Muslims Grateful for Northland’s Only Mosque

September 29, 2008

Author: Linda Hanson

Source: Duluth News Tribune

As dusk settled over Duluth on Friday, a stream of people made their way into the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports to break their daylong fast during Ramadan, pray and share a feast.

More than 100 Muslims crowded into the center’s fellowship hall. They munched on figs (a traditional fruit for breaking the fast) and greeted each other warmly.

“This is like our second home,” Ahmed Maamoun of Superior, who is originally from Egypt, said about the Islamic Center. Zubaida Maqsood, 1, munches on bread while sitting with her father, Babar Maqsood of Duluth. They were at a fundraising dinner at the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports on Friday.

Sunday marked one year since the Islamic community bought the former Unitarian Universalist church in Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood. It’s the only mosque in the Northland. Before buying the church, local Muslims rented space for gatherings on special occasions.

The Islamic Center now bustles with activity, including Friday prayers and discussions, potluck dinners and religious education classes for children. Muslims pray five times a day, and some Muslims go to the center daily to do some of those prayers.