Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 16 March 2005.
HistoryThere has been a Muslim community in the Clemson area since the early 1970s. The group celebrated weekly prayers together, and people from Anderson and Greenville would come to Clemson to celebrate the major holidays before the mosque in Greenville was constructed. Initially, the Muslim group of the 1970s was loosely organized. In 1988, the group became more organized as the MSA of Clemson University was formalized. In 1995, the group began renting a house behind the Ramada Inn to serve as a mosque. One member, Kamaal, noted that close bonds of friendship were formed at this time. Students would meet at the mosque each day for prayer and became more deeply connected over time. This changed somewhat in 1997 when the group decided not to rent the house in order to save money to purchase land. They hoped to begin building a permanent mosque.
Since that time, the group gathered once a week at the YMCA for juma'a prayers. On July 17, 1998, the MSA bought land for the purpose of building a mosque, and they had hoped to open the building within a year. In the spring of 2000, the group bulldozed and leveled the ground to begin building. The group had been looking for another building, but there were some problems with the city. Another group managed to buy the building. Some of the MSA members felt the city had shown prejudice against the Muslim group and invited a news reporter to investigate. In the long run, a mosque was built and the majority of the MSA was content to move forward.
DemographicsApproximately a hundred students are members of the Muslim Student Association, but the population of the group is constantly fluctuating, as Clemson students are continually enrolling while others graduate each year. The majority of the group is college students. However, approximately thirty families are also part of the Muslim community at Clemson. Kamaal mentioned that there are more Muslims in Clemson that do not come to juma'a prayers than Muslims that do come. By looking at the student directory and traditionally 'Muslim' names, he estimates around two hundred more Muslims live in the area and would be welcome to attend prayers.
Juma'a prayers are performed in both Arabic and English, although about sixty percent of the student group are Turkish (the government of Turkey sponsors several students to come to Clemson each year). Other major languages spoken are Urdu and Hindi. However, there are many other languages spoken, since there are so many different ethnic groups.
The group is composed of both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. The ages in the group range from five to seventy-five.