Published: September 2, 2008For many Charlottesville-area Muslims, the anticipation of a new mosque in Fifeville will be partly relieved today with the building’s groundbreaking.
“God willing it’ll happen,” said Shamual Choudhury, chairman of the mosque’s building committee and a 1998 University of Virginia graduate. “We’ve been waiting a long time.”
The new mosque and study center for the Islamic Society of Central Virginia, to be located on Pine Street in Charlottesville, has been in the works for several years, its necessity pushed along by the city’s burgeoning Muslim population. In 2000, the society purchased the site for the mosque. Currently, the group uses a white, two-floor house on 10 1/2 Street that it received as a donation.
“What we have now is a 100-plus-year-old house that is very limited in its space,” said Emaad Abdel-Rahman, a Charlottesville resident and society member.
During Friday prayers just after 1 p.m. last week — two days before Ramadan began — more than 40 men and 20 women packed into the aging house’s first- and second-floor rooms. With sitting rows designated by duct tape on the green-carpeted floor, space was scarce as attendees bowed to the ground together in prayer. After the service, dozens edged outside the house’s doors
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