Atlanta’s “largest and oldest” mosque faces tax saleMarch 12, 2012
A tax lien has been filed against the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, the self-proclaimed “largest and oldest Islamic community in Metro Atlanta.” The owners of the mosque must pay about $6,000 to satisfy the lien and prevent the property from being sold on the courthouse steps of DeKalb County on Apr. 3.
The Atlanta Masjid normally pays about $10,000 in local property taxes a year for its property on 562 Fayetteville Road, but has only made a partial payment for 2011. The mosque also owes smaller amounts on adjoining property it owns at 560 and 596 Fayetteville Road.
Details of Atlanta Masjid’s finances are not available to the public because the organization has no tax form 990 on file with the Internal Revenue Service. Its website seeks zakat donations for the mosque, for Eid, and for the schools operated by the mosque. The mosque has a “Majlis Ash-Shura Board” which appears to have marginal oversight over funding, but it does not appear to have a dedicated finance committee. Daaiyah Shakir is listed as the mosque’s treasurer.
Atlanta Masjid caught the attention of Atlas Shrugs in 2008 for a potential violation of 501(c)(3) tax law by hosting a political event for Barack Obama onsite.
Despite its tax problems, the mainstream media is content to present only a positive image for Atlanta Masjid. CNN has reported warmly on the mosque before, calling one of its Ramadan iftars “splendid,” and touting the mosque’s “community outreach.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution assured readers that Atlanta Masjid is “egalitarian, mainstream” (while showing a photo of male-only worship) during the mosque’s alleged 50th anniversary.
The mosque’s imam, Mansoor Sabree, made news in Georgia during the Ground Zero Mosque controversy for endorsing a mosque “anywhere, anywhere in America.”