American Muslim Center .

21110 Outer Drive
MI 48124

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History: The American Muslim Center, located in West Dearborn, was established in 2002 and is led by Imam Mohammad Mardini. The AMC is made up of a core of Lebanese Muslim families, many of them second and third generation Americans. Muslims of other nationalities, especially South Asians, also pray at the AMC, largely because it is a short distance from several Ford Motor Company facilities where many immigrant Muslims are employed. Many of the AMC's members are the children and grandchildren of Lebanese immigrants who prayed at the Highland Park Mosque, which was established in 1921 and was the first mosque in the Detroit area. This continuity is an important aspect of the AMC's profile.

Description: The building was formerly a Protestant church. The pews have been removed, and the sanctuary is now an open prayer space. Imam Mardini preaches from what was once the rear of the church; the elevated "front" of the sanctuary, once site of the pulpit and communion table, is now a space reserved for women. An area for washing before prayers has been installed downstairs, where a social hall and classrooms are also being built. The renovation and adornment of the AMC have produced a beautiful interior that reflects, in its design, a heightened awareness of the mosque's location in America. The bright green and yellow wall paintings include Qur’anic inscriptions in Arabic and English translation. Imam Mardini preaches in English as well, and he recites the Qur'an in both Arabic and English. Plans for additional modifications to the building -- which, from the outside, still looks very much like a church -- are now being considered.