Muslims broke ground in Anchorage, Alaska for the construction of the first mosque in The Last Frontier state on Tuesday.
The Islamic Community Center of Anchorage purchased the site for $600,000, Anchorage television station KTUU reported. The construction of the facility is expected to take two years.
"American Muslims have a duty to help educate others about their faith, and a duty to create opportunities for dialogue and frank and open conversations," Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in an address in Anchorage on Tuesday.
"We must also speak out against domestic and foreign policies that are based on Islamophobia, because these policies are counterproductive, self-defeating and un-American," he said.
CAIR claims there are more than 2,000 Muslims living in the Anchorage area.