Saturday, October 17, 2015



Davey Crockett

AFTER ALL THE NONSENSE WITH THE SUFFA DAWAT MOSQUE HERE IS ANOTHER ONE OPENING UP. HOPE IT IS A DIFFERENT BUNCH RUNNING THIS ONE FROM THOSE LIARS AT THE JILES RD MOSQUE!

New mosque in the works for west Cobb

by Meris Lutz October 16, 2015 Special to the MDJ

WEST COBB — When Amjad Taufique first moved to Cobb from Houston, the entire observant Muslim population of the county could fit in the small office they rented for prayer services.

More than 25 years later, the community is preparing to celebrate the opening of the first mosque constructed in Cobb County.

There are five mosques already throughout the county, but all of them are in repurposed buildings, said Taufique, an active community leader who owns a repair management company.

Named Masjid Al Furqan, the about 45,000-square-foot mosque off Barrett Parkway, not far from the intersection with Dallas Highway, is expected to open early next year.

“The county is growing,” said Taufique. “It’s a good place to live, good for businesses. We’ve got a lot of Muslims who have businesses around here, doctors, we have a lot of them, so that kind of attracts a crowd.”

Fadi Ali, a management consultant who moved to Cobb County from Florida with his wife, a surgeon, and children two years ago, recently bought a house near the new mosque in order to attend prayers there.

Ali said being able to build a place of worship from the ground up is significant for the Muslim community.

“I think it makes a huge difference,” he said. “This is significant especially for me because I can take my children, my wife, my extended family and show them how we put this window here and that there.”

Ali also said it was important to him that the mosque be a resource not just for Muslims, but for the entire Cobb community, and talked about offering classes and activities.

When finished, Al Furqan will occupy a six-acre site that includes two existing houses, one of which will become administrative offices and the other will be available as the residence for the imam, who leads the congregation in prayer. The grounds will be encircled by a landscaped buffer and walking trail, which Taufique said would be open to the public.

The mosque is being built with funds donated by the community and is expected to serve a congregation of up to 300 people. Construction is estimated to cost $1.2 million, Taufique said, adding that the building was designed to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood, with a few nods to Islamic architecture, such as arches in the entranceway.

The property was previously owned by a church and already zoned to allow a religious institution.
“We are going to stick to the code like nobody ever did,” said Taufique. “We know where we are, we know our position.”

Taufique is hoping Al Furqan will be open for services by February or March of next year, and encouraged members of the public who were curious to reach out to arrange a tour.

“We would love for our neighbors to say, ‘Hey I just want to stop by,’” he said.

Construction of the mosque follows on the heels of a heated confrontation in Kennesaw in December that saw protests over a proposed storefront prayer hall in a shopping center. The Kennesaw City Council eventually reversed its vote not to allow the prayer hall after being threatened with legal action.

By contrast, both Ali and Taufique said they were not aware of any negative responses to the new mosque in west Cobb. In fact, they said, all of the neighbors have been very welcoming.

A handful of people have expressed alarm to the local county commissioner, Bob Weatherford, however.

Weatherford said he has received calls from “five or 10” constituents who called to complain.

“You get some that are far out there,” Weatherford said. “I don’t discriminate based on anything as long as it’s legal.”

He went on to say he supported freedom of worship as long as it did not infringe on the rights of others and it was done “peacefully.”

“My opinion of that particular religion is that they have a propensity not to be peaceful,” Weatherford said, adding he was speaking in general terms and not about the Muslim community of Cobb County.

Ali said he was not concerned about the kind of anti-Muslim sentiment that was on display in Kennesaw last year, where protesters held signs that read “ban Islam” and “Islam wants no peace.”
“I believe in our justice system and elected officials,” Ali said.

As a community leader, Taufique has often found himself in the role of ambassador of his faith, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Several years after the attacks, he recalled reading an article about a young Muslim couple who were interrogated by the FBI after their neighbors reported “suspicious” behavior, which, it turned out, included fixing their washing machine and cooking biryani, a popular South Asian and Middle Eastern rice dish.

“It made me start to think that the neighbors really don’t even know you. They’re just scared (for) no reason, so what can we do to change that?” he asked.

Taufique decided to invite his entire neighborhood association, representing more than 140 houses, to an open house at his home.

“We said, ‘Hey, we understand maybe you guys are a little concerned about who we are, what we are, so come in and see,’” he said.

About 100 neighbors showed up, many of them meeting for the first time in Taufique’s home.

Taufique calls the extra efforts made by Muslims to assuage their neighbors’ fears “the price we pay,” and takes it in stride. Since 9/11, he has built strong connections with local Jewish, Christian and other religious leaders and helps organize an annual interfaith Thanksgiving dinner.

“I built up good relationships with many people after that just because they called and we had lunch together,” he said. “It’s a process of education that we have to really put out there for the community to see who we are.

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8/27/15

Welcome to the new Kennesaw Mosque, a new one costing $800,000 is coming.

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5/23/15
The only sign of the Suffa Dawat Mosque at the strip mall are 2 small signs on the 2 doors to the Mosque.

They read:   'besm ellah alrahman alraheem' which translates to:  'in the name of God the most gracious most merciful', it's a phrase Muslim say when they start something.


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