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Clergy: Mosque Welcome, Adds to Current Diversity

Local clergy say the new Ahmadiyya Islam mosque at Slade Mansion is a welcome addition to the already diverse religious community of Pikesville.

Ahmadiyya Muslims' purchase of the former Slade Mansion in Pikesville helps make Pikesville's religious community ripe to be a model of cooperation, the Rev. Adrien Dawson of said of Pikesville's first Islam institution.

"I'm psyched," she said. "I feel very positive about it. I am interested in what kind of relationships can be built," Dawson said. "I think this neighborhood is so diverse, we can handle it, and it will benefit us in the community."

That's because, with Islam's arrival, all three major Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—will be represented in the Pikesville community, she said.

When it comes to religious history, all three faiths claim Abraham as a patriarch or ancestor of the faith, Dawson explained, so all three believe in the same God.

Christians and Jews follow Abraham's son, Isaac, and Islam follows his other son, Ishmael, she said. "So there is a lot of overlap in the stories of our faith tradition."

at the corner of Slade and Park Heights avenues in Pikesville for $900,000, reportedly planning to use it as a prayer center.

The mansion is located along Park Heights Avenue, which to the north and south of Slade Mansion is dotted with Jewish synagogues, shuls and schools, as well as the Weinberg ark Heights Jewish Community Center to the south.

Despite the mosque's moving in to an area with numerous Jewish institutions, the movement was welcomed by its closest neighbor: .

Back in April the congregation offered use of its ample parking lot to the mosque, should the mansion's smaller one prove insufficient, said Rabbi Andrew Busch.

And last week, leaders from the movement took a tour of the synagogue, he said.

"We welcome them to the community as neighbors and look forward to getting to know them," he said Thursday. "Our interactions over the last several weeks have been very pleasant at our meetings."

And what does Busch think of the Islam presence along Park Heights Avenue, where there is nearby, northward and others of the Jewish faith?

"It doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of Jewish institutions around, and that doesn't mean that there isn't room for other institutions," he said.

Pikesville is known for its diversity, not only in Judaism and Christianity, but in its businesses as well.

For example, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation itself already shares its own facilities with .

Dawson's St. Mark's On The Hill church, located at 1620 Reisterstown Road, is the site of a service in Spanish each week.

And a few miles south of St. Mark's is , located at 101 Church Lane near Reisterstown Road, and not far from the new mosque.

Christian churches and St. Paul Praise and Worship Center: People of the United Methodist Church are further south on Reisterstown Road.

When it comes to businesses, Pikesville is well-known as being the site of , the US's largest kosher grocery store. Pikesville also boasts kosher restaurants, including .

But kosher isn't the whole story: Numerous businesses in Pikesville are quite diverse culturally.

For example, next door to is Mercy's Grocery Tienda Latina. And there's hair salon in the same building as Tienda.

Directly across the street from the market is is Island Quizine, offering Jamaican foods. It's owned and operated by a man who hails from the island itself.

What's your take on the new mosque on Park Heights Avenue?

jackie laster June 02, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I feel it's good way to build a relationship. It provides room for better understanding of each other on all three sides . . . Jews, Christians and Muslims. Who knows, maybe the rest of the world could learn something fom this. Pikesville still is a beautiful place to live. This is just another reason that makes it a beuatiful place. jlaster, Silver Creek Community.
Mr David Smythe June 03, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Muslims reject the Ahmadiyya as part of the Muslim community. Likewise the Ahmadiyya reject Muslims as being part of their community. This is not Islam moving into the community it is the Ahmadiyya. Just as Christians would reject a group claiming a new Jesus came along as part of the Christian faith or Jews that the Messiah had arrived Muslims reject Ahmadiyya for claims of a false prophet. All faiths races and religions should be embraced and accepted in your community. However the Ahmadiyya should be identified for who they are and not as part of the wider Islamic faith.
zee June 29, 2012 at 03:21 AM
This is not true at all, false statements should be rejectecd regardless of all false assumptions , well all Ahmadi's are muslims, please do your personal research and stop assuming the untrue.

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