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The Islamic Center of Southern California is a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Los Angeles. It is located on Vermont Avenue adjacent to the Chinese Consulate General. It is one of the largest mosques in Southern California with thousands praying there every Friday.
The center was founded in 1952 and at the time was the only mosque in the Los Angeles area. When it was founded there were very few Muslim families in the Los Angeles area and many of the attendants of the mosque were foreign Muslims attending local universities. In the late 1960s as immigration restrictions were relaxed, more Muslims families immigrated and the mosque grew and in 1969 the first eid prayer was held at the mosque. The current director of religious studies is Asim Buyuksoy.
In early 2000 the mosque was vandalized multiple times in what was classified as a series of hate crimes. The first attack occurred when swastikas were drawn on the front of the mosque and the second attack when a rock was thrown in the window of the front prayer area. In response to the vandalism, the police increased security at the mosque and the incidents were investigated by burglary detectives. After the incidents public and religious officials from the Jewish community along with the California Deputy Attorney General, appeared at the mosque to condemn the vandalism as hate crime.
Since its inception and even more recently, the Islamic Center of Southern California has worked to reach out to members of other faith groups. In 2010 the Director of religious affairs for the center attended Rosh Hashanah services at a nearby synagogue in order to increase interfaith dialogue. During the controversy over the construction of a mosque in New York City near the site of the 9/11 attacks, local religious leaders from the Jewish, Roman Catholic, and assorted Christian churches gathered with members of the Islamic Center of Southern California to give support for the construction saying that opposition to the construction "was rooted in intolerance"  Since 2001 the center, along with mosques across Southern California, has been hosting an Open Mosque day in which non-Muslims can visit the mosque for a tour and ask questions. It was created as a way to improve relations between the local Muslim community and non-Muslims and also as a way to help non-Muslims learn about Islamic culture and certain parts of ideology.
The center also houses a daily school for 105 students from preschool to sixth grade along with Friday prayers.
- ^ "Brief History of the Islamic Center of Southern California (1952-1972)". IViews. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- ^ Ramirez, Margaret (November 9, 2000). "Security Tightened After Repeated Vandalism at Islamic Center". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- ^ "Rosh Hashana begins at sundown; Southern California congregations prepare". Southern California Public Radio. September 8, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- ^ "California interfaith leaders back 'ground zero' Islamic center". CNN. August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- ^ Lee, Elizabeth (October 28, 2013). "Southern California Mosques Open Doors To Fight Islamophobia". VOA News. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- ^ "New Horizon LA Elementary School". New Horizon. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Islamic_Center_of_Southern_California&oldid=868757633"
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