Congregation Places Faith
in $2 Million Mosque Project
By Kelly Rush
Left to right:
Mayor Bill Alexander, Dr. Shoaib Patail, Shakeel Syed
and Dr. Samiullah
Cucamonga: To Shoaib Patail, a mosque being built by the Islamic
Center of Inland Empire represents a new beginning marked
by a community involvement, shared values and charitable work.
To member Diana Shaibi, who teaches a Sunday school course
for youth, the mosque and its large classrooms means she won’t
have to teach in a kitchen anymore.
Members of the center and various community representatives
celebrated the beginning of the mosque’s construction
in a ceremony on Friday at the site, 9212 Base Line Road.
“If there’s anybody who’s looking forward
to the new center, it is me,” Shaibi joked after the
Patail, project manager and a member of the center’s
board of trustees, said he’s hopeful the $2 million,
12,900-square-foot building will be completed within a year.
Members currently worship in a small home on the property,
which they long outgrew, he said.
The community came to embrace the project, despite initial
trepidation by neighbors. Patail said the center’s members
held meeting for the community and built a sound wall around
the property to assuage concerns.
Marvin Brandt, a resident who attended the reception, said
neighbors overall have been positive about the project.
of the ground-breaking ceremony
the ceremony, Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Anaheim-based
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said the center
should be a place where positive relationships among all faith
groups are fostered.
“This house of God must embrace all people, it must
also be a sanctuary to all people,” he said.
The center not only will be a place of worship for the Muslim
community, but a place for community events, including interfaith
meetings, educational lectures on the peaceful message of
Islam and after-school activities for children, said Shahana
Samiullah, principal of the Sunday school.
“Everybody has found themselves mobilized, with a renewed
sense of energy,” she said. “We are all very excited,
especially our youth, the generation who wants to see this
The Rev. Patrick Kirsch of St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic
Church in Rancho Cucamonga, said Christian and Muslim communities,
as well as other faiths, can live in harmony with one another.
“Our presence (at the reception) speaks to the need
to come together,” he said.
The center has been built in phases. From 2002-03, the property
was cleaned and graded, parking was added and the sound wall
was built. Remodeling of the existing building also was begun.
In 2004, more parking was added and the main building was
approved by the city. The mosque will feature two minarets,
a dome and cathedral ceiling, as well as a state-of-the-art
library, multipurpose rooms, patios and a main prayer hall.
(Courtesy Dailybulletin.com, Ontario, CA)