After three years of construction and fundraising, the Islamic Circle of North America inaugurated its new house of worship in Greater Alexandria on Saturday afternoon.
The new two-story mosque, which opened in mid-December, replaces the house purchased by ICNA and the Muslim community in 2000. That house was used as a house of worship for a decade. The mosque will host five daily prayers, two annual Muslim festival prayers, Ramadan prayers, weekly Qur’an study, and youth activities. The main goal of the ICNA Northern Virginia Chapter is to reach out to the non-Muslim neighbors, including those in the local faith community.
“I thought it went better than planned,” ICNA VA President Rameez Abid said. “It brought everyone together and people shared their experiences. I thought that was wonderful.”
Virginia Delgate Scott Surovell (D-44th District) and members of Ventures in Community attended Saturday’s inauguration ceremony. Del. Surovell told attendees that the Mount Vernon community is emblematic of many cultural changes in Virginia.
“I appreciate you all being here,” Surovell told ICNA members. “I know it’s been a long fight, a hard fight, but you got it done.”
During construction the Northern Virginia chapter of ICNA has worshipped at local venues including Good Shepherd Catholic Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and at Aldersgate United Methodist Church over the last few years. Aldersgate UMC pastor Rev. Dennis Perry appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2011 to explain his decision to allow the ICNA to worship in their space. Those three houses of worship were commended by ICNA for their assistance during Saturday’s inauguration ceremony.
“We pray that our religious organization will be able to continue to work in serving the needs of our members, as well as the poor and the general community in Fairfax County for many more years to come,” read a statement issued from ICNA VA.
The mosque is located at 2913 Woodlawn Trail. For more information, visit www.icnava.org.