Several hundred people were on hand as the Islamic Center of Nashville held a community celebration to show off its new mosque in Bellevue.
The building shares grounds with Nashville International Academy, an elementary and middle school founded by the Islamic Center two decades ago. The school's principal, Ibrahim Yosef, spoke at the new building's dedication. He says it's a sign of the local Muslim community's deepening roots.
"This community is a refugee community, so to speak," Yosef says. "So the building of a mosque, I guess, is symbolic of that, of simply accepting the hosting country as a place where they want to stay. They feel safe."
The new mosque cost about $2.5 million to complete. It features a design inspired by traditional Turkish architecture, including a classical dome and minaret.
The new location is meant to serve Muslims living in Bellevue and to relieve some of the growth pressure on the Islamic Center of Nashville's main location in the 12South neighborhood. Mosque leaders plan to keep both open.