Islamic Center of Greater Toledo recognized as one of North America’s most “stunning” mosques
PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - The golden dome of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, visible for I-75 , is a familiar site of many of us in Northwest Ohio. But now the mosque, and its shimmering roof, are getting national attention.
The buiding was recently featured in The Muslim Vibe, as one of the most stunning 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 an enormous amount of strength from this place and the people who come to a 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 which would be at the forefront of interfaith dialogue and also to integrate with the community at large,” says Hussain.
The building was designed by Talat Itil in the traditional Turkish Islamic design. The style is marked by simplicity, symmetry, and thin minarets. But the Perrysburg building has its own unique flair. Stained glass windows are rare in mosques, and the center is full of them. Even the bathroom is splashed with rainbow rays of sun shinning through the colored glass.
Despite his love of the building, Hussain says that there is a lot more that makes the center a special place.
“The brick and mortar is only part of the story. It is the traditions that we establish in this mosque that makes us very unique,” says Hussain.
The community has a tradition of breaking barriers. It 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 to those outside of the Islamic faith.
“We accept people of other faiths, we don’t tolerate them. Because tolerate is a negative term. But we accept,” says Hussain.
The Islamic Center was originally located on Bancroft in Toledo. That mosque was built in the 1950′s and still stands. It was one of the first mosques in the United States.
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