For nearly a decade, Imam Fateen Seifullah has set his sights on pursuing the development of what he coins is a “Muslim Village” in West Las Vegas, yes just miles from the strip. “The Muslim Village was started as a safe space for the local Muslims and non-Muslims,” says Iman Seifullah who leads Masjid As-Sabur, the oldest mosque in the Las Vegas area. “Our goal has been to leave a positive physical imprint on the environment, so when people look at it they see what the Muslims have done here.”
Indeed the congregation has been successful in driving out local drug houses and gangs with future plans to purchase the surrounding properties and transform them into affordable housing. According to RNS, the village will include a free medical clinic, a food pantry, a library, a community garden and a elementary school. The mosque also provides meals, temporary housing for women facing abuse or other issues, short-term rent and utilities assistance, and a faith-based 12-step program to recover from addiction. By next year, there are plan to begin constructing townhomes on the vacant lot beside the mosque. The facilities and services will be available to anyone of any faith who is in need.
Imam Fateen Seifullah says that he and his congregation at Masjid As-Sabur already have support from the most important people — the locals. “People who are neglected, people who come here for gaming and then lose everything and just need a bus ride home, they walk here because they believe they can get help here,” the iman reflects. “They say, ‘If anybody can help you, it’s the Muslims, go see them.’”