Islam is a growing religion in the United States, and Billings, Montana, is no exception. With a population of approximately 110,000, Billings is home to a small but vibrant Muslim community that has been steadily growing over the past few decades. The community is diverse, consisting of Arabs, Pakistanis, and other Muslim immigrants from around the world.
There are several mosques and Islamic centers in Billings that serve the Muslim community. The Islamic Center of Billings, located at 2015 Lewis Ave, is the largest and oldest mosque in the city. The mosque was founded in the early 1980s and has since become a central gathering place for the Muslim community. The Islamic Center of Billings offers daily prayer services, as well as Islamic education classes for children and adults.
Another important mosque in Billings is the Masjid Al-Rahman, located at 720 Cook Ave. The mosque was founded in the 1990s and serves as a community center for the Muslim community. In addition to offering daily prayer services, the Masjid Al-Rahman hosts a variety of events and programs, including interfaith dialogues, community service projects, and Islamic education classes.
The Billings Islamic Center, located at 1800 4th Ave N, is a newer mosque that opened in 2011. The center is housed in a converted church building and features a prayer hall, library, and community space. The Billings Islamic Center offers daily prayer services, as well as educational programs and community events.
In addition to these mosques, there are several smaller Islamic centers and prayer spaces throughout the city that serve the Muslim community. These include the Montana Islamic Center, located at 527 Grand Ave, and the Mosque and Islamic Center of the Rockies, located at 1601 4th Ave N.
The Muslim community in Billings is diverse, with a mix of immigrants and native-born Muslims. Arab Muslims, particularly those from Yemen and Somalia, make up a significant portion of the community. There is also a growing Pakistani Muslim community in Billings, as well as Muslims from other parts of South Asia and Africa.
The Muslim community in Billings is active and engaged in the wider community. In addition to hosting interfaith dialogues and community service projects, Muslims in Billings have been involved in local politics and advocacy efforts. For example, in 2018, a Muslim candidate ran for the Montana State House of Representatives, becoming the first Muslim candidate to run for public office in the state.
Despite the growing Muslim community in Billings, Muslims in the city have faced discrimination and prejudice. In 2016, the Islamic Center of Billings was vandalized with hate speech, and in 2017, a Muslim family’s home was vandalized with racist graffiti. However, the Muslim community in Billings has been resilient in the face of such challenges, and has worked to build bridges with the wider community through education and outreach.
In conclusion, the Muslim community in Billings, Montana, is a diverse and growing community that is actively engaged in the wider community. With several mosques and Islamic centers serving the community, Muslims in Billings have a strong sense of community and belonging. While they have faced discrimination and prejudice, they have also worked to build bridges with the wider community through education and outreach. As the Muslim community in Billings continues to grow, it will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in the city’s cultural and social fabric.
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