First Islamic School in R.I. Buys Parish Buildings

December 15, 2008

Author: Paul Edward Parker

Source: The Providence Journal

Rhode Island’s Islamic community paused yesterday afternoon to mark a milestone: the purchase of a former Catholic school and adjacent gymnasium building to serve as an Islamic elementary and middle school.

The Islamic School of Rhode Island — the state’s first and only — had been renting space from Sacred Heart Church for the last five years. But, on Nov. 19, the Islamic School bought Sacred Heart’s former school and gym for $750,000.

Yesterday, the school held a dinner in the gym to celebrate the purchase. Among the guests was the Rev. Richard A. Bucci, pastor of Sacred Heart, which extended an interest-free mortgage to the school.

Before renting from Sacred Heart, Rhode Island Muslims had to send their children to an Islamic school in Sharon, Mass., or to secular schools in the Ocean State.

But leaders of the Islamic community, including Mohamed Abdul Rahman, Nasser Zawia, Jennifer Ead and Nieema Nurrideen, wanted to bring the state’s Muslims together in a way that would focus on their faith, according to Dr. Amjad Kinjawi, a dentist in Franklin, Mass., who is president of the school’s board of trustees.

See also: Islam, Schools