Williamsport Islamic Centre
In 1992 twelve families moved to Williamsport Pennsylvania in an attempt to provide a safer environment for their families. Initially, to establish their five daily prayers, these families utilized a single family home living room. In 1996, they established the first Islamic Center by renting a double home and using one side of the home as a Masjid and the adjacent side of the home as transitional housing for Muslims in need. In 2000, as the result of a growing Islamic Community now consisting of thirty families, the Islamic Community relocated to a larger location by renting space in a commercial building. It was at this new location (downtown Williamsport) where Islamic classes were officially established on a weekly basis, The Williamsport Islamic community continued to grow providing a safe secure Islamic environment for local Muslims (50 families) and Foreign Muslim Students attending Penn College. In 2006, the Muslim Community recognized the need to establish a permanent Masjid and purchased an old school building that was available for auction. In 2007, The Williamsport Islamic Center filed for a non profit exempt status which was granted. Today, the Williamsport Islamic Center is a 501c-3 non profit religious organization that is still located in Williamsport Pennsylvania, which is part of Lycoming County. Lycoming County is comprised of approximately 120,044 residents, 93.91 percent Caucasians, 4.32 percent Black or African American, and 1.77 percent others. The city of Williamsport consists of approximately 30,706 residents, 97 percent are Christian, 2 percent Jewish and 0.5 percent Muslim. Lycoming County is the largest county in Pennsylvania and the Williamsport Islamic Center is the only Islamic institution in this county; therefore, the Williamsport Islamic Center is charged with the responsibility of conveying the Islamic Faith to the residents of Williamsport and its neighboring counties. To facilitate this task of Dawah (conveying Islam to Non-Muslims), the Williamsport Islamic Center has successfully developed a relationship with the citizens of Williamsport by developing various community programs addressing youth at risk. Members of the Williamsport Islamic Center have also collaborated with other community organizations to address crime and violent behavior, and to form community outreach projects. Since September 11, 2001, members of the Williamsport Islamic Center have been invited to speak at churches, synagogues, schools and colleges to address the many misconceptions and distortions regarding the Islamic Faith.