Islamic Community in Boston to Build Large Center

May 18, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 18, 1999, The Boston Globe published an article on the new Islamic Institute of Boston, a planned 60,00-square-foot facility that is expected to open late next year on city-owned property next to Roxbury Community College. The Islamic Society of Boston has been using a mosque in Cambridge for the past four years, but soon it became inadequate for the growing Muslim population in Boston. The Muslim population in Massachusetts has been estimated at 40-50,000, which is about double that of 20 years ago. Dr. Muhammad Attawia, acting director of the Islamic society of Boston, expressed the overcrowded situation of the current mosque: "We've had people praying in the rain, the snow, and in the hot sun. Inside, we have people praying in the stairwells, in the corridors, everywhere. That's why we need this new institute." The new complex is slated to cost $7-8 million, with financing provided by the United Bank of Kuwait, and will include a school, library, and prayer hall that can accommodate as many as 1,700 worshipers. Attawia stressed that the Islamic Society of Boston wants the new facility "to be a resource to the community so it can learn more about Islam. We want to share this center with everybody."