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Islamic Center of New Castle - New Castle PA

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New Castle is home to a large number of Arab-Americans, and is particularly unique for its substantial population of Alawites or Alawis – a small branch of the Shia Muslim religious group centered in modern-day Syria. The initial Syrian immigrants, who were mostly Christians, arrived in New Castle in about 1900 and found work in the tin mills. By 1900 there were almost 200 Syrians in the city, mostly living along Mahoning Avenue. Later on larger numbers of Syrians of the Muslim faith arrived and in about 1935 they founded the El Fityet Alaween Syrian Association to help Syrian immigrants acclimate. The society hall on Long Avenue was the center of the Muslim community in New Castle for many years. Over the years the Muslims held their prayers sessions in various makeshift mosques – in private homes or leased buildings. In early 1982 the local Muslims incorporated as the Islamic Society of Greater New Castle, with the goal of founding a permanent mosque. In late 1991 the group, led by President Amen Hassen, petitioned the city to allow it to acquire the former Finch Street Fire Station (shown above), which was in active service as a fire station from 1961-1984. The City Council approved the measure in January 1992. (1984)

The former Finch Street Fire Station and twenty-nine other city-owned properties were put up for sale in 1985. Several bids for the former fire station were rejected before the Islamic Society was allowed to acquire the property in early 1992. The building was greatly remodeled and opened for prayers, as the Islamic Center – housing the Masjid Al-Rahmah (“Mosque of Mercy”), in the spring of 1992. (Oct 2012) Full Size

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  1. Hello friends,
    I would like you to know how sorry I am for what is being said and done to people of your faith. It is very Un- American.
    My thoughts are with you and your families at this very stressful time & in this stressful climate.

    You are NOT alone. We stand with you.

    With love,
    Adrianne Ferguson
    510 Tidball Ave
    Grove city, pa 16127

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for the information! Do you happen to know whether the mosque is run by Alawis or by Muslims in general? Because it was founded by the Alawi community.

    Thank you!

  3. Hello and Salams,

    I’d like to contact some Muslim families living in New Castle, PA. I’m a staff member at CAIR Pittsburgh Chapter.

    Call me at 412 606 3601 or write to me at:


    Thank You.



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