New Castle Mosque Plans Proposed

June 2, 2006

Source: The Journal News

On June 2, 2006 The Journal News reported, "A decade-old Muslim group mostly made up of professionals and young families from northern Westchester has proposed building a mosque and community center on Pines Bridge Road in town. The Upper Westchester Muslim Society plans to construct a new building that would include a prayer hall, a weekend school for children, a library, a youth center and a conference center. The group bought 8.3 acres in 2004 for just over $1 million... The Muslim society has been meeting in a rented space in a Thornwood shopping center, but has been planning to build a community center since the group's inception in 1997. 'Our needs are no different than any other religious community's needs,' said Anees Shaikh of Yorktown, a researcher for IBM and the society's vice president. 'I think that you'll find that the facilities we hope to provide are also very similar. We've rented a small space for some time, and the needs of our community have long outgrown it.' About 35 families make up the society's membership. It is a diverse, multiethnic group, including American-born and naturalized citizens, and immigrants from several nations. Many members work in medicine and the sciences. The group recently submitted its plans to New Castle. Its representatives appeared this week before the town Zoning Board of Appeals. Shaikh said the project would require a special use permit. Town Supervisor Janet Wells could not be reached yesterday. If approved, construction would begin after the process is complete, Shaikh said. The project would cost several million dollars, he said. Funding would come only from donations by Muslim society members and other Muslims in the region."

See also: Islam, Statistics, Zoning