‘Community’ is the cornerstone for new mosque

All are welcome at a Community Day on Saturday hosted by local followers of Islam. An organizer of the event at Harbour Pointe Middle School sees it as an important step toward building a mosque in Mukilteo.

The first step was the purchase of land, said Mohammed Riaz Khan, president of a group planning to build the Islamic Center of Mukilteo. “The second step is building community, bringing people together,” he said.

A Boeing manufacturing engineer who lives in Mukilteo, Khan said Wednesday that the group hopes to break ground at its site later this year.

“We’re going to do some introductions, have stalls for food and clothing, and fun for kids,” said Khan, a father of three who is originally from India. He said local Muslims hope to meet people of all faiths — “Christian, Jewish, Hindu” — at Saturday’s event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school.

Teams will be compete in a tape-ball cricket tournament, which Khan said will be a first in Mukilteo. Tape-ball cricket is a street version of the conventional game, that originated in Pakistan. Players use a tape-wrapped tennis ball.

Khan said there may be opportunities Saturday to tour the site of the planned mosque, which is near Mukilteo City Hall. According to a 2013 Herald article, the nonprofit Islamic Center of Mukilteo purchased the nearly one-acre property for $245,000. It’s just west of Mukilteo Speedway, next to the Bank of America at 3800 Harbour Pointe Blvd. SW.

There are other mosques in Snohomish County: Masjid Umar al-Farooq in Mountlake Terrace; Lynnwood’s Evergreen Islamic Institute (Dar Alarqam); and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Seattle, also in Lynnwood. Just over the county line is the Islamic Center of Bothell.

Kahn said members of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo group worship in rented space near Everett Mall. If the Mukilteo mosque is built, it is expected to initially have at least 200 people worshipping there. “It’s going to support all the Boeing employees in Everett,” Khan said.

In the 2013 Herald article, Mukilteo mosque organizers said preliminary plans include a 4,000-square-foot building costing about $600,000. It would have a library, game room and worship space, where services would be open to the public.

The Islamic Center of Mukilteo’s website includes a call for online donations.

The group is in the process of obtaining permits for the building, Khan said. “There has been a lot of good response from a lot of people,” he said.

Khan, who said he plans to run for a seat on the Mukilteo City Council, credited Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and state Sen. Marko Liias, a 21st District Democrat, for being helpful in planning for the mosque.

Saturday’s event, he said, is a chance for people to learn about Islam and the mosque project.

“We are good citizens,” Khan said. “Come and see us. We want to open up to show people who we are and what we do.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Community Day

A Community Day sponsored by the Muslim Association of Seattle will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Harbour Pointe Middle School, 5000 Harbour Pointe Blvd., Mukilteo. Free and open to the public, it will offer information on Islam and plans to build a mosque in Mukilteo, kids’ games, free refreshments and booths selling clothes, jewelry, food, and arts and crafts. Teams will compete in a tape-ball cricket tournament. For information on the Islamic Center of Mukilteo, go to http://icomwa.com/

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