St Louis, MO – St Louis County officials announced on Tuesday that they would reopen the mosque after the last of its five members died in September.
The Imam of the Imam Ibrahim mosque, Imam Abdul Hadi, was killed in September in a suicide bombing attack that killed at least 17 people, including six police officers.
Imam Hadi was a native of Somalia who came to the United States in 1994 and founded the mosque in 2013.
“I am deeply saddened by this sad event,” St Louis City Council President James Knowles said in a statement.
Knowles was among a number of city officials who visited the mosque on Tuesday to pray.
He said it was important for the community to have a mosque that had been in service since the 1970s and had strong community relations.
“It is a reminder of our past,” he said.
St Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson also visited the St Louis Mosque.
Krewson was in Missouri on Tuesday with several local Muslim leaders to observe the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
More than 1.2 million Muslims live in the United St Louis metro area, according to the US Census Bureau.
Earlier on Tuesday, St Louis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans to build a mosque on a portion of an old highway that connects downtown St Louis with the St. Louis suburb of St Louis Park.
Hogsett said the new mosque would be a place where Muslims could pray and share their faith.
“This is not a place that is just for Muslims,” he told reporters.
Muslims pray in the same area as mosques, where they have a prayer room with an arched roof.
It’s a place of worship, and it’s a way for us to be able to connect to our brothers and sisters across the world,” Hogsett said.
The mayor said he wanted to bring the mosque back to its former glory, when the St-Louis River was the main artery for Muslims.
In August, the mayor’s office asked the Missouri Department of Transportation to reconsider allowing the mosque to be built on a former interstate highway because it would damage the city’s waterfront.
However, officials say they’ve been working with the city on the plans.
Construction of the new building has been delayed due to federal approval.
This is a developing story.
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