Canopy's Rise Signals End of Mosque's Plight

June 10, 2007

Author: Brian R. Ballou

Source: The Boston Globe

As a crane hoisted a 5,000-pound, copper canopy toward the top of a red brick tower in Roxbury yesterday afternoon, thousands of area Muslims looked upward, some with tears running down their cheeks.

"This is the moment we have been waiting for for two decades," yelled Yousef Abou-Allaban, chairman of the Islamic Society of Boston .

In the crowd of several thousand, many people held up cellphones and cameras to snap pictures of the topping-off.

Traffic on nearby Malcolm X Boulevard came to a stop. The top, adorned with an American flag waving in the cool breeze, was finally set in place at 1 p.m.

The capping of a mosque's minaret has special significance in Islam, signaling that the building is completed, said Abou-Allaban. But the capping of the 140-foot tower at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center had even more significance for local Muslims because of the controversies that had dogged the project.