History of the Islamic Center of Yuba City

The aftermath of the fire.....

Dear Readers:

This is a letter of appeal for a cause almost forgotten, but by a few. In September of '94 our mosque was totally and heartlessly destroyed by arsonists.

The fire, which arsonists set with a flammable liquid, gutted the 12,000 square foot building just before midnight, September 1, 1994..... It took less than an hour for the blazing fire to demolish what took years for this community to build.

Many of the local Muslim community rushed to the blazing scene that night. The night sky above the mosque turned bright orange. Flames emerged from all sides out of the arches and when the structure could no longer support them, the minaret and steel dome crashed to the ground.

It was a scene that will be forever engraved on the hearts and minds of this community.

Shortly after the fire an international delegation from the parliaments of Kuwait, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey visited the site of the former mosque. The delegation included: HE Muzaffer Hashimi, Member of Parliament, Pakistan; HE Dr. Rashid al-Farhan, Member of Parliament, Kuwait; HE Dr. Necmettin Erbakan, former Prime Minister of Turkey; HE Dr. Abdullah Gul, Member of Parliament, Turkey; HE Mahmed Zuhier, Memer of Parliament, Sri Lanka.

During his visit here, Dr. Erbakan said, "After the collapse of communism, people wanted to create artificial enemies. In Germany, and in Bombay...incidents against Islam... this type of behavior caused these problems."

Three years after the fire, the mosque is now again about 75% completed. However, The insurance settlement (which paid only to rebuild it to the point of completion prior to its destruction) and the donations received have not been enough to complete it.

It sits empty and unused--a shell of a building intended to be used for the remembrance and worship of Allah. As we face an upcoming fall/winter of expected heavy rains, the unprotected plywood exterior will undoubtedly suffer from lying bare before the elements.

At the moment, however, we have had to put all of our energy into getting approvals and plans for building a bridge over the irrigation canal which runs along the road in front of the mosque. Previous access to the property (which was temporary) has been blocked...and the plastering, which is so crucial to the protection of the building must wait, while we seek to satisfy a myriad of government agencies who have some kind of jurisdiction over this bridge project.

If it were possible for us to finish this project on our own, we would not be making this appeal to you, but our local community is comprised mostly of people of very modest incomes and cannot possibly complete this project without your additional help.

May Allah bless our efforts, purify our hearts and guide us to the Straight Path.

Thank you for your help.
The Community in Yuba City

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