The first ever mosque built in the USA was at 242 Victor Ave, Highland Park, Michigan. The construction work began in Jan of 1921 (See the Detroit Free Press, Tuesday, January 11, 1921). It was financed by Muhammad Karoub (spelled as Mohammet Karoub in the Detroit Free press), a rich Arab (Syrian) Real Estate mogul. Karoub employed architect Theodore Degenhardt to design the mosque. Sheikh Hassan Karoub has approved the design work and his brother Muhammad Karoub was paying 45,000 to buy the property. The Detroit Free Press alleges that there are 15,000 Muslims living in the immediate area and this mosque would serve there needs. These same Muslims hadn’t celebrated Eid or Juma at any mosque since they arrived in the USA. A few years after opening, the mosque was empty, Muslims were upset that Mufti Muhammad Sadiq was getting funding from Karoub and spreading his Kufr beliefs (See the Detroit Free Press, 24 Sep, 1922, p. 75). The city of Highland Park also imposed taxes and thus forcibly shut the mosque down.
The Mosque opened in June of 1921, it was simply called “The Moslem Mosque” and was financed by Muhammad Karoub (spelled as Mohammet Karoub in the Detroit Free press), a rich Arab Real Estate mogul. The Detroit Free Press of June 5th, 1921 alleges that there are 16,000 Muslims working in Detroit and Highland Park (mostly employed at Highland Park Ford Plant). Just a few years earlier, Muhammad Karoub moved to Highland Park and started as a factor worker for at the Highland Park Ford Plant. He seems to have made some amazing financial decisions and now was giving back to his community in the form of a mosque.
Mufti Muhammad Sadiq was in Chicago in May of 1921, however he came back to Detroit in June of 1921 and agreed to lead the Eid prayer for the first ever Eid Sermon and congregation in the USA. Hassan Karoub would give the sermon and Khaleel Bizzy would also help out as needed. However, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq was the highest ranking imam.
After the Eid prayers and etc., Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Hassan Karoub and Khaleel Bizzy were going to be part of the parade. In fact, they would lead the parade, and Mufti Muhammad Sadiq would wear a green turban to signify the highest rank of the imam’s (a sheikh) and Hassan Karoub and Khaleel Bizzy would wear white turbans (imam’s) signifying a lower rank (the Detroit Free Press of June 5th, 1921). They would be followed by the Arabian American Association and the Muhammadan (spelled as Mohammedan) Young Men’s Association. The parade started from 72 Victor Ave and was owned by Muhammad Karoub himself and named Karoub Building.
After the parade and etc., Mufti Muhammad Sadiq seems to have got money from Muhammad Karoub and thus launched the famous “Moslem Sunrise” newspaper of July, 1921, (See the Detroit Free Press, 24 Sep, 1922, p. 75). Karoub is mentioned in this edition, his name is also spelled as Karroub (see 21). He even allowed Muftree Muhammad Sadiq to live in on his buildings on Victor Ave, Karoub House. Karoub’s photo appears in the Oct-1921 edition of the Moslem Sunrise. His brother’s photo is also given, the story of his brothers is also given, also that they are Syrian.
By 1922 the mosque lost its membership altogether, as a result of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq and his deviant beliefs. The congregation was split, confused and stopped attending altogether (See the Rutledge Daily Herald, Aug-28-1922). The other imam’s were Hassan Karoub (Sunni imam)(Muhammad Karoub’s brother, spelled as Hussien Karoub and Kaelil Bizzy) and Khaleel Bizzy (Shia imam).
The same newspaper (See the Rutledge Daily Herald, Aug-28-1922) tells us that the City of Highland Park added this property on the tax rolls and demanded 55,000. It seems that the city of Highland Park refused to allow this to be a mosque.
Continue reading “Who is Muhammad Karoub?”