Howard County residents prepared for a long battle to prevent a massive display of Islamic domination to dominate their quiet rural community. Plans for the Islamic center include a K- 12 school, 5-story mosque, a university, welfare office, publishing company, medical facility, and more. All designed to create a Muslim city in America – a ‘NO GO’ zone for non-Muslims. Think of it as the American version of the London Tower Hamlets Muslim enclave.
With Allah’s permission, the Dar-us-Salaam community is embarking on a new, bold and exciting phase of its development — to acquire a 66-acre property in Howard County, Maryland which would serve as its new Islamic education and community campus. The campus will serve in shaa Allah as a hub for education, community service, and da’wa for Muslims in the region as well as Muslims across the nation. Join us as we build for the future, trusting in Allah and seeking acceptance from Him alone.
Baltimore Sun (h/t Julia A) Leaders of the Dar-us-Salaam community in College Park have been looking for years for a new home, a place for a school and a mosque close enough to be convenient for members living in several counties.
Former Catholic School, Woodmont Academy, currently on the site
The 66-acre former home of the Woodmont Academy, a Catholic school in Cooksville, looks just right to the Muslim community leadership, with buildings already in place and plenty of undeveloped land for parking and a new mosque to accommodate thousands of worshippers in the decades to come. To many of the people who live nearby, however, it seems all wrong, a poor fit for a rural community weary of battling what they consider encroachments on the quiet way of life they’ve chosen.
Some remember the “Stop Woodmont Academy” signs sprouting on lawns 12 years ago, when the school staked out a spot in a residential area a few miles from where the project was eventually built on Frederick Road. Now there’s a “Preserve the Woodmont Academy Land” Facebook page; a recent routine homeowners association meeting turned into a session on Dar-us-Salaam that drew a couple of hundred people; and residents talk of fighting a project that to them seems too large for an area of horse farms and homes.
“That’s not what rural, country land on wells and septic was created for,” says David Yungmann, who lives in the Carriage Mill Farms community in Woodbine, about a mile west of the Woodmont site. “We’re constantly defending the rural environment, the rural zoning, which is in law.”
Home of the Heart Dar-us-Salaam believes the most comprehensive vehicle to respond to the challenges facing Muslims in America is to establish a living, model Islamic community on the foundations of revelation – the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam.
A united community guided and inspired by revelation builds institutions to implement Islam at a practical level.
The prophetic mission began with Allah telling the Muslim to “read” (Surah Al-’Alaq:1), so Dar-us-Salaam laid the foundation of its community building mission with the establishment of Al-Huda School in 1995, an accredited pre-K through 12th grade full-time school considered by many to be one of the best Islamic schools in the nation.
Over the next 15 years, Dar-us-Salaam continued building institutions to serve as pillars of the new community such as a full-time hifz school, a nationally recognized newspaper, a daycare, a martial arts academy, an Islamic university, a da’wa office, a social welfare office, a zakat institute, a funding development office, a publishing company, a grocery store, a medical clinic, and one of the most active and forward thinking masajid in United States. All of these institutions make up the structure of the Dar-us-Salaam community; committed believers seeking to serve Allah make up its heart.
When Muslims build institutions to address the needs of society, managing them according to revealed principles, the resulting community becomes a brilliant example of Islam in practice. Actions speak louder than words, and collective actions done at a community level can’t be ignored. The community built and guided by revelation attracts seekers of truth and proves the truth of Islam. Such a community not only does da’wa – it is da’wa.
To learn more about Dar-us-Salaam’s programs including Al-Huda School visit our website at www.duscommunity.org.
66-Acre Education, Community Campus Would Be Hub of Islamic Learning
Dar-us-Salaam announces bid for 66-acre Howard County campus
Dar-us-Salaam Announces Bid for Howard County Campus. The full build out of the future Dar-us-Salaam Education and Community Campus in this conceptual drawing
In a move that could change the Islamic demographics of the greater Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region, the Dar-us-Salaam community announced on Saturday, August 4, 2012 its plans to develop a new home in rural Howard County, Maryland.
In late June, Dar-us-Salaam signed a contract to purchase the 66-acre Woodmont Academy campus in Cooksville, Maryland, a small town about 15 miles west of Ellicott City. The initial $10 million price was negotiated down to $8 million over the last several months; the contract includes a study period of up to 9 months to allow for zoning approvals.
In 2010, Dar-us-Salaam signed a contract to purchase an industrial building on about 10 acres in Beltsville, Maryland but due to several factors the deal did not go through. A Muslim realtor and long time community member brought the Woodmont property to Dar-us-Salaam’s attention in early January of this year.
“What attracted us most to [the Woodmont property] was the fact that they already received approval from [Howard County] to run a full education campus from pre-Kindergarten through the college level, and to have worship activities, and the fact that there was ample land to grow,” said Sayeed Jaweed, a member of the Dar-us-Salaam shura.
Imam Safi Khan said the decision to move to a much larger property in a rural area was dictated in large part by Dar-us-Salaam’s long term vision to “build a community that can showcase Islam in action.” Dar-us-Salaam’s current projects include religious, social, media, youth, health, and business services and entities.
A conceptual drawing of the future campus is available on the project’s website www.homeoftheheart.org and features two school buildings, an administrative building and a large five-sided masjid (mosque) around a circular courtyard.
“We have to look at our community’s growth in terms of the next 50 years to 100 years, not just 10 or 20 years down the road. This is an investment in the future of the community, for the Muslims who are here long after we are gone.”
Provided zoning and funding work out, Dar-us-Salaam plans to move all its operations including Al-Huda School to Cooksville in the summer of 2013. The current set-up at Woodmont should be sufficient for the next 5 to 8 years, say board members, after which Dar-us-Salaam hopes to begin constructing the future campus.
For the last eight years, Dar-us-Salaam faced challenges from a few hostile neighbors and a heavy handed city and county government intent on effectively shutting down the masjid activities.
As residents are taking steps to organize possible opposition, the project is in its early stages.
The project was announced in Al-Huda’s newspaper, The Muslim Link, in August. The headline said the new center could be the “Largest Islamic Project in America,” and the article described plans for “three seven-story buildings” and a five-sided mosque around a circular courtyard. Another Muslim Link article now posted on the “Preserve the Woodmont Academy Land” Facebook page mentions an underground parking garage, and says the project “could change the Western Howard County landscape for years to come.” A Muslim Link article last month reported that Dar-us-Salaam was hoping to win approval for a mosque that could accommodate 2,500 to 5,000 people.
The plan, as described in early reports, “seemed absurd for a property zoned rural conservation,” says Glenn Moran, who lives in Carriage Mill Farms. “How is our community going to support something like that?”