(ST. PAUL, MN, 6/16/08) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on American Muslims to help repair damage to one of the first mosques in America caused by recent flooding in Iowa.
The Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids, completed in 1934, was one of the first permanent structures built specifically to serve as a mosque in the United States. The mosque had recently completed a renovation project.
Documents inside the mosque, including photographs of American Muslim immigrants from the early 1900s, were destroyed by the flood waters.
“The mosque has been visited by people from all over the country,” said Imam Taha Tawil, Director of the Mother Mosque of America. “It is part of the American Muslim identity.”
CAIR-MN is asking Muslims to donate to help restore the mosque and to assist flood victims of all faiths throughout the region.
The Mother Mosque is listed on both the Iowa State Historical Register and the National Register of Historic Places as an “essential piece of American religious history, which symbolizes tolerance and acceptance of Islam and Muslims in the United States.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Board Chair Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, email@example.com