History[change | change source]
In the late 1800s, many young men came from Bosnia to Chicago to work in construction. They built roads, buildings, and tunnels for the Chicago commuter train system. Many Bosnians worked on the tunnels for Arif Dilich’s Paschen Construction Company, a large company in Chicago. The Dzemijetul Hajrije was like a family to the many young single men. It had religious services and special activities for Eid and other holidays. It helped pay for medical expenses and funerals.
Many Muslims also lived in Gary, Indiana and worked in the steel mills. Another group of Bosnian Muslims went to work in the copper mines in Butte, Montana. Dzemijetul Hajrije started chapters in Gary, Indiana in 1913, Wilpen, Pennyslvania in 1915, and Butte, Montana in 1916. They did not have a mosque, but they met in coffeehouses. In 1956 the last Bosnian coffeehouse closed.
After World War II more Bosnians immigrated to Chicago. Many were well-educated, but they had to take jobs as taxi cab drivers, factory workers, and janitors. In the early 1950s, they asked Sheik Kamil Avdich, a religious scholar, to be their first imam. They started the Muslim Religious and Cultural Home. In 1957, they opened a mosque on Halsted Street. In 1968, they changed their name to the Bosnian American Cultural Association. In the 1970s they bought land in Northbrook for a larger mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago.
References[change | change source]
- Schuessler, Ryan (18 January 2017). "America's oldest Muslim families on the Trump presidency: 'This can't deter us'" – via The Guardian.
- publisher. "Bosnian Muslims Break the "Cliché" - Muslim Journal Online".
- Puskar, Samira (1 January 2007). "Bosnian Americans of Chicagoland". Arcadia Publishing – via Google Books.
- Bronner, Simon J. (4 March 2015). "Encyclopedia of American Folklife". Routledge – via Google Books.