BX Muslims, elected officials break ground on new mosque

Hundreds of West African Muslims joined elected officials and members of the NYPD today to break ground on a revamped Islamic center after the original was destroyed by a fire. The cornerstone was laid this morning at the new Islamic Cultural Center on East 166th Street. The first building burned to the ground in Sept. 2009. Since the fire, members have been conducting Arabic classes, after-school programs and prayer sessions in a smaller, rented space. Center officials say they have only collected one-third of the money needed for construction, and that they will begin fundraising after Ramadan. Construction on the mosque is scheduled to begin tomorrow and take a year.

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