Nebraska: $6.5M mosque to open in Omaha, where Muslim population has doubled

Source: As $6.5M mosque on Omaha’s tri-faith site prepares to open, area’s Muslim population is growing, has roughly doubled in size | Living | omaha.com

As opening day for a new Omaha mosque draws near, the area’s Muslim population is not only growing, it’s also becoming more diverse, thanks in part to an influx of refugees and newcomers looking to fill jobs in fields such as medicine and technology.

The $6.5 million mosque — part of an interfaith site near 132nd and Pacific Streets called Tri-Faith Commons — is more evidence of the Muslim community’s growing presence. The mosque’s prayer space is scheduled to open Friday, in time for the start of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. The remainder of the 15,000-square-foot, two-level mosque is set for completion by early June.

Omaha-area Muslims come from more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. Estimated at 6,000 to 7,000, the metro area’s Muslim community is roughly double the size it was two decades ago, said Lacey Studnicka of Lutheran Family Services, a nonprofit that works with refugee families of all faiths.

“They are your neighbor,’’ she said.

Omaha’s Muslim population has roots dating to the World War II era. UNO’s Yaseer said some of the first Muslims in Omaha were blacks who in the 1940s and 1950s came from Chicago for jobs at packinghouses and area farms. Starting in the 1970s, Muslims began arriving as refugees from Afghanistan and other nearby nations, he said.

Today, many Muslims come as students, and some stay and raise families, Studnicka said.

El-Refaie’s father was born in Egypt and arrived in Omaha in 1984 to study physical therapy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His father now runs a clinic in the Millard area.

El-Refaie is the imam, or religious leader, of the Millard Islamic Foundation, near 144th and Q Streets. It’s one of several mosques already established in the city.

Vic Gutman, project manager for the organization leading the interfaith effort, said it’s encouraging to see the mosque nearly completed.

The nonprofit Tri-Faith Initiative is leading the effort to have Christians, Muslims and Jews represented at the 35-acre site. Part of the Sterling Ridge retail-office-residential development, the Tri-Faith site sits on land formerly occupied by Highland Country Club golf course, more recently known as Ironwood.

Temple Israel became the first active facility of the interfaith campus when it moved into its new synagogue there in 2013.

Countryside Community Church, the Christian presence at the site, plans to start construction on a new church this summer.

Syed Mohiuddin, president of the American Muslim Institute in Omaha, said all funding for the mosque construction was raised locally from Muslim and non-Muslim sources.

Mohiuddin, a cardiologist and a professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine, said an imam has been hired for the mosque.

The new mosque became a political issue for a candidate in the District 1 race for Omaha City Council. Paul Anderson dropped out of the race in April after being rebuked by opponents and others for sponsoring a radio ad criticizing the mosque’s construction.

Anderson’s remarks in the ad and in interviews with news media were widely criticized as anti-Muslim. Anderson later said he came to regret his choice of words in the ad.

A public open house is scheduled for July 9, Mohiuddin said, to let people tour the mosque and visit with local Muslims. He said he wants the mosque to be a welcoming place for the community.

Gutman said the interfaith site will be a hallmark for the city.

“It’s gone from a concept to an unfolding reality,’’ he said. “I think it will be a point of pride for the city and we will be known for that.”


That hallmark will be a clearly marked mosque towering over the nondescript Jewish temple and a “community church.” See the pictures here:

The mosque

The temple

The church – built on Hell’s Creek

17 thoughts on “Nebraska: $6.5M mosque to open in Omaha, where Muslim population has doubled

  1. It seems to me that there is no stopping this tsunami. The churches in America are welcoming this Trojan horse with open arms, even celebrating it. The day will come when everyone will be forced to apply sharia law to their lives. When that day comes there will be a “wailing and gnashing of teeth” and nobody to blame but themselves. The problem is…we, the non-denominational Christians who are trying to prevent this onslaught, have to put up with the bullshit results.

    I don’t know of any solutions. I’ve run out of ideas.

  2. Arish u r a coward hindu like Haji Mulla Modi ,follow me and call Gandhi and Bose traitors country divider change all muslim names of roads etc to hindu names stop building statues make Ram temple make India Hindu Rashtra then only u can talk of Naraska etc criticize SC justice Greensburg ,shud be removed and punished –so only lip service won’t do make me your leader and don’t project only your family and kick out People like Rajiv Malhotra and Sudhir Parekh and Chatwal then only u can succeed or like Britain France and others wait your turn to be victim of muslims

  3. Sharia law or any law will not harm you and cannot do any thing but u don’t know Hindi u r a weak Gujarati want to shelter Dalailama who wants only free lunch u did not take Bangla desh back in 1971 Sikhs are not discarding turbans and hair and want their religion to be wiped out so mend your house fence before talking sharia

    • They’re not happy in Gaza.
      They’re not happy in Egypt.
      They’re not happy in Libya.
      They’re not happy in Morocco.
      They’re not happy in Iran.
      They’re not happy in Iraq.
      They’re not happy in Yemen.
      They’re not happy in Afghanistan.
      They’re not happy in Pakistan.
      They’re not happy in Syria.
      They’re not happy in Lebanon.
      They’re not happy in Indonesia.

      So, where are they happy?

      They’re happy in Australia.
      They’re happy in England.
      They’re happy in France.
      They’re happy in Italy.
      They’re happy in Germany.
      They’re happy in Sweden.
      They’re happy in the USA.
      They’re happy in Norway.

      They’re happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!
      “Doing the same thing over and over again coming out with the same results is the definition of Insanity.”
      Albert Einstein.

      • Democrats also leave cities with failed liberal policies after taxing and regulating to death, only to implement those same failed policies elsewhere. Cancer is cancer, no matter the name.

  4. I was living in Omaha 8 years. A handful of people and I worked diligently to educate citizens and elected officials of the potential problems with the Trial-Faith Center. I left 4 years ago and someone else took over the work. I have a file of research which I would gladly share with you should you have a desire to know.

  5. Muslims hate Americans. If you think these people like you, you’re only fooling yourself. These people will kill you in an instant.

    • the answer is in the article…

      “all funding for the mosque construction was raised locally from Muslim and non-Muslim sources”

      • Yeah, maybe so, but where, oh where, do those “locals” connect in order to raise the millions required for this kind of a citadel of SATAN??? We all know this kind of money doesn’t exist within the “local population”–especially the immigrant population! It goes w/o saying that Omaha might just as well change it’s name to Omahastan….. and Lacey Studnicka of Lutheran Family Services, might just as well don a full-length burqa! She is nothing but a traitor to her own people!!!

  6. Thank LUTHERIN SOCIAL SERVICES for destroying Nebraska,northdakota,minnesota all for money they sold out their own country by bringing this heathen muslim trash here how pathetic are they.

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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