Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 20 March 2013.Phone: 309-762-0768
Physical DescriptionThe Islamic Center of the Quad Cities currently meets in a rented office suite in Moline, Illinois. The suite is composed of three rooms--one large space for prayer and discussion and smaller spaces for a kitchen and restroom facilities. The women’s prayer area of the mosque is partitioned from the main room by a wooden screen which is often removed during meals held after Qur’an recitation or on holidays. The mosque can become quite crowded on Fridays and is not well suited to support other educational or community outreach programs. However, plans to build a new center have been steadily implemented over the past decade and the community’s new mosque, the Masjid-e-Ihsan should open within months.
HistoryThe history of Muslims in the Quad Cities area traces back about twenty years to immigrant arrivals from South Asia and the Middle East. At that time, individuals would often meet on Fridays and at other prayer times to perform salat (Muslim ritual prayer) together and discuss their shared experiences living in the Quad Cities. Eventually, two main Islamic communities formed and rented facilities in Rock Island and Moline, Illinois. These groups became the Muslim Community of the Quad Cities and the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities respectively. Though the two groups occupy different buildings and hold separate services and classes, they combine for special events or holiday celebrations and are often regarded as one community by members--revealing the large degree of interdependence and cooperation which has been present throughout the last two decades.
Masjid-e-IhsanPlans to build a proper mosque for the local Islamic community began in the late-1980s and early-1990s. At this time, the community was small but active, and its leaders envisioned the greater opportunities and group cohesiveness that a mosque could provide. With this in mind, a group of prominent area Muslims contributed money to purchase a piece of land for the future project in 1991. This important first step was followed by many years of fundraising, legal preparation, and architectural considerations before construction finally began about two years ago. Since that time, the mosque project has encountered many difficulties including contractor issues and inconsistent city inspections, but as the building committee chairman remarked, “There has been a lot of enthusiasm [in the community], but most surprising has been the patience of the members.” This patience may soon pay off as the new mosque is scheduled to open within the next few months, ending a thirteen year period in the community’s current temporary site. The new mosque will be a great improvement over the older facility and will feature educational classrooms, proper washing facilities, separate and enlarged men’s and women’s prayer halls, and a larger kitchen. Already, plans are underway to organize a “Sunday school” in the new building to help transmit the Islamic faith to the next generation, and some members are pushing for the creation of a regular accredited school (k-12) in the space. Also, its is hoped that the new mosque will serve as a venue for other community-based programs such as open houses, topical seminars, and workshops to increase public knowledge of the Islamic faith and establish a more permanent place for the group in the Quad Cities. As one interview subject optimistically pointed out, “ICQC can become a productive organization for the betterment of the Quad Cities area. It can be a resource center for area schools and colleges [and] for research on Islam and the Islamic world. It can lead many activities to support family counseling, homeless shelters, relief organizations, and healthy interfaith dialogues.”
DemographicsThe Quad Cities are a cluster of cities straddling the Mississippi River on the Iowa/Illinois border with a combined population of around 350,000. Muslims are evenly distributed throughout the metropolitan area and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Members of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities include immigrants from across the Middle East and Asia Minor, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, North Africa, and Eastern Europe as well as native born African-American and Caucasian-American Muslims. Similarly, spiritual and volunteer leadership in the community is spread fairly evenly across the ethnic spectrum. This diversity has occasionally led to internal division in the group as various members occasionally advocate regional or cultural specific versions of Islam. However, the common struggles and concerns encountered by many Muslims in the American context have also often served to solidify the group. As one community leader commented, “Any organization which is multinational and having large immigrant participation...will always [have] some cultural differences. Religious harmony has reduced some of those difficulties. The major challenge is to how to get the next generation [of children to] become involved.”
Activities and ScheduleThe Muslim Community of the Quad Cities and the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities may easily be regarded as one group with two centers which jointly attempt to provide Islamic services and activities for the entire Muslim population. Both communities are open for daily and Friday prayer sessions which are attended by those working nearby. The Moline community also sponsors a Saturday night meal and Qur’an recitation as an educational and fellowship opportunity for area Muslims. Lastly, the two mosques often hold combined holiday celebrations on feast days such as Eid Adha and Eid ul-fitr.
Interfaith ActivitiesBecause the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities still lacks a permanent structure in which they can host public events, the group has remained less active in interfaith dialogue than their Bettendorf-based counterpart, the Muslim Community of the Quad Cities. Still, the group has been active in programs run by Churches United and Bridges of Faith to help promote awareness of Islamic issues and facilitate inter-religious understanding. Additionally, the group periodically has participated in discussion sessions, community activities, and planned visits of the new mosque. Future plans include open-houses and educational visits to area schools and colleges, and it is hoped that the completion of the new mosque will make many of these initiatives more viable and fruitful--creating healthy and vibrant interfaith and intercultural dialogue in the Quad Cities.