Rox Mosque Opening Seen As 'Welcome' to Hub Muslims

July 2, 2009

Author: Reynolds D. Graves

Source: The Bay State Banner

Area residents of various religious backgrounds gathered in Roxbury last weekend to celebrate the inauguration of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), an event that Mayor Thomas M. Menino said was not only the ceremonial opening of a building that has been in use for months, but also an official welcome of the Muslim community to Boston.

“I want to welcome them to our city — they are a growing part of our city,” Menino said during last Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the center’s Malcolm X Boulevard home. “We can’t be a city that separates oursel ves, we have to be a city that builds bridges and that’s what we are doing today.”

The mayor and the other elected officials expressed excitement for what many in attendance last Friday repeatedly referred to as a cultural center — not just a mosque.

Already labeled as the largest center of its kind in the New England area, the ISBCC plans to emphasize education as well as provide a broad range of social services to both the local Muslim and non-Muslim communities.