AL-ISLAH JAME MASJID was founded in 2000 by Bangladeshi immigrants, most of them followers of Allama Abdul Latif Chowdhury (Fultholi). The first Bangladeshi mosque in Hamtramck, the masjid moved to its current home, a renovated medical clinic, in 2001. The group plans to renovate the building next door and establish a madrasa (religious school) there. Al-Islah attracted international media attention in 2004 when they tried to broadcast the idhan (call to prayer) from a loudspeaker outside the mosque. While the idhan is freely broadcast in Dearborn and Detroit, many Hamtramck residents objected to the practice, and the Al-Islah leadership found itself embroiled in an election year battle with the City Council. The matter was resolved in a special, citywide referendum, which Al-Islah won handily.
The ALBANIAN ISLAMIC CENTER, built in Harper Woods in 1963, boasts a distinctive, Balkan-style dome and minaret. With a prayer area, offices, large social hall, classrooms, and kitchen, the mosque serves an old Albanian American community (already well established in the 1940s) and newly arrived immigrants from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and other countries. The center provides weekend religious instruction in Arabic, Albanian, and English along with other educational and service programs. The Albanian Islamic Center is open to Muslims from all ethnic backgrounds, but immigrants from Europe and their descendents form its core membership. The mosque is unusual for its location in Detroit’s eastern suburbs.
The ISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA traces its origins to the 1950s, when a group of young Lebanese Americans asked Imam Mohamad Jawad Chirri to help them establish Michigan’s first, purpose-built Shi`i mosque. The Center dedicated their original building on Joy Road in Detroit in 1963. The community has thrived over the years, and this prosperity is visible in their new facility on Ford Road in Dearborn, which opened in 2005. In 1997, the center established a primary school, the Muslim American Youth Academy. Their new mosque, at 120,000 square feet in size, is much grander than the original structure, yet both facilities have large social spaces that can accommodate huge crowds for special events and holiday observances.