Islamic Center of Michigan City Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Porter County, just outside of Michigan City, Indiana. The Islamic Center was founded in 1924. Since inception, the Center has served local and regional Moslem communities. Under the umbrella of Islamic Center, there are a Masjid (Mosque), Islamic School, and Social Hall. Islamic Center is governed by a Board of Directors. The Islamic Center is located on Brown Road, (N. 500 East) and occupies a scenic site of about 16 acres of natural land.
Islamic Center of Michigan City aims to serve the religious needs of the Muslim community and the community at-large based on the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (AS) in a manner that sustain our children and community’s adherence to the tenant of Islam, to promote its positive image and standing in a changing environment and to provide religious, educational and recreational opportunities for our members. We further aim to represent values of Islam and the Muslim community in interfaith circles, in government, public and media relations, and in the society at-large.
The Islamic Center of Michigan City, Indiana, Incorporated, was first organized on April 26, 1914 under the name of (The Bader Elmoneer Society of Michigan City,) Indiana. The principal purpose of the organization was to engage in and teach the history and practice of the Islamic faith as founded by the prophet Mohammed. The community in early days, did not have a location to teach its members, but it used the third floor of the Majestic Building on the northeast corner of Michigan and Franklin Streets for regular religious services.
The founder and first president of the organization was Hussein Boudeeb Mohamed who also served as the community’s religious leader. The congregation, during World War I, was composed primarily of members of the Syrian and Lebanese Moslem community in Michigan City. After the war the membership grew significantly and expanded to include a mixture of European, Asian and Latin Americans.
In the early 1920's, the Bader Elmoneer Society purchased a land on 2nd street, directly across from then Michigan City Police Station, and constructed the first mosque building that became the first Mosque built in the United States of America. The community then reorganized as a not-for-profit religious organization on May 15, 1924, under the name of the Asser EI Jadeed Arabian Islamic Society. Translated, the Society's name means "The New Generation", and president at that time was Nephew Sam Jezzeny. Over the following years, the Asser EI Jadeed became a social and religious center for Middle Eastern descendants throughout the Midwest sponsoring religious events, conventions and meetings for friends and relatives from Detroit, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois.
The Asser EI Jadeed Islamic Center with its familiar minaret and facade remained in existence in Michigan City, until 1969 when the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission purchased the building as part of the Michigan City Urban Renewal Program. Facing possible extinction as a community, membership, on October 24, 1969, again reorganized itself under its present name the Islamic Center of Michigan City, Indiana, Inc. The purpose in changing the name was to recognize the wide diversity of ethnic backgrounds of the congregation's members and the growth of the organization to welcome persons of all nationalities. The organization continued to look for a new site as it continued to provide religious services in different temporary locations.
The Islamic Center purchased an existing building with adjoining 16 acre land on Brown Road (1606 N. 500 East) on April 28 1971, in Porter County but just outside the city limits of Michigan City, together with sixteen acres of land, as the new home for the Islamic Center. The community started a remodeling program in 1973. This renovation, brought major structural changes to the building which included adding a vestibule, a spectacular dome, extensive landscaping and interior remodeling.
The Islamic Center today contains a large kitchen, four classroom, a prayer room and a social hall. Future plans also include development of part of the Society's acreage for use as a playground, picnic area and recreational center for members and friends of the Society.
Board of Directors
Phil K. Dabagia, President
Abraham Hakim, Vice President
Jamal Agemy, Treasurer