Another church becomes a mosque in America.
Paducah’s Muslim families now have a local center for worship after moving into a vacant church.
The Islamic Center of Paducah started hosting prayer services earlier this year at its new Berger Road location.
President of the Islamic Center’s Board Amna Ali says the group bought the vacant church in January 2014 and is now nearly finished with renovations.
“It is almost completed, it’s just a matter of small, electrical areas to be finished now,” said Ali. “Basically all the remodeling and all the areas that needed immediate attention have been covered so far.”
Ali says the remodeling included removing the pews to convert the main room into a prayer hall.
“It involves all the basic needs according to every need that a mosque has,” said Ali. “We have to fulfill those requirements. We have a washing area that people can come and make wu’du and just go into that area and we perform a salat.”
Ali says the Center strongly supports interfaith dialog and is planning Islam-education outreach activities to the Paducah community.
“That is my dream because I’ve lived here and I always tried to expose my children to all kind of religion. So I would definitely be having that facility to grow and we welcome all of our friends, community members to come and participate.”
Ali says she’s seen nothing but support and compassion from the surrounding community throughout the move-in and renovation process.“
They knew me already because I have been in Paducah for fifteen years and my children are in the school system and we just basically do what every average American Muslim family does,” said Ali. “And I’ve never had any negativism. I am very blessed.” About 13 Muslim families are actively involved in prayer services each week and about 25 kids attend Sunday school services. Ali says without the Paducah Center, families would drive to Carbondale, Bowling Green or Owensboro to attend a service.