Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.Phone: 504-361-9659
DescriptionMasjid Bilal stands beneath the shadow of the metal framework of the Crescent City Connection, the bridge which connects Algiers and other West Bank communities to the main sections of New Orleans. Located in a working class section of Algiers, the mosque is located on the corner of Teche and Socrates streets, on the same block as All Saints Catholic Church. One member noted that the Church has its parish center across the street from the mosque and that they feel quite comfortable with their neighbor. The mosque has the structure of an old corner store with the prayer room at ground level and other rooms elevated a few feet to protect from potential flood waters. The prayer room has double doors in the corner which are not used. The mosque's entrance is along the side of the building; entering puts one in an anteroom which leads two a general purpose room. At the back of that one turns left and descends a few steps into the main prayer hall. To the right of the entry rooms is an office and a rest room. The walls of general purpose room are covered with announcements, sign-up sheets, schedules and a chart with the full alphabet in Arabic.
Activities and ScheduleEvery sunday morning the congregation meets for prayer and religious instruction. The mosque holds Qur'anic studies on Tuesday night and business meetings on monday nights. The first Saturday of each month the mosque hosts a Family Night involving socializing, games, storytelling, jokes and impromptu skits. An African brother named Mamane Garba from Niger teaches a beginning Arabic class; intermediate and advanced students go to Masjid ur-Raheem. In July of 2004 the mosque will host a mother-daughter social on a saturday evening. In addition, many members of the congregation have made the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
HistoryIn 1987 members of the Masjid Bilal community purchased a building in the 700 block of Teche St. Prior to that they had worshipped at Masjid al-Islam on Magnolia St. in Uptown New Orleans, requiring a commute that included crossing the Mississippi River on the Crescent City Connection. Members named the mosque 'Bilal' since he was an Ethiopian slave who became a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad. When the mosque was founded in 1987 there were about 75-100 students involved in an Islamic studies program that was involved in outreach activities. The community has also grown from those members of Masjid ur-Raheem on Johnson St. who have moved to the West Bank. In 1991 the present building was acquired which currently serves about 20 families in Algiers.
DemographicsThe mosque's congregation is predominently African American.
Location and Directions1. Cross the Mississippi River on the Crescent City Connection (=US 90 West)
2. Follow General de Gaulle Drive (west) by taking exit 428 (Stay to the right when the lanes split.)
3. Go 0.4 miles and turn right on Whitney Ave. Follow it for 0.5 miles
4. Turn left on Mardi Gras Blvd.
5. Turn right on Teche St. and proceed 0.2 miles. The mosque is on the left side, just after you pass All Saints Catholic Church.