A few weeks ago Zaytuna College had a presentation they aired online by Phil Pasquini on his new book “Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.” This was a very fascinating talk but unfortunately, not many tuned in because of the American presidential debates. Well, I took some notes on that talk and am going to share some examples of Islamic architecture in America that Phil mentioned in his talk. Phil made the point he felt a book like this was needed in order to fight Islamophobia and hatred towards Muslims and Arabs in America and to show Islam is woven into the fabric of America in ways most don’t even fathom.
Most of these buildings hail from a style of architecture called “Moorish revival architecture” influenced largely by architecture in Spain or what was once Andalusia. Many of these buildings are used by Shriners and other fraternities who would call them temples or mosques though their members were not Muslim. Keep in mind these are NOT Muslim buildings, but used for secular purposes from the very first day they were built.
I have put little descriptions about the buildings, so scroll down slowly.
Below are photos of Philadelphia Lulu Temple
Below is Angeles Abbey Memorial Park cemetery in Compton, California
Below is Helena Civic Center in Montana was formerly Algerian Shriner temple
Milwaukee Tripoli’s Temple below is supposed to resemble the Taj Mahal. Members play pool, inside and often Muslims come and ask to pray in here.
Madina Temple in Chicago below which is now a Bloomingdales Shopping Center
Alcazar Theatre below in San Francisco is now used as a parking garage.
Below is Alhambra Theatre in San Francisco
Lincoln Theatre in Los Angeles
New York Mecca Temple below
Below is Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” museum in Grand Prairie, Texas
Madina Wasal Army base where American troops train in a simulated Middle Eastern environment
Below is Almas Temple in Washington, DC. Inside is a picture of former American president J Edgar Hoover wearing a tarboush cap.
Tampa Bay Hotel below
Metaire Lake Lawn Cemetery Islamic architecture tomb in New Orleans, LA.
Fabulous Fox theatre in Atlanta, Georgia
You would think you are in the Middle East, but nope, this is all contemporary United States of America. There are many more examples of this in the United States and even in some European countries. I have only shared a few. Below are some more links for those who wish to research this further.
Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.