- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - After several years of preparation and fundraising, plans to build a mosque in Dubuque have finally moved forward into the construction stage.

The Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1mR4CrR ) reports that the city has recently given the Tri-State Islamic Center the required zoning approval and building permit for the project.

Center President Tauseef Khan said his group, which has about 50 members, has raised about 70 percent of the $500,000 needed to construct the 4,300-square-foot mosque and school.

Khan and his wife, Tania, see the mosque’s construction as a step forward in the organization’s efforts to foster increased conversation and understanding among those with differing beliefs.

“That removes the anxiety of (the) unknown, which can lead to fear and inflame and add to the hateful thoughts and comments” contributing to growing Islamophobia in America,” Khan said. “So the most important thing we see is to introduce ourselves — let people know who we are, what Muslims stand for and what Islam is.”



Kahn said Muslims have been “very fortunate” in Dubuque and they have not “have not directly or indirectly experienced” any anti-Muslim sentiment.

Dubuque Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Baxter said he is unaware of any complaints, threats or hate crimes committed against the local Islamic center, its members or Dubuque Muslims since plans for the mosque were announced.

“We’re all well aware of the potential for ‘backlash’ given the extreme resentment in our country over the attacks by radical Islamists,” and police will continue to monitor developments and respond accordingly, Baxter said.

Khan said work on the prayer hall and parking lot is expected to be completed in late summer or early fall.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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