Atlanta’s biggest mosque opens

* Another (Islamic)  milestone in the dar-al harb, in what Muslims perceive to be behind enemy lines:

Dignitaries tour Al-Farooq Masjid

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Al-Farooq Masjid, Atlanta’s largest mosque, opened its doors on 14th Street N.W. on Sunday, proudly showing off to invited guests the $10 million edifice with it 65-foot-high dome over the main prayer hall.

“It’s with a sense of humbleness and gratitude toward God Almighty that he has allowed us to see the completion of this mosque,” said Dr. Khalid Siddiq, a Cobb County resident and long-time leader in Atlanta’s Muslim community. “The community has been trying to build this mosque for the last 10 years.”

Enlarge this image

Joey Ivansco/

The main prayer area can accommodate 1,100.

• Photos:See more of Al-Farooq Masjid    

Members excitedly took guests from other faiths on tours of Al-Farooq Masjid, pointing out the carved travertine stone details and the intricate, geometric, hand-painted designs on the dome and walls.

The guests were suitably impressed.

The Rev. Jimmy Allen of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship went on an interfaith trip to the Mideast with Siddiq several years ago, and he said Sunday that he was glad to celebrate the opening of the mosque with his friend.

“I told him I was glad that it’s already paid for, and that I would like to have his list of donors,” Allen quipped.

Siddiq said the money came from the Atlanta community and friends. None came from foreign governments.

John Hardy Jones of Atlanta said, “I think all of us that are not Muslim need to know more about the faith. I think this is very beneficial.”

The Muslim community has grown quickly in metro Atlanta during the past 25 years.

Bilal Mahmud is a Christian who converted to Islam in 1973. Three years later, he came to Atlanta from Washington, D.C., to help establish a mosque with five or six local men. There were few Muslims in the area at the time, he said.

In about 1978, the men began making plans for the mosque. “But the plans were nothing like this,” Mahmud said, looking around Sunday at the impressive structure.

Siddiq said, “There were times we thought we would never be finished in our lifetime.”

The community started services in 1980, meeting in an older building on the 14th Street property when that part of town was run down. The original building’s old prayer hall was razed to make way for the new mosque.

Several members said they were glad to be part of the revitalization of the area – it is bounded by Atlantic Station on the north and Georgia Tech on the south – and they thought the typical Islamic architecture brought a bit of sparkle to the neighborhood.

The influx of immigrants to the metro region included many Muslims, which helped local congregations including that of Al-Farooq Masjid grow. There are now about three dozen mosques scattered from Gwinnett to Clayton counties.



Mosque officials estimate that there are 80,000 Muslims in metro Atlanta. Here are some other figures.

Mosques: at least 35

Birth countries of Al-Farooq Masjid members: 39

Cost of Al-Farooq Masjid: $10 million

Square feet: 46,000

Main prayer hall capacity: 1,100

Women’s prayer hall capacity: 700

Height of the minaret: 146 feet

To find out more about Muslims in America go to the Pew forum.


16 thoughts on “Atlanta’s biggest mosque opens”

  1. Alhamdullilaahi rabil aalameen . May Allah the Almighty reward all those who have committed both their resources and strength to put up this magnificent edifice(MOSQUE) for the sake of ALLAH. In the sight of Allah those people have made an investment of which dividends they will reap here on earth and the day of judgment. May ALLAH bless us with blessed riches to also serve HIS course.
    kamal mustapha
    3659 Buford Hwy NE APT A9
    Atlanta, GA 30329

  2. bugger off mustapha – you are uninvited, your mosque in uninvited – and your allah is a rather pathetic being if it required edicfices to be erected in its “honor”.

  3. What was Solkhar babbling about a psychologist and people who use
    capitals in a certain way? Alhamdilpikul on a sesame seed bun!

  4. I still stand by my comments on capitalization, it is not necessary and shows the person is not confident.

    Kaw, I make no comment on Mustapha’s comments, his background probably explains his language style. As for the Mosque it was invited as a significant number of residents of Atlanta asked for it, the authorities accepted it and it was paid for, thus your comments about it being uninvited is not correct.

    I will also take you to task over “your allah is a rather pathetic being”, as Allah is just Arabic for God, the same God of the Jews and Christians and thus your reference to being pathetic is really encompassing when you try and insult a Muslim by saying that as they will only think that you are also insulting the Jewish and Christian God as well.

    Also I question the logic of your final line about it also being “rather pathetic being if it required edicfices to be erected in its “honor” when a Mosque serves the same purpose as a Synagogue or Church – thus I can assume you are not a religious man/woman yourself.

    Now having said all the above, I have no problem or issue with any Mosque being created anyhwere on the planet if

    1) it represents the appropriate number of Muslims in the population, and
    2) the organisation that is to build/run and control it supports the national interest, moal norms and standards and actively condemns radicalism, violence and hatred in all fashions.

    As you can see from the above two, I can think of quite a few mosques in Europe, US and Canada that should not have been built.

  5. * Allah is just Arabic for God, the same God of the Jews and Christians

    Blasphemy, Solkhar. “Allah” claims not to have a son. The Biblical God
    sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross (the crucifixion that Mo and “Allah” deny and mock) that we might be saved from our sins.
    The Biblical God has nothing in common with the satanic usurper of
    the koran.

  6. You have your opinion, that is your right, I will not unlike you try and sell my religion, I have enough faith and confidence not to have to go out and sell it.

    Kaw’s statement is to a Muslim rather mute as insulting Allah/God is also insulting the two other religous faiths as Allah and God are the same thing, just a language translations.

    The issue of religios belief is always a personal one of faith, Jews do not accept Christ or Mohammed and their clarifications of the previous faith’s teachings. Christians will say it is the extension of Judaism and correct the previous faith’s teachings but reject Mohammed and its clarifications. Islam says it is the continuation and extension of both Judaism and Christianity and that it clarifies both of the previous faiths’ teachings.

    To dispute this is disputing a matter of faith, and coming back to the point, trying to tell a Muslim that his faith is wrong is for that person a also a rejection of the two previous faiths of Judaism and Christianity.

    You will not see me either prostheletizing my faith, I ask no one to become a Muslim on this blog and I do not condemn the religious beliefs of others, I would not be so petty or pathetic to do so.

  7. “… I do not condemn the religious beliefs of others, I would not be so petty or pathetic to do so.”

    But you do dob them in to the Moroccan authorities if you catch them preaching the Gospel on Morocco’s streets.

  8. Solkhar – take what I wrote as a direct comment on Mustapha’s contribution and how he has appeared to interpret his religion. In fact the principal comment was somewhat sarcastically directed at the following line “May Allah the Almighty reward all those who have committed both their resources and strength to put up this magnificent edifice(MOSQUE) for the sake of ALLAH”. Now I find this sentence very amusing because it implies that the problems concerning islam are viewed somewhat differently by Mustapha. No amount of edification to his religion will resolve these issues without some very serious thought on his path. However, it does not seem likely that he can do this. On other issues the mosque was not wanted by the local community. In fact as I understand the sequence of stories as reported in the media, the gazetting of the building site for a mosque was done secretly and has annoyed many residents (it was not wanted). As of two months ago many of the contractors who worked on site were still seeking payment for their work. Presumably that has been resolved? Finally the use of punctuation has absolutely no bearing on the confidence of a writer – I am curious as to the logic of that statement. The mechanism by which this mosque was built is fundamentally the same as in areas with low muslim representation where councils have, for whatever reason, over-ridden the concerns of the local community and gazetted planning permission for the construction of a mosque. The mosque seems to be a consequence of significant pressure and political lobbying by groups such as CAIR to the detriment of the local community.

  9. You can be confident, Solkhar, but you follow the false prophet
    of Islam to your doom …

    “Who is a liar? Who else but the person who rejects Jesus as the Messiah? The person who rejects the Father and the Son is an antichrist.” (1 John 2:22)

    You can use the koran to “interpret” the Bible any way you like, but
    it is an exercise in futility.

  10. kaw, thank you for your clarification. I do not know the full background of this Mosque, if it was created without consultations and not enough local Muslims to justify it, then I would clarify it. I had an issue many years ago with the creation of Mosques in Rotterdam, they wanted to build another one and I pointed out in a meeting that there were enough. The radicals basically said there was not enough (they wanted to say there is never enough) and when I pointed out that a third of the Mosques were half empty on Friday Prayers then there was not enough. The Rotterdam Council agreed with me at the time, now I think there are radicals sitting on it so the situation has changed.

  11. I am a strong supporter of upholding the law and if I do not like it then either live with it, become part of the establishment to change it or leave the place.

    That combined with a strong dislike for prostheletizm and radical evangelism lead me to once in Rabat making the decision to report western diplomats whom were openly attempting to protheletizing their faith in a country that has rules.

    The other factor is the subject of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Priviliges and Responsibilities which states that Diplomats must obey the local laws and were there is conflict, seek formal support from their Embassy and Foreign Ministry and communicate such with the local Foreign Ministry.

    So in this case, I was stopped on the street by a family from a western embassy and basically asked “have I been saved”. I said yes, I embraced Islam many, many years ago. They then attempted to convert me, rather like the above, you must embrace JC etc, etc. It was at that point that I informed them that I am a former diplomat of 22years, I work closely with the local Interior Ministry and other Law Enforcement and that I think they are both breaching their status as diplomats and taking a rather rediculous approach which I find both arrogant and offensive.

    I then wrote an official letter to the Foreign Ministry with a copy to the Ambassador of that country (whom I know) and within the month the Deputy Head of Mission was sent home (and later I understood was told to not do that again anywhere or not be posted again and he resigned).

    I have no compunction or regret in what I did and the Ambassador of that country remains my friend and does not think what I did as bad, in fact he applogised to me and said it was embarassing.

  12. Soon the whole world will have “rules” forbidding Christianity and
    requiring Christians to be put to death. Will you uphold the law and
    wage war upon the saints and martyrs of Jesus, together with the
    Beast whose number is 666?

  13. Incidentally, Solkhar, this is what your “god” thinks of me:

    People of the Book (Who Reject Islam):
    “Those reject [truth] among the People of the Book are the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, dwelling there therein forever. They are the worst of creatures.” [al-Bayyinah, 98: 6]

    Not that I am a polytheist, since God is triune (Father, Son and Holy
    Spirit). I certainly reject islam, its god and its false prophet.

  14. Solkhar – fresh muslim intolerance via Weasel Zippers:

    (Manila Times)…..That is why many Filipinos were shocked to learn from a privileges speech of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Piumentel Jr., the untiring advocate of federalism (out of concern for the Muslim Filipinos), that in Marawi City and Sulu province it is forbidden to display the cross—the symbol of Christianity—at the top or frontage of buildings, including church spires.

    Christians are also proscribed from singing religious hymns.


  15. What is the issue, still myopically looking at the actions and ravings of radicals and taking them as being the big picture? I could do the same and take the prosthelitizing and bigotted rantings of yourself as being the example of a Christian but then I and we all know better and I would not disrespect the faith of Issa (Jesus) by making you more than what you are – a radical individual.

    The answer to your example in the Phillipines is that the army should come in and punish those that make that demand.

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