Gift Shows Chicago Muslims' City Ties

Chicago: A Chicago-area mosque hopes the creation of a new public garden next to the Adler Planetarium will help bolster the image of Muslims as a community engaged in the city's future.
Members of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview donated about $100,000 for the development of the 1-acre garden along the lake. Bushes, trees, perennials and a bronze plaque, which depicts a 1791 astronomer's astrolabe in Iraq, have replaced the sod and barbecue grills that were there last year.
Last Monday members of the mosque, including its leader, Imam Jamal Said, and his wife, Aisheh, a vice president of the mosque board, joined Mayor Richard Daley and Parks Supdt. Tim Mitchell at the garden for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The project was the idea of Muslim businessman Talat Othman, who turned to the Mosque Foundation about two years ago to help fund the garden.
"I thought we needed to show something that's visible," he said. "This will alleviate the perception of Muslims that they are only concerned about themselves. It will also allow other Muslim groups to emulate and contribute to society in a way that they have not done in the past."


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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