"Muslim History in U.S. Full of Surprises," a Commentary by Gregory Kane

May 19, 2007

Author: Gregory Kane

Source: The Baltimore Sun


Where was one of the first mosques in the United States located?

You might think somewhere in Michigan, with its large Arab-American population. Or maybe cosmopolitan places like New York City or Chicago. You'd be wrong in all three cases. But in searching for the answer, you'd get steaming hot, if you thought of a place that gets very cold.

Some sources say the answer is the town of Ross, in the unlikely state of North Dakota. The mosque there opened in 1929. But others say two mosques opened in Maine and Connecticut as early as 1915. One of the oldest mosques still in existence -- it opened in 1934 -- is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The "Islam in America" exhibit currently on display at the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore, in the 3400 block of W. North Ave., gives a surprising history lesson about Muslims in our country. But people need to act quickly if they want to see it: The exhibit is on display from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and tomorrow. After that, it moves to other venues.