's a small story about one mosque, but it also reflects a bigger picture of Muslim growth in the area, where you can still count all the mosques on one hand.
Al-Hidaya leaders estimate that up to 6,000 Muslims now live in the Capital Region. That's perhaps double the population 20 years ago, though the numbers are only rough estimates based on holiday mosque attendance.