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New Islamist Mosque Opens in Virginia
by Ryan Mauro
Last month, a new mosque called the ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Islamic Center opened in Alexandria, Virginia. ICNA, an Islamist group with origins in the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, framed its inauguration as an interfaith victory, giving thanks to the three churches that let them worship on their premises as the mosque project was completed.
The two-story mosque replaced a house that was bought by ICNA in 2000. It says the facility cost $850,000 to build and can accommodate about 150 people. Good Shepherd Catholic Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church and Aldersgate United Methodist Church allowed ICNA's Northern Virginia chapter to worship as the mosque was being built
ICNA's use of Aldersgate United Methodist Church led to a favorable segment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which praised its pastor and mocked an evangelical critic. In one scene, the critic is seen saying mosques wouldn't allow their premises to be used for Christian prayers. The correspondent joked about how embarrassing it'd be for him if the show cut to a clip of Christians being invited to a mosque.
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