Where We Pray: Islamic Center serves as mosque, education facility & interfaith outreach resource

WEST CHESTER, Oh. - The Tri-State is rich in the number and variety of houses of worship. In our weekly feature, WCPO shines the spotlight on where we pray.

House of Worship: Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (ICGC)

Address: 8092 Plantation Drive, West Chester
Denomination: Islamic
Leadership: Shakila Ahmad, president; Amira Batal, administrative director; Ali Salahudeen, facilities manager
Size of Congregation: More than 1,000

Core Beliefs: "We believe in the one, unique, incomparable, and merciful God—and thrive on serving him by serving others."



In the 1960s, a few Muslims gathered in a Cincinnati home for their first congregational prayer. A few years later, they purchased a tiny house on Fairview Avenue to serve as a masjid or mosque. The Arabic word masjid means a place where people prostrate toward God.

By 1980, as the number of attendees at Friday prayers and Sunday gatherings grew steadily, the group bought a larger house on Clifton Avenue. Throughout the 1980s, this site served as a place of worship, education and a center for lively discussion.

In 1992, Greater Cincinnati Muslims began to plan the West Chester facility that is now the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (ICGC). Several community members took leadership roles, raising funds for the Center and refining the details. A key leader was Ahmad Samawi, a Syrian immigrant and founder of the Mid-American Development Company.

Samawi not only made a significant financial commitment, but also offered the services of his company to build the Center. The community came together and turned a long-held dream into reality. The Islamic Center opened in 1995.

Since its opening, ICGC’s facilities have been used by area Muslims as a place of worship, education, social gathering, community service and outreach.

"We encourage interfaith dialog and host collaborative events. Our value-led setup and environment are ideal for people of all faiths and backgrounds to come together and work toward common good. Our aim is to build bridges, promote understanding, and serve the communities in which we live." - Shakila Ahmad, ICGC president

More about ICGC

The center has established an interfaith education and outreach program to encourage dialog and exchange of ideas among individuals and organizations. This includes our popular Tours & Talks service, as well as a variety of interfaith events that the center organizes, co-sponsors, or supports. 

Editor's Note: We are publishing "Where We Pray" in the order that we receive responses to our requests for information. Feel free to contact us if you would like your house of worship to be included! Email: holly.edgell@wcpo.com

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