CAIR-Chicago Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony for Glenview Ismaili Center

CAIR-Chicago participated in the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Worship House and Center in Glenview along with Illinois Governor Blagojevich, Glenview’s village president, heads of the national and regional Ismaili organizations, and invited guests. At 26,000 square-feet, the Ismaili Worship House and Center will become the seventh major facility in the United States, and the second in Illinois after the Ismaili Community Center in the Edgewater neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago.

The establishment of the Glenview Ismaili Center was previously protested by an estimated 1,000 area residents who signed petitions claiming that the center would bring traffic to the surrounding residential community.

Speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, President of the Ismaili Council for the United States of America; Glenview President Kerry Cummings; and keynote speaker Gov. Blagojevich. Gov. Blagojevich and Pres. Cummings laid the first mortar bricks in the façade. Architecture company Bailey Edward Design gave a visual presentation explaining how the architecture will reflect the diversity of the Ismaili community and the village of Glenview. The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks from Dr. Mansoor Virani, President of the Ismaili Council of the Midwestern United States. CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson was among the guests.

The ceremony was followed by a reception, where guests viewed a model of the Ismaili Worship House and Center and its grounds. A vivid display highlighted the preservation of three classic Islamic architectural sites from the Aga Khan Development Network, which is a philanthropic group of non-denominational agencies that works to strengthen communities in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.

The opening of the Glenview Ismaili Worship House and Center is expected in the spring of 2009.

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