Monday 8th of August 2022
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Group's Mosque Plans Set for Spring

Group's Mosque Plans Set for Spring

-- A group of local Muslim worshippers expects to start construction on a downtown Rock Hill mosque (South Carolina, USA) by spring, six months behind schedule due to delays in design work.

The group, which now holds prayer services in a storefront on Cherry Road, has worked on architectural plans since buying a half-acre lot on West Main Street.

"It's going to happen," said group leader James "Jumah" Moore. "We have come a heck of a long way, from a thought to getting money to the property being purchased. We're all committed."

Based on design plans, the building would rank among the most distinctive in downtown.

A two-story structure topped by a dome would house separate men's and women's prayer rooms, in keeping with Islamic tradition. The most striking feature: A slender tower known as a minaret, used in Islamic architecture, from which the faithful are called to prayer. Mosques typically have one or more small towers.


The group tweaked its design to comply with city development guidelines. Plans have been approved pending minor changes, city records show.


Instead of sitting at the back of the property, the building has been pulled up to the street so that cars park in the back.


After the local group formed in 2007, members held services in a room at Freedom Temple Ministries in downtown. In January, they moved to a spot in a small strip mall across from Cherry Park.


Members say they are eager to worship in their own space. For the 10 to 15 families leading the effort, the prospect of a new home has become a source of pride.


"The facility is not like a mosque should be," said member Nazir Cheema, describing the temporary home. "That was a business place designed for some offices, not a place for worship."


York County is home to about 540 people of Arab descent, according to the most recent Census figures. But there are no official estimates on how many Muslims live in the county. Many Muslims are African-Americans, who, like Moore, joined the Islamic faith growing up.

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