The American Islamic Foundation (AIF) and the American Muslim Council (AMC) jointly hosted a dinner in Washington DC Saturday night in honor of the scholars, preachers, writers, and journalists who attended the opening ceremony of the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles last week. In his welcoming speech, chairman of AIF's board of trustees Dr. Al-Kulaib expressed on behalf of Islamic organizations in the United States, appreciation for the services to Islam of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, saying that Islamic centers "are the key factors today in helping the Muslim community preserve their cultural identity". It is estimated that in the greater Washington area there are over 300,000 Muslims, a third of whom are students.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bassam Al-Ostuwani, President of the Board of Directors of Masjid Dar Al-Hijra in Virginia, praised Saudi Arabia's role in supporting the Islamic community in the USA as well as Muslim minorities worldwide, adding that the Los Angeles mosque is an indication of the growth of Islam and the efforts of Muslims to project the true picture of Islam and its lofty values. Estimating the number of mosques in the U.S. as around three thousand, Dr. Al-Ostuwani said they keep the community together and uphold Islamic identity as well as enabling Muslims to perform their religious rites.