Photo courtesy ICOE                                Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council member Farida Hakim and Susan Wilson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the groundbreaking.

Photo courtesy ICOE Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council member Farida Hakim and Susan Wilson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the groundbreaking.

New mosque breaks ground in Bellevue

Following two arsons, the ICOE is getting closer to the completion of a renovated mosque.

On Jan. 25, the Islamic Center of Eastside (ICOE), alongside Bellevue officials and residents, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony in celebration of a new mosque.

The center has endured major hardships in the last three years. In January 2017, the original mosque, which the new construction is replacing, was damaged by an arson, which resulted in the vacancy of the building. The structure was hit with another arson in March 2018, at which time its utilities had been shut off. In the interim, the center has been using a facility on Northeast 21st Street.

One of the center’s founding members, Farida Hakim, voiced a particular appreciation for the support from members of the Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council (Hakim is a board member of the council), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and city officials including Councilmember John Stokes, former mayor John Chelminiak, city manager Brad Miyake, and project manager Faheem Darab during the transitional period.

With the proper permitting now secured and the original building torn down, it’s estimated that work on the replacement structure will take about 14 months. Completion is expected between March and April 2021.

The building will be two stories, include 23 on-site parking stalls and stand some 4,800 square feet.

The project costs $3.3 million in total. The center currently has about $1.4 million and plans to fundraise the remaining $1.9 million by the end of February. More fundraising information, including dates, will be available soon, according to the ICOE website.

Hakim, who is also an advisory council member for the Muslim Community Resource Center, said the social concerns council board members — which includes delegates from Mercer Island, Bellevue, Redmond and other cities — have been contributing and supporting since 2017.

Hakim spoke of the importance of the rebuild, and said she’s looking forward to getting to know neighbors and inviting them to the new, rebuilt mosque.

“The mosque is a gathering place, much like all the other faith organizations organize their spaces for their congregation to come to attend the services,” Hakim said. “Our organized effort is to have a place where our members can fulfill their obligations to pray five times a day…for me, [the importance of] rebuilding again, and that space, would be, how can we get to know our neighbors, how can we serve in our capacity to reach out to people who need help? That’s our service in action.”

To see the conceptual design and learn more about the rebuild, go to the ICOE website (

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

The groundbreaking was also attended by city officials and community members. Photo courtesy city of Bellevue

The groundbreaking was also attended by city officials and community members. Photo courtesy city of Bellevue

More in News

An AR-15. Courtesy photo
Mags, open carry at protests and AR-15s on Olympia’s agenda

Lawmakers are eyeing a number of bills which could change firearm regulations in the state.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Lawmakers consider prohibiting use of credit score to determine insurance rates

Advocates say credit scoring makes low-income and minority policy holders pay more for coverage.

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology.
EPA loans King County $96.8 million to prevent untreated water from spilling into Puget Sound

Loan comes a week after an over 10 million gallon overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Courtesy photo
Survey shows rent debt to be disproportionately distributed among minorities

More than half of Black renters surveyed said they owed rent money from previous months.

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)
At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Power outages cause massive wastewater spill into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

King County estimates millions gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed into surrounding waters.

Democrats in the Washington State House are proposing to pay for transportation improvements partly by raising the gas tax by 18 cents. (Sound Publishing file photo)
House Democrats lay out massive $26B transportation package funded by gas tax hike

An 18-cent gas tax increase and a fee on carbon emissions would fund new roads and more.

File photo
Report: 70 percent of gun deaths in Washington are attributable to suicide

Research done at The Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program at Harborview… Continue reading

June 2018 algae bloom. Photo courtesy of Department of Ecology
Human-caused ‘dead zones’ threaten health of Puget Sound

Wastewater treatment plants account for about 70% of the excess nutrients.

Most Read