About Us


        Hamid Ahmed
The Fox Valley Muslim Community Center started in the home of Hamid and Mazher Ahmed, in 1977, on South Jefferson St. Batavia, Il. Here local Muslims could perform their Friday congregational prayers, moving the furniture out of the way each week. As the number of members quickly increased it became obvious another location needed to be found.

In 1981, with the help of Frank Olson with whom the Hamid Ahmed worked, the group was able to relocate to the Boy Scout cabin at the corner of Houston and VanNortwick streets. This proved to be inadequate as more and more Muslims came to Batavia to hold their Friday prayer sessions. In the spring of 1983, Hamid approached Jim Hanson, whom he knew from working together on updating school district maps, to inquire if Jim knew of any schools, which might have space available. No school space was available, but Jim knew his church had unused space in the basement of its education building. He asked Fr. Drury Green if Calvary Episcopal Church would consider sharing space with the Muslims for a compensation. On May 31st, 1983 the Vestry approved an agreement sharing the basement of their school building to the Muslims.

By the early 1990's another move was needed as the membership of the Fox Valley Muslim Community Center continue to increase. Ahmeds started thinking of building a mosque and started fund raising. A physician member of the congregation, donated three parcels of land, without a major access to them, hence the city of Aurora denied the request to build the mosque. Hamid Ahmed resolved the problem, with the help of the Mayor David Pierce of Aurora and the builder of Kensington Lakes, the subdivision next to the land. Equal land was swapped with access on major road and a Mosque was erected in the mid 1990's. Fox valley M.C.C. now had its own place to hold its prayer services!


        Mazher Ahmed
A small group wished to remain in Batavia due to the convenience of the Location. Ahmeds were happy to continue, they adopted the name Batavia Islamic Center and have continued to hold Friday prayer services in the basement at Calvary Episcopal Church. The center also conducts Traveeh prayers in Ramadan, summer school, and lectures by scholars, host International visitors of State Department. The center also runs weekend school for children on Saturdays.

There has been a very friendly relationship between the Muslims and the Episcopalians. Both have invited the other to celebrations and have opportunities to learn and understand more about the other. In an interview of Beacon News in 2005, about this relationship Fr. Michael Rasicci of Calvary, said, "We are showing that we can respect each other, not just with our differences but finding the commonality that comes from God creating us as human beings." At the same time Mazher Ahmed remarked, "Ours is an example you won't find in many places. It is not just a marriage of convenience. We are there for each other. As GOD says in the Holy Quran " We have created you from a single pair; a man and a woman and made you into Nations and Tribes so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other." And we are the living example of this verse."

In 2008 Calvary Episcopal Church and the Batavia Islamic Center will Celebrate 25 years of their relationship. It is an example that Demonstrates that religions can co-exist in spite of their differences.

  
 
Copyright � Batavia Islamic Center
Basement of Calvary Church, 222 S Batavia Ave. Batavia, IL 60510, USA