An American Mosque

About This Episode


On a warm summer night in 1994, arsonists broke into the newly-constructed Islamic Center of Yuba City, doused prayer rugs with gasoline, then lit the building ablaze. The mosque was reduced to ashes. This became the first hate-crime to destroy a mosque in U.S. history. In shock, everyone asked: Why would someone attack a community’s house of worship?

An American Mosque, a documentary about religious freedom and the struggle against intolerance, shares stories of hard work and anticipation, heartbreak and fear, triumph and hope. Members of other faiths echo their words, expressing compassion, support, and a shared desire for justice in the wake of the arson. Although deeply saddened, the community’s spirit was not shaken. They wanted to show that all Americans, including Muslims, are entitled to a religious sanctuary and the right to practice their faith openly. The community re-doubled their efforts and constructed a second mosque in the footprint of the first.