The American Moslem Society to celebrate 80th anniversary

The American Moslem Society (AMS) in the Southend is not just a mosque. It is a community institution with a deep history that stretches back to the first half of the past century. AMS will celebrate its 80th anniversary at Byblos Banquet in Dearborn on April 19.

The Yemeni American News

The mosque was founded in 1938 by the first generation Muslim immigrants, according to Mahdi Ali, president of the AMS.
“The American Moslem Society is celebrating 80 years of serving the community. The AMS is one of the oldest mosque and Islamic organizations not only in the State of Michigan, but also in North America,” Ali said. “This historic institution has been central to the growth of the Muslim community and Islamic institutions throughout the United States.”
In this event, the AMS will honor outstanding community members for their roles in serving the community.
Speaking to the Yemeni American News, Ali stressed the AMS’s role in the community, highlighting its educational programs, outreach efforts and the services that it offers.
“The AMS has added more schools to teach principles of Islam and the basics of Arabic to young generations,” he said. “Currently, AMS and its branches have 6 schools with more than 50 teachers, serving more than 1400 students.”
The AMS is also working on new projects going beyond its physical location, including building an Islamic center and school in Kendallville, Indiana costing $500,000 and expanding an Islamic center in Coldwater, Michigan.
The Society has also built a medical center in Dearborn and bought a new plot for Islamic burial at Woodmere cemetery for $625,000. The mosque also opened a new Arabic weekend school on Lonyo street that has a capacity of 400 students.
AMS is also active in spreading the work of Islam and exposing people to the religion, Ali said.
“Over the past 10 years, AMS has hosted over 6000 Non-Muslims in its mosque in Dearborn through organized visits and open houses, and provided them with lectures and materials about Islam,” he said. “AMS has distributed educational materials about Islam to over 50,000 Non-Muslims, with cost of about $250,000.”
He lauded the mosque’s civic engagement, saying that it has worked to strengthen relations with elected officials and organizations across the country.
The AMS employs more than 70 workers, between full and part-time; it also has a robust volunteer program and provides services that include, Islamic marriage ceremonies, funerals, and youth activities. It also works with other relief organizations to help hundreds of thousands of people in need around the world.
Ali highlighted the push to engage young people in the community, which he said constitute 60 percent of the local population.
He said the center is looking to hire an executive director to lead the employees and volunteers in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
“The AMS is unique, since it is the oldest mosque in the state and one of the largest in the nation,” he said. “It is the first organization, which broadcasts Athan (Calling for Prayer) over loudspeakers. It has two Islamic cemeteries, in which thousands of Muslims are buried in.”