ATLANTA - Masjid Al-Mu'minun, a mosque in south Atlanta, is one of the few that play the call to prayer over external speakers, letting the sound drift through the neighborhood. Ahmed Najee-ullah, a leader in the congregation, said neighbors set their watches by it.
"We are in those parts of the African-American community where a lot of people wouldn't venture and the communities that we're in appreciate us being there," he said. "They have this perception that we represent the best in them."
Najee-ullah is one of many black Americans who converted to Islam during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and '70s. He said mosques are welcomed as beacons of stability in many black neighborhoods.
Things have changed in the decades since Masjid Al-Mu'minun opened in the early '80s. As the U.S. Muslim population grows, communities are seeking to establish Islamic institutions such as mosques, schools and cemeteries in otherwise homogenous suburban and rural areas.