OGDEN — Northern Utah Muslims, who have gathered for prayers weekly for the past 10 years in a tool shed behind a house in Ogden, hope to move into a mosque by the Oct. 27 start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The new mosque near downtown Ogden will serve Muslims from Layton to Brigham City. Utah currently has mosques in Salt Lake City, Logan and Provo.
About 35 to 40 people meet for prayers on Fridays at the Ogden shed, about half of them Weber State University students. There are an estimated 20,000 Muslims in Utah, said Mohammed Al-Tigar, head of the Islamic Society of Ogden Valley, which covers the area from Brigham City to Layton.
"We finally said we need a permanent place to propagate Islam the proper way," Al-Tigar said.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, there has been an increase in confusion of what Islam is really about, he said.
Utah Muslims want to educate people about the religion and its teachings. Ogden Muslim Brahim Kahn said they want people to know that Islam is really about peace, not about the violence done by a few.
"What some people do in the name of the religion misrepresents the entire faith," Kahn said.
A reason for building the mosque is to stop ignorance, to teach people that Islam in not about terrorism, Kahn said.