PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) – The golden dome of Greater Toledo’s Islamic Center, visible from I-75, is a familiar place to many of us in northwest Ohio. But now the mosque and its shimmering roof are attracting national attention.
The building was recently featured in The Muslim Vibe as one of the most impressive mosques in North America. The Muslim Vibe is an online media site for young Muslims.
“I have a vested interest, and that interest is spiritual. I get tremendous strength from this place and the people who come to this place, ”says Dr. Ajmad Hussain, a founding member of the center.
The center was completed in 1982.
“The vision was to have a center that would be at the forefront of interreligious dialogue and also integrate itself into the community as a whole,” says Hussain.
The building was designed by Talat Itil in a traditional Turkish-Islamic design. The style is characterized by simplicity, symmetry and thin minarets. But the Perrysburg building has its own flair. Stained glass windows are rare in mosques, and the center is full of them. Even the bathroom is splattered with rainbow-colored sun rays shining through the colored glass.
Despite his love for the building, Hussain says there is a lot more that makes the center a special place.
“The bricks and mortar are only part of the story. It is the traditions that we establish in this mosque that make us so unique, ”says Hussain.
The community has a tradition of breaking barriers. She appointed one of the first female mosque presidents in US Islamic history. They only have one prayer room where men and women pray together. The mosque also keeps its doors open outside of the Islamic faith.
“We accept people of other faiths, we do not tolerate them. Because tolerate is a negative term. But we accept, ”says Hussain.
The Islamic Center was originally located on Bancroft in Toledo. This mosque was built in the 1950s and is still standing. It was one of the first mosques in the United States.
Copyright 2021 WTVG. All rights reserved.